Templo's New 'Mountains Can’t Cry' Features Naturescape Vibes, Reggae Beats & More

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Agreeing to review Templo’s newest EP Mountains Can’t Cry was a bit of a stretch for me; a test to see if I could get down with dub. Generally, I do not subject my ears to dubstep of any kind, but I made an exception this time out of pure curiosity, and to give the genre another chance because this EP was presented to me as an “ethnic dub album.” I like CloZee and I really like Beats Antique, Bonobo, Ott, and Dynohunter, none of whom are dub, but all of whom definitely know how to throw down some gooey good ethnic sounds. So here I was with Templo, and it did not disappoint!  

Though Mountains Can’t Cry certainly falls into the dubstep category, it is subtle, and filters through the ears without leaving you feeling like you just lost brain cells huffing glue, which is how most of the genre has left me feeling before. At the forefront of each of the six songs are naturescape vibes, reggae beats, and the aforementioned “ethnic” sounds.

The first two tracks on the EP have a Middle Eastern flare. “Magnetics,” has a more up-beat, daytime feel and “The Owl Watches,” turns a little darker and is seductive, with calls from night creatures accompanied by mesmerizing sounds resembling far-east wind instruments and maybe even a bit of Balkan folk. 

Templo.

Templo.

The third track, “Shot in the Dark,” is probably the most traditionally “dubby” track on the EP, with heavy reggae beats and a lot of record scratching. Not long after that, the fourth track reawakens the spirit with a playfulness reminiscent of video games from the early 2000s, and mixes in what sounds like Native American or African tribal chants. “They Gone,” the next to last track on Mountains Can’t Cry, is heavy with reggae vibes. The final track on the album, “RedShotScandal,” incorporates a lot of everything heard in the previous five tracks, but like a fireworks finale, it creates a loud explosion of light and sound only to fade into silence, smoke and gratification at the end. 

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Mountains Can’t Cry is built like a journey through naturescapes. It’s an easy and enjoyable listen that doesn’t even take thirty minutes to complete, and even as someone who wasn’t a fan before, I am confident you’ll like it whether you’re winding down the summer, or catching Templo live on tour this fall. 

Keep up with Templo here.

-Mirna

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Prep Rally's 'Head Rush' Is Full of Synthy Experiments & Light, Luscious Vocals

By: Julia Talen

Electronic indie pop duo Prep Rally will release their inspired sophomore EP Head Rush this April, full of vulnerable themes paired with instrumentalist Drew Norris’s catchy beats and vocalist Tatum Russo’s delicate voice.

The first track “Phoenix” kicks-off the EP slowly, with a soft, easy melody. It’s joined by Russo’s enthralling vocal harmonies, crooning lyrics indicative of the transformative and inquisitive questions sewn into this record like “will be born again” and “transcending from who I once was”. As the track progresses, Norris’ instrumentals build in complexity and the tempo ascends and shifts, lifting listeners into the tenacious and seemingly effortless layers of this record.

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“Roll With The Punches,” the second track, begins with an addicting piano beat evoking a throwback vibe. Similar to many of Prep Rally’s tunes, this song builds and expands. There is a nice bridge in this track with a round of voices singing lyrics like “roll with the punches” and “everyday is a rematch,” followed by what Norris calls a “sparkly arpeggio outro” which is mesmerizing. The band’s single, “Break In,” released at the beginning of the year, succeeds this tune and remains to be one of my favorite tracks on the record.

Another noteworthy tune off this EP has to be “Mean Girl,” a noble, feminist exploration into societal pressures on women and how impactful they can be. In considering this track, Russo states, “There is a mean girl in all of us,”  provoked by a society. Lyrics like “whoever gave a damn about what’s inside/and were put up to fight by the shape of our bodies,” parallel this sentiment as does Russo’s echoing vocals on this track which reflect the insidious and obsessive mean girl in our minds. The pop-like nature of the track allows listeners to digest some of the heavier concepts on this record, including dark, societal pressures. The next track, “Cloud Nine,” also explores anxiety and mental health, but through this pop duo’s delicious bops. Prep Rally’s EP overall destigmatizes such subjects.

Prep Rally.

Prep Rally.

The EP comes full circle with “Coffins in the Attic”, a song that explores facets of change and transformation, much like “Phoenix.” The tune is slower, like the first track. I like the risk the duo takes in the middle of the song in which everything breaks for a beat, followed by a breath and the ding of a triangle. Then listeners melt back into the folds of Prep Rally’s piano diddles, synthy experiments, and light, luscious vocals.

“Head Rush” explores heavy, important themes balanced by captivating patches of instrumentals quilted together to create a really nice, cohesive and interesting record. Prep Rally’s EP drops April 2nd. The dynamic duo will host a release party at downtown Denver’s Walnut Room on April 6th.

Keep up with Prep Rally here.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Race To Neptune Are Either the Black Sheep of Fort Collins or It's Next Big Thing

By: Brody Coronelli

With a new lineup, the band’s heavy, technical, and invigorating new EP Abandon Fashion showcases their evolution as a band, and what sets them aside from their counterparts.

Race To Neptune.

Race To Neptune.

With a spellbing conceptual precision that blends scuzzy ‘90s grunge-rock, darkwave, and the teeth-kicking emotional thunder of punk in a manner that makes heads bang, dice tumble, and PA systems growl, Race to Neptune are one of Fort Collins’ loudest, eclectic, and ferocious rock bands.

The band made their debut in 2016 with Oh Contraire, an album that had a few moments of brazen, fiery chargings into up-tempo punk-rock, but for the most part stayed on the melodic side, using dark, midtempo, and gritty instrumentation to surround frontman Brian Maier’s personal and biting lyrics in a shadowy glow. On the Thurston Moore-reminiscent “Wanderlilly,” the guitars are loud and fiery, but immensely tasteful and bright as the band uses a catchy refrain and echoing harmonies to guide the song into a warm resonance. The song is forceful and delicate all at once; a balance the band had no issue finding on that album.

On their new EP Abandon Fashion, the band has kept the technical sensibilities of their debut intact, making use of raw, punkish energy to play their eclectic and progressive brand of rock’n’roll. Many of the songs have a raw and thundering approach that takes more after punk-rock than it does from brazen, technical, and melodic broods through the dimly lit streets of Oh Contraire. These songs aim to ignite, but not in a typical four-chord punk rock fashion. The band uses this driving energy and delivers it with an array of sonic intricacies in a way that’s more indicative of artists like Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Queens of The Stone Age rather than Subhumans or The Germs.

“I think [Abandon Fashion] is a two word statement that almost signifies that we are going to write, record, and do what we want and how we want, no matter what is cool, trendy, or ‘in fashion’,” says frontman Brian Maier.

The whole EP was cut live at Stout Studios in Fort Collins, capturing a raw and forthright energy that often can’t be found when meticulously multi-tracking or chasing the perfect take. This raw approach, balanced with the driving and aggressive nature of the songs makes Abandon Fashion a fierce, unrelenting pleasure.

“I honestly have always wanted to [record the way we did on this record] because it captures the aggressiveness and raw energy of how we actually sound that can’t be faked. I think if we recorded the first album the same way those songs would have come across just as heavy. Track by track recording is so dialed in and precise in every way from the smallest turn of an amp or pedal knob to how hard we strum or hit a drum or cymbal. This was total freedom and we recorded this just how we practice and this is how we sound live, because it is!” says frontman Brian Maier.

The opening track “Mortal Melody” features a nearly two-minute chugging intro with guitars that gradually grow more jagged, and pummelling drums that grow fiercer with each strike. The song is a garage-driven excursion that has all the thrill of driving down an empty desert highway going fifty over the speed limit. “I’ll be your creature/Can you teach me to teach/Sing to me slowly/In a motor melody,” Maier sings with a quiet growl on top of a scuzzy and aggressive bassline.

The Sonic Youth and Modest Mouse inspired “Departure” follows, a scuzzy rocker with a chanting, harmonic, and arena rock-reminiscent chorus. “Sunsets” is an older song of Maier’s that resurfaced while the band was tracking the album. With a beachy, sunburnt instrumental that feels like a long drive by the coast and lyrics about running off to California, it’s a bright and infectious song by a band that often defaults to the shadows.

The closing track “Abandon Fashion” is a return to form for the band. The entirely instrumental song opens with a fit of siren-esque picking, only to devolve into a showdown of fiery, circling guitars that get more aggressive with every note. What starts out capturing a warm sunset quickly starts to resemble a sky littered with flames, dancing down to the ground.

The album artwork for  Abandon Fashion .

The album artwork for Abandon Fashion.

In more ways than one, Abandon Fashion marks a new beginning for the band. Not only is it a step into new musical territory, but the band underwent two significant lineup changes before making it. With Matt Petersen now on drums and Matt McNear on bass, the band’s sound is shifting in a different direction. Their influences are made loud and clear, and their presences melding with Maier’s technical and anthemic songwriting have led to Race of Neptune’s most invigorating record so far.

“I think it has been a pretty seamless transition,” says Petersen. “We got comfortable together really quickly. Matt just came on as bassist late February and we were in the studio the first week of April. I think that's definitely a testament to our cohesiveness. [Matt and I] both have a strong jazz background with our instruments which allows us to keep time really well while getting out of the rhythmic box bass and drums can sometimes be confined to in rock music. We are also all involved in the writing process… it’s a very cumulative sound you’re hearing.”

Race to Neptune underwent a quick evolution on Abandon Fashion, and for the better. It’s an invigorating, technical, and fun record that sets the band at the forefront of Fort Collins’ music scene. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t outliers, though. In a scene dominated by folk, EDM, and bluegrass, Race to Neptune are a shining beacon of musical progression and experimentation run through a filter of loud, raw, and eclectic rock.

“There has been a little increase in rock bands and venues in the [Fort Collins] area which is nice, but we are still the black sheep of the music scene up here. It is still very much dominated by jam bands, DJs and bluegrass, but we are trying very hard to support other local rock bands as well,” Maier says.

When the musical cohesiveness, energy, and vision of a band like Race To Neptune are all working together, maybe being the black sheep isn’t a bad thing; maybe it’s a sign that they’re at a the forefront of new sound and identity for Northern Colorado. It’s too early to say, but considering how far they’ve come as a band on only two records, anything is possible.

Abandon Fashion is out now. You can keep up with Race to Neptune here.

-Brody

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

We's Us' Newest EP Was Recorded at Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's McGee's Studio

By: Will Baumgartner

Denver has always been a great town for rock, and the powerhouse quartet known as We’s Us are busy proving that tradition is still alive and well. Their recent EP Zeus is the latest in a handful of strong releases the band has put out since their formation in 2012 – and guitarist/frontman Michael “Weeze” Dawald has a lot more time and focus to devote to the group since leaving the bacchanalian funk band Rowdy Shadehouse last year.

We's Us.

We's Us.

Zeus is a three-song document which showcases the power of the band and also their diversity. While the band’s musical personality falls squarely in the rock genre, their self-proclaimed influences include bands like Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin, but also range as wide as James Brown, George Clinton, and Bob Marley

Zeus was recorded in October 2017 at Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger’s Boondocks Studio in Niles, Michigan. The engineer on the record was Jim Leep, who has recorded Umphrey’s and Yonder Mountain String Band, among others. It was co-produced by Cinninger, Dawald, and Willie Waldman. Waldman also played trumpet on the third track, an ethereal instrumental called “Passing of a Soul” which was written for Dawald’s grandmother (and played at her funeral). Cinninger also guests on the recording, adding a second guitar to the title track. Keyboardist Stephen Howell, bassist Chris Crantz, and drummer Blake Manion lay down a solid foundation throughout the EP, and Dawald proves himself not only a ridiculously fierce guitarist, but also a strong vocalist. I’ve personally known Weeze for awhile and always been a fan of his playing, but I never knew he could sing like that.

After listening to this and other recordings by We’s Us, you’ll be eager to see the band bring all the fury and passion of their music to the stage! Lucky for you We’s Us play in Denver this Friday the 13th at Your Mom’s House. Get yourself there and in the meantime, give Zeus a listen.

Keep up with We’s Us on Facebook.

-Will

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.   

Optycnerd & Play Pat Join Forces For 'Nonfiction' EP

By: Norman Hittle

Denver’s latest collaboration EP Nonfiction brings OptycNerd and Play Pat together with four tracks that are certain to get some winter dance parties grooving. Check it out:

OptycNerd is an electronic hip-hop/pop duo based in Denver. After meeting at a party and realizing they both had the same first name, Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott knew immediately that they had to form a group. Over the past few years, the Chris' have been crafting their sound and building up their body of work, including their released December 3rd single “Apollo” which is currently in the top 10 running for 93.3 KTCL’s Hometown for the Holidays - and you can vote on until December 12th!

Play Pat is an indie hip-hop artist with a great deal of work under his belt, including his most recent November 2017 release “Uber to Space”. Although he seems to keep his personal information under the radar, Play Pat has a solid SoundCloud following, including multiple tracks with over 10k+ plays- no small feat!

Optycnerd with Play Pat.

Optycnerd with Play Pat.

With their Nonfiction collaboration, both artists bring a solid hip-hop/rap effort to the table, featuring sounds reminiscent to Disclosure, Macklemore, and even nods to artists like Kendrick Lamar on their track “Photoshoot”. Yet, this isn’t the first collaboration these artists have had together, and likely it won’t be their last. Back in September, they combined their powers for the first time on the single “PM AM,” a far more pop/hip-hop oriented track.

Keep up with both acts via their social media, and keep an ear out for more material to be released. These guys are serious about content creation, so if you like what you hear, keep checking back!

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Eric Dorr's 'Dream Routine' EP Showcases His Ability To Slip Into Many Corners Of Indie

By: Julia Talen

Boulder resident and eclectic musician Eric Dorr has recently released his debut EP, Dream Routine. Dorr moved to Boulder five years ago with his close friend and collaborator Sawyer Bernath after studying music at Temple University in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bernath produced Dorr's polished EP and much of it was recorded in apartments throughout the city of Boulder.

Eric Dorr.

Eric Dorr.

Dorr began playing music in high school band, the trumpet specifically, and that early inspiration definitely weaves into his EP with horns cropping up in many of the tracks. The tracks are quite surreal as the EP's title insinuates; the lyrics often connote dreams and consciousness as the tunes incorporate all sorts of sound, from keys, to overlays of whispers, echoing vocals, hazy instrumentals, horns, and even chimes. Many of the tracks reminded me of Dr. Dog; each song layers and builds while listeners can feel the emotion behind Dorr's vocals. Additionally, the EP's title works, because while every song reflects Dorr's musical interests and abilities experimenting with different sounds and various contrasts, the tracks have a similar formula or structure, like a routine. “Dream Routine” showcases Dorr's seamless ability to slip into and explore assorted sub-genres of indie rock.

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The EP begins with "Kerosene." Sturdy guitars and ample percussion thicken the introduction, which is followed by a beat of silence. Then Dorr's vocals come in, reminiscent of Ben Gibbard's, accompanied by harmonies and instrumentals which steadily progress as the tune unfolds. The end of the song propels us into the album with a culminating build that crescendos as Dorr sings "headed off into an endless dream."

As you move through the EP, you get a taste of Dorr's musical curiosities and wanderlust. The second track, "Around Again," shifts gears, radiating poppy vibes, as it opens with sugary "ooo's" and "ahhh's" that thread throughout the tune. The song builds, similarly to "Kerosene" and the forthcoming tracks, ending distinctively with a couple of verses from the tune sung in a more rustic, faded way, as if we are listening through a wall. It almost feels as though we are crossing time, getting a look into what the first pass of the tune sounded like before it went "around and around" through edits as Dorr added to it.  

Listen to Dream Routine:

"Leaves," the fourth track on the record, also emphasizes Dorr's ability to explore a more pop-indie-rock genre. This catchy, quick tune highlights the whimsical, reverberating keyboard as swift drum beats keep the track moving forward. Dorr's vocals, accompanied by the keys, reminded me of Keane. The lyrics compliment the contemplative themes laced throughout the EP with poetic verses like, "So familiar/Just like a dream… Countin' all the leaves/in the land of a thousand trees/reachin' up your sleeve/for all that use to be." "Leaves" uses lyrics and musical experimentation to navigate themes of dreams and memory as sounds swell and drift away over and over.

Later we hear "The Loss," possibly the tune that ties all of Dorr's musical directions together. The track starts out swaying slowly and moves forward into a catchy refrain echoing the introspective theme of the tune. The backup vocals and Dorr croon, "It won't let go, let go, let go/It won't let go of me/I can't let go/It won't let go of me." Captivating, experimental, and slightly electronic keys interpose between the refrain and verses, and launch forth after the second verse. Everything begins to evolve and grow as the lyrics "a quarter short of a diamond hand" repeat. This song reminded me of something that could be on Dr. Dog's album Fate. "The Loss," surveys a plethora of sounds and instruments within the span of five minutes, from echoing vocals, interesting drums and cymbals, and groovy keys. Though this tune starts out slow, momentum surges as Dorr layers on different resonances that you might not expect to blend, but they do, making the track super stimulating and perhaps my favorite of all.

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Dorr has laid it all out on his short EP. He showcases his ability to slip into the many corners of indie music, and he is not afraid to take on diverse sounds, instruments, and styles. Dorr said in a recent interview regarding his EP that he, "wants to have a few different styles to catch someone’s ear. [My] goal for the next project will definitely be to see how this next couple of months go, how the EP is received… and push in a more specific direction." Though "Dream Routine" navigates all sorts of musical sounds and directions, the consistent builds and structure of each track, along with the introspective thematic content tie the tunes together. See for yourself as Dorr continues to tour and perform tracks from this EP. His next show is Saturday, December 16th at Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters in Arvada.

Keep up with Eric Dorr here.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Anthony Ruptak's 'Don't Let It Kill You' Is A Dark & Timely Introspection

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Anthony Ruptak has a new record out this Saturday, July 1st, Don’t Let It Kill You. The 25-minute, five song work is darkly introspective in tone, mood, and lyrics. Songs like “Bomb” and “Eulogy ii” paint Ruptak’s strong lyrical imagery starkly in your mind, while “Follow The Leader” will have you questioning if you’re in need of slowing down time by “sitting back in silence” and “wonder[ing] about nothing, about never.” In a world often clouded by technology and a constant cycle of news, Ruptak’s push on self-reflection is one we really ought to listen to.

Anthony played all of the instruments on Don’t Let It Kill You and is the sole vocalist on the record, except for the drums on “Bomb,” which were played by his brother Matt Ruptak. The entire record was recorded in just two days.

Said Ruptak, “All five songs [on Don’t Let It Kill You] were written within a five month period and deal with a cornucopia of adverse insecurities, dreams, love, death, and my observations of mankind’s inhumanity to man.”

The album artwork for  Don't Let It Kill You .

The album artwork for Don't Let It Kill You.

Though not overtly political in nature, I couldn’t help but notice some political subtleties throughout the record. From lines like, “Learning how to rebrand hate/That is the tried and tested black and blue star-spangled Christian way” (“Vulture And Dove”) to, “The liquor stores have been crowded these days/Things are either getting worse or everybody’s changed” (“Follow The Leader”), Ruptak has accurately identified the sometimes lost, painful, confused, and questioning reality that many of us have experienced over the past year. And then there is the beautiful “I’ll Go Where You Go,” which almost feels like a sentiment of acceptance and belonging that no matter where one is from, we’re all connected in this human experience.

Said Ruptak, “[This record] was recorded during the peak of election season, and though it's not a blatantly political record, it draws from the emotions that surrounded that time- the fear, the uncertainty, the slumbering hatred that was woken by king dipsh*t and the pain that came from watching family members and friends excitedly out themselves as judgement-filled, anti-immigrant, anti-equality, anti-love, entitled Americans.”

His experience is one many of us can relate to. Outside of subject matter, the record overall showcases Ruptak’s incredible vocals and instrumental prowess.

Anthony Ruptak (right) and Matt Ruptak (left). 

Anthony Ruptak (right) and Matt Ruptak (left). 

Said Ruptak, “For the first time since I started recording my songs, I am proud to let this one out into the world. I feel like I'm finally being true to myself.”

And we’re proud to share it. Make sure to catch Anthony Ruptak & The Midnight Friends at his EP Release Show at The Walnut Room Saturday night; tickets and details here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Redline Alchemy's '194 EP' Is As Fluid In Sound As These Multi-Instrumentalists Are Onstage

By: Norman Hittle

The guys in Redline Alchemy don't accept the traditional approach to having a band. To them, playing music is so much of a fluid art, that they themselves fulfill that fluidity by being multi-instrumentalists and loosely structuring themselves in a myriad of genres.

Listen to Redline Alchemy’s new 194 EP:

Comprised of the Ausmus brothers (Joe, Dan, and Nick), Corey Golon, and Nate Wilson, this quintet explores musical wizardry in their 194 EP through rock, jazz, funk, reggae, and jam band feels. With nods to notable bands such as Primus, Sublime, and Silverchair throughout their five songs, I also couldn't help hearing some Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Led Zeppelin influences.

194 EP opens with their single “Soul Searching” in a fun free flow that kicks into a 90’s era alt rock reggae feel that combines the stylistics of Cake and Gorillaz in a garage band format; song two “Pluto” follows suit musically and brings up the comical controversy of the dwarf planet’s categorization as a planet:

“Pluto is a planet, don’t you understand.
Your head’s stuck in Uranus if you can’t handle that.
Unless it is the Death Star then I think it's safe to say.
Pluto got the shaft in every way.”

Song three, “Rhythm of the Dance,” languishes with a sort of Counting Crows jam vibe while song four, “Burning Slow,” unleashes the EP’s best guitar lead lines and some fantastic saxophone soloing. The final track, “Making Moves,” starts out with some accapella, then hits with hip-hop and reggae jam feels to close out the EP.

Overall 194 EP is a solid writing effort from the guys in Redline Alchemy. It’ll be interesting to see where they take their music from here. Catch them at Moe’s BBQ Saturday, June 10th and keep up with the crew on their Facebook.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Whiskey Autumn's 'Ice Cream In The Sun' Is Tasty Electropop With R&B Vibes

By: Trevor Ryan

These days, the electronic-leaning movement in music is strong. And although the growing brand definitely holds the current popular vote, it can be challenging to make a true mark worth hearing. But that is exactly where Colorado’s Whiskey Autumn shine through. The project, founded by multi-instrumentalist Greg Laut, is a fluid blend of pop/soul, incredibly catchy synth work, smooth euphonic vocals, and a lyrical witticism that originally found its voice with their EP 2014 EP Into Something New. Though the band has made a turn from Americana to electropop with their latest EP, Ice Cream In The Sun, they’ve managed to keep their music warm and inviting while introducing R&B hooks with synth sounds and soul.

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

There’s a futuristic sound blended with their early soul-feel too- you'll hear what I mean in the opening track “Dog Days.” And the song following, “Human Frailty,” brings back the tempo with a slightly more mellow-groove-type R&B vibe, but not enough to really make you question it. This pattern seems to weave throughout the rest of the EP, along with a pretty upbeat energy and catchy storytelling. My favorite track is the closer, “Postcard From Tokyo.” It blends interesting sounds with harmonies that will make you float off into space, or at least I know I did...

Listen to Ice Cream In The Sun:

My only criticism: I would love to see WA experiment with bringing out their percussion even further, with more of a build from time to time. The instrumentals here are very tight though, making this trio refreshing to listen to (Matty Schelling is on drums, Jason Paton is on bass). They seem to have their sound really pined with this record, and I for one am excited to see how they grow with it.

The band has described Ice Cream In The Sun, as their “most confident release yet,” and it’s easy to see why. Giving us a taste of a their new brand of electronic influence with classic R&B nodes, along with that touch of soul ultimately forces our mouths (and ears) to water in the hopes that we may have more from the “Coney Island” crooners sooner rather than later.

Schelling, Laut, & Paton.

Schelling, Laut, & Paton.

Whiskey Autumn play The Fox Theatre Friday, May 26th and have discount tickets available. Contact them on their Facebook for free ticket delivery from the crew (they’ve got $12 presale tickets for you), and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for other updates. The rest of their summer tour schedule throughout Colorado and the Midwest and Southwest can be viewed here.

-Trevor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Denver's The Dirty Circuits Release Debut EP 'Transplants'

By: Norman Hittle

Denver-based artists The Dirty Circuits are elevating their brand of American folk rock with nods to The Lumineers, The Traveling Wilburys, and an almost uncharacteristic, and dare I say non-traditional, edge and attitude that you won't find common in similarly genred bands.

The Dirty Circuits. 

The Dirty Circuits. 

Their debut EP Transplants defines itself with four enjoyably diverse songs starting out with a cover of “Love Makes You Feel.” The song may be an homage to Lou Reed, but the style is so much more reminiscent of Tom Petty with good feeling rock vibes.

Listen to Transplants:

Along with “Love Makes You Feel,” the second track “One Last Drink” continues the good old Americana rock vibe, while “Spin” brings us closer to the band with a personal feel of calming, acoustic guitar and melodic lead lines. The final track “Wanderlost” leaves us with a bright, feeling tale of leaving home behind for adventurous horizons. What I like about Transplants overall is how it reminds me of good times: fishing with my dad, long road trips, and playing music around the campfire. Sometimes it doesn't get much better than that!

Watch a live performance video of The Dirty Circuits at Francisco Studios:

The Dirty Circuits were formed in 2015, combining members from Michigan, California, Tennessee, Virginia, and Illinois, hence their tip of the hat to their origins in their EP title. They ride the line between sophistication and glorious power chord ignorance to make music in the grand American songwriter tradition, with well arranged multi-part harmonies.

Catch the Dirty Circuits April 29th as they headline their debut EP release at Lost Lake Lounge. Supporting them will be The Eldridge Band and Trashcan Jackson. Doors open at 8PM and tickets are available for $10 here.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Chess at Breakfast's 'The Gutshalls'

By: Austin Michon

Somewhere between ambient, crawling ballads, and full force grunge rock, Fort Collins’ own Chess at Breakfast have carved themselves a niche in the alternative rock genre with their debut EP, The Gutshalls.

Listen to Chess at Breakfast’s The Gutshalls:

Mixing slow psychedelic sounds with cranked distortion, simple grooves, catchy riffs, and full-out sonic onslaught, Caleb McFadden, Justin Daggett, and Mike Davis intermingle each instrument into one cohesive unit. While some songs are reminiscent of a grungy, shoegaze style, others are a more modern indie rock experience, with each of the five songs seemingly highlighting a strength or focal point of the group.

In Hindsight,” a track I could see floating through a Buffy the Vampire Slayer intro, instantly transports you to the sounds of the 1990s, while “Andesite” takes you through a trippy, Pink Floydian sonic landscape, punctuated with moments of raw emotion and rock. “415” provides an almost jazz-esque groove which gives way to the trio’s characteristic heavier rock sound.

Chess at Breakfast.

Chess at Breakfast.

Somewhere between Modest Mouse, The Dear Hunter, and The Smashing Pumpkins, Chess at Breakfast have created unique, fun altrock that I hope to hear much more of. Be sure to catch them at Fort Collins’ Downtown Artery this Friday, April 7th with Race to Neptune and Turvy Organ. And keep up with Chess at Breakfast here.

-Austin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See This Labor Day Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s a three-day weekend, so spend it at some shows Colorado:

Today (Friday 09/02):

A Shadow of Jaguar with The Red Petals at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

A Shadow of Jaguar.

A Shadow of Jaguar.

Colorado’s A Shadow of Jaguar officially announced this week that tonight’s show at The LD will be their last in CO for a while, as the delta rock’n’roll duo are moving to New York. We’ve enjoyed a number of live shows from ASOJ over the years, and they’ve promised they’ll still be playing Colorado on tour as regularly as their busy show schedule allows. But it will be a minute until they make their way back to our mountains, so make sure to stop in at their show tonight and say your goodbyes! They’ll be joined onstage by The Red Petals, a Colorado trio of the blues rock variety who we first covered here. We’ll be here tonight, and so should you.

Watch ASOJ’s music video for their track “Mama Needs The Bottle”:

R Michael Rhodes’ EP Release Party at Meadows Golf Club in Littleton 6PM-10PM

R Michael Rhodes.

R Michael Rhodes.

Just last week, we brought you the lowdown on R Michael Rhodes’ upcoming EP Release Party. Rhodes will be playing his new tunes tonight from After All These Years, as well as some of his older hits. Amy Kress will be making an appearance at the show as well, bringing her pop songs to the mix. So dress to the nines and head over to Meadows Golf Club to celebrate with these Colorado artists! Ticket packages here.

Check out R Michael Rhodes’ latest music video for his tune, “The Only Song”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 09/03):

Booster Pre-Phish Show at Vine Street Pub in Denver 1PM-4PM

Booster.

Booster.

Colorado’s funk fusion four-piece Booster recently switched up their lineup and added some new tunes to their repertoire. We sat down with them recently to learn all about it, so catch those details before you roll to their set tomorrow afternoon. The band blasts off before Phish’s show, so roll to Vine Street Pub for this funky pre-party. You can peep Booster’s new tunes, and get ready to groove to Phish. Now that’s a good combo.

Read our recent interview with Booster.

Jeremy Mohney’s EP Release Party at The No Name Bar in Boulder 4PM-7PM

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

Yesterday we brought you a whole feature on Jeremy Mohney’s new EP release, On The Mellowside. It’s a crooning, jazzy set of songs that really showcase all of the talented local musicians on it. And tomorrow, those artists will be performing the EP live at The No Name Bar. Head over for this special afternoon dance party and groove out. It’s gonna be sweet! The EP will also be available for purchase tomorrow here.

Read our review of Jeremy Mohney’s new EP On The Mellowside.

The Next Day (Sunday 09/04):

Gregory Alan Isakov with Ani DiFranco and Shook Twins at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison 7PM-Close

Gregory Alan Isakov.

Gregory Alan Isakov.

Boulder-based singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov is making his return to Red Rocks this weekend, this time as a headliner. Sunday’s show is Isakov’s last in the US for quite some time, as he’s jetting overseas in September for the remainder of his tour. Ani DiFranco shares this bill, and Shook Twins will open the evening. Plus, you don’t work Monday, so you’ve got no excuse not to be at the best venue in the world Sunday night. Get your tickets now.

Watch Isakov’s new video of “Stable Song” with the Colorado Symphony:

All Weekend (09/02-09/04):

Riot Fest & Rodeo in Denver- Various Sets and Times

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Denver’s Riot Fest & Rodeo is happening this weekend, and we’ll be on the scene bringing you awesome coverage courtesy of our contributor Sierra Voss. With a lineup that includes Jane’s Addiction, Death Cab for Cutie, Deftones, Ween, Sleater-Kinney, Julian Marley, The Original Misfits, this is going to be one fest for the books. Some tickets are still available, so get yours here!

Check out the full lineup for the weekend on Riot Fest’s website.

Head out for the holiday weekend Colorado!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Jeremy Mohney Is 'On The Mellowside' With New EP Release

By: Zach Dahmen

Jeremy Mohney, a local swing crooner, is back with another four song EP entitled On The Mellowside. The release was produced locally with a cast of Boulder musicians, including Jason Bertone on upright bass, Matt Cantor on electric guitar, and engineering by Derek Warwick. This is Mohney’s third release, and his second of 2016; we covered his last EP, Get Dancin’, back in May.

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

On The Mellowside is a collection of slow-crooning swing featuring minimal vocals. It showcases Mohney’s prowess on the saxophone. The exception to this rule is the title track, a bouncy call-and-response tune sure to get dancers out on the floor. The low-fi production of this release showcases the raw talent that Mohney and his cohorts have in creating their timeless sound. Each musician gets their own space to breathe life into the arrangements, and that simplicity allows for an intimate feel in every track. It’s a style of music done with authenticity, love, and talent that really helps transport the listener to another time and space.

Watch Jeremy Mohney’s newest music video for his tune “Sometimes I Can’t Think”:

Mohney has been entertaining the Front Range for years with his authentic swing, drawing crowds and creating dance floors from venues, to house parties, to the Pearl Street Mall. If there was ever a doubt that there is a swing community in the Front Range, Mohney has managed to lay that rumor to rest.

Make sure to go see Jeremy Mohney for yourself this weekend! He’s throwing his release party this Saturday, September 3rd at The No Name Bar in Boulder. Details here.

On The Mellowside will be available for purchase and listening this Saturday as well, on Mohney’s Bandcamp page.

-Zach

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Native Station: The Alt-Rock Outfit Who Moved to Boulder for the Colorado Music Scene

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Originally formed in Marion, VA, alt-rock four-piece Native Station moved to Boulder for the Colorado music scene. Founding members Greg Benton (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Thomas Troutt (backup vocals/lead guitar) said they first became serious about music as a professional pursuit in 2014, when they started writing more original work together. Once in Boulder, the two met Brett Cunningham (bass) and Nick Solga (drums), and Native Station’s current lineup was formed.

Native Station.

Native Station.

Just this summer, Native Station released their debut EP, Bones ’N All. It has strong alt-rock vibes almost reminiscent of the scene in the 2000s (before bands like Fall Out Boy or Panic! At The Disco sold out to the Top 40 Pop Charts). Benton’s vocals are raw with feeling and the percussive drops throughout the record make for a catchy accompaniment to their choruses (see especially on “All My Friends” and “Runarounds”). I could easily see Native Station sharing the stage with a talented Colorado group like My Body Sings Electric. The EP is available for download, and you can also preview it on Native Station’s website.

Since the release of Bones ‘N All, it’s likely you’ve seen Native Station’s name around your town. The band has played shows in Boulder, Denver, Greeley, and Longmont over the past few months. Though there’s nothing currently on their books, you can keep up with their show schedule here.

Make sure to give Native Station a listen, and keep up with the band on their Facebook!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 05/17, 05/18, & 05/19

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s been a bit since we’ve dropped a six! Hope you missed us Colorado- here are our weekend picks:

Today (Friday 06/17):

Dechen Hawk’s Jus’ Sayin’ CD Release Show at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk’s project Jus’ Sayin’ is droppin’ new music tonight at the LG. Just yesterday, we brought you a sweet feature on Jus’ Sayin’s new self-titled release, which you should definitely peep before you roll over to this show. Performances by Colin Robison, Andrew Sturtz, Jarrad S.Menard, Katie Farmer, Mirco Altenbach, and Ben Rubin await your ears. Bonus: Tonight is Hawk’s birthday, so come celebrate with him and get rowdy! See you there.

Listen to Jus’ Sayin’s new single, “Drug of Choice”:

Evergreen and Boulder Sound Lab at Owsley’s Golden Road in Boulder 8PM-Close

Evergreen has landed Colorado.

Evergreen has landed Colorado.

Wisconsin’s fusion/jam rock outfit Evergreen will be making their way through Boulder as part of their summer tour tonight at Owsley’s. The four-piece describe themselves as “blending psychedelic rock, jazz, funk, country, and folk into a soulful and unpredictable groove”. Boulder Sound Lab will be sharing the stage with their “transcendental brain massage therapy” sounds. It’s gonna be a wild time, so come get down!

Listen to Evergreen’s High Noon Saloon album:

Tomorrow (Saturday 06/18):

The Pamlico Sound’s Funkstravaganza at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver 8PM-Close

The Pamlico Sound. Hamhock. Envy Alo. Gumbo le Funque. And Low Down Brass Band. All of these glorious funk forces are joining hands tomorrow in the name of danceability at Denver’s Cervantes’.  Earlier this week, we brought you an in-depth interview with Envy Alo, a band that’s reached notable success in less than a year. Lend an eye to that, and your ears to this show! Pastor Will B will make yah dance all night.

Listen to The Pamlico Sound’s “Let’s Funk” live performance:

Jaden Carlson Band at The Pub on Pearl in Denver 930PM-Close

Jaden Carlson.

Jaden Carlson.

It’s been five years since The Pub on Pearl featured music, but tonight, they’re bringing it back! And they’re making their music comeback with one of Colorado’s fastest-rising stars, Jaden Carlson. We first featured 15-year-old Carlson back in February when she headlined Boulder’s Lazy Dog for her very own birthday bash with friends from some of Colorado’s most well-known bands. Since then, the guitar-playing prodigy’s journey has only continued, so catch her while you can! Best part? It’s free!

Listen to Jaden Carlson’s original “Essium”:

All Weekend:

Denver Pridefest at Civic Center Park in Denver 10AM-6PM

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Musicians, artists, friends: Last Sunday’s tragedy in Orlando is still rippling through our brains. And that’s why we can’t think of a better way to spend our weekend than with our LGBTQ community at Denver’s Pridefest. There will be 250 vendors, several music stages, food trucks, and more. It’s your chance to stand up, be heard, be you, and cast fear aside for pride. Let’s do it crew.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO - Various Stages & Times

Bluegrass & Views.

Bluegrass & Views.

We sure love festival season! This weekend is the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and some tickets and camping are still available for purchase. Though the fest started last night with a few performances, today is when the gates and camping actually open. Acts on the bill of note include Ryan Adams, The Oh Hellos, Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, Emmylou Harris, and the Telluride House Band. We will have some coverage for you from the fest next week, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading CO.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.

EP Review: Dechen Hawk's Jus' Sayin's Self-Titled Debut Release

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Dechen Hawk's new project Jus' Sayin' is definitely worth saying something about.

Local Boulder artist Dechen Hawk may be best known for his solo work around the Front Range, where he has played for years after studying at Naropa University under Bill Douglas, Art Lande, and Janet Feder. Hawk has released six solo albums, and has been a part of numerous singer/songwriter outfits and projects throughout Colorado. He’s shared the stage with acts including Martin Sexton, Leon Russell, Big Gigantic, and Analog Sun, to name a few. Recently, however, Hawk has a new project: Jus’ Sayin’. The neo-soul, funk/jazz five-piece is comprised of a number of local heavy-hitters, with Hawk (vocals/keys), Mirco Altenbach (sax/synth), Colin Robison (guitar/vocals), Eric Imbrosciano (drums), and Ben Rubin (bass).

Jus' Sayin'.

Jus' Sayin'.

After several successful live performances, Hawk decided to head to Alcheh & Hunt in Boulder, CO to record Jus’ Sayin’s debut EP. The self titled, five-track release features the talents of a slightly different lineup than the live-performance group. Daniel Alcheh (strings/piano/EFX/synth), Eliot Hunt (drums/keys/synth/mellotron), Kip Kuepper (bass), and Robbie Nevil (guitar) all play on the EP, with Hawk (vocals/guitar/keys/synth) as the common denominator between Jus’ Sayin’s live performances and recorded work.

Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk.

Jus’ Sayin’s debut single from the new release is “Drug of Choice”, a very catchy track with sprinkled staccato beats, smooth vocals, and poppy synth sounds. It’s a perfect example of what happens when Hawks’ skillful songwriting comes together with his tenor voice, seasoned professionalism, and pop sensibilities. It’s upbeat with a great hook. “Drug of Choice” is the must-hear song of this release, and the perfect track to add to your favorite summer playlist.

Listen to “Drug of Choice” for yourself here:

“Lost in Line” is the next tune on Jus’ Sayin’, and showcases Hawk’s soulful influences with tasty sax bits. It’s got a great percussive intro, and is the perfect lead-in to the EP’s next track, “Tenderly”. “Tenderly” starts with funky synth sounds dripping in 90s R&B throwback nostalgia. It’s got a great groove and almost feels like a sultry, soulful lullaby.

“Beautifully Back” is the ballad of the EP. It’s a bit slow, but tastefully composed by Daniel Alcheh. There’s an elegance to this one, with strings performed by the Beijing Chamber Ensemble that were actually recorded in China. James Mihaley garners lyrical credit on this tune.

The EP closes with “What You Won’t Do For Love”, which begins with Hawk’s crooning vocals. This track feels a bit more stripped-down than the others, but still keeps your attention.

Overall, Jus’ Sayin’ is a polished release that showcases Hawk's credibility as an accomplished musician and songwriter.

Jus' Sayin' live.

Jus' Sayin' live.

Jus’ Sayin’ is available for purchase digitally, but will also be available in physical form this Friday, June 17th, at The Laughing Goat, where the band will perform the EP live and celebrate Hawk’s birthday! The show starts at 8PM- be there and grab your own copy of Jus’ Sayin’. Check out the Facebook event and keep up with Jus’ Sayin on Facebook.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured. Special credit to Zach Dahmen for his work on this feature.