First Listen: Whiskey Autumn's 'Modern Doubt' Is a Synth Pop Hollywood Dream

Today, we’re proud to premiere Whiskey Autumn’s new record ‘Modern Doubt.’ The Denver four-piece are releasing the record this Friday, April 12th at Lost Lake Lounge with fellow Denver bands The Milk Blossoms, OptycNerd, and a DJ set from Motion Trap. Synesthesia, who hosted The Pink Party earlier this year, is presenting the show. Take a listen:

 ‘Modern Doubt’ is the follow-up to Whiskey Autumn’s 2017 EP Ice Cream In The Sun. The first single from the album “Birds That Flew,” premiered with 303 Magazine, followed by the premiere of “Let’s Go Sailing Instead” on CPR’s OpenAir. The studio recording of “Monochrome Actress” premiered with our friends at Ultra5280 recently, and the band’s live music video for that song just debuted with Westword last week. Whiskey Autumn will also be on CPR’s OpenAir this Friday for a live session in support of their release and Lost Lake show. Clearly, this is a Denver band with a trajectory worth watching.

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit:   Vossling

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Vossling

Overall, ‘Modern Doubt’ is a psychedelic pop rock album with an overarching theme rooted in modern anxieties such as technology, political doubts, and navigating an always connected world. The album features dancey synth lines, jangly beach guitars, a Hollywood film noir sample, natural sound interludes, and produced hip-hop drum breaks. The record was written by frontman Greg Laut, produced by band members Laut and Jason Paton, mixed by Chris Scott (OptycNerd, Young The Giant) and mastered by Jim Wilson (David Byrne, Neko Case, The Yawpers). Recently, Laut answered a few questions for us about the band’s new record, Friday’s show, and Whiskey Autumn’s 2019 plans:

Tell us more about ‘Modern Doubt’.

Modern Doubt was written and recorded throughout 2017 and 2018 and reflects my experience of the tumultuous landscape of our current times. My bandmate Jason Paton and I threw out any preconceived notions of what our sound is supposed to be and challenged ourselves to create a record that transports the listener to the world that each song exists in, whether it be a dreamy beach, an old Hollywood film, or a crowded airport. For us, that meant looking at the songs through a cinematic lens and setting the scene with natural sound samples and production choices that catered to the storyline.

That’s really cool. It seems like you’ve already had a lot of attention surrounding this record. What else can you tell us about the release show this Friday?

This will be a Whiskey Autumn show like you've never seen before! We have a new rhythm section and a batch of new songs that will be played live for the first time. Synesthesia is presenting the show and they're bringing along Andy Ai and Kat Phenna who will be providing dystopian, film noir visuals that tie into the themes of Modern Doubt. It's going to be a wild night!

What else can we expect from Whiskey Autumn in 2019?

You can expect a vinyl release of Modern Doubt later this year, summer tour dates to be announced soon, and more surprises coming your way in the next few months!

Catch Whiskey Autumn live this Friday, April 12th at Lost Lake Lounge for the release of ‘Modern Doubt’. Tickets are $10 right now if you Venmo @whiskeyautumn; $15 day of show. Find more information on Friday’s gig at this link and keep up with Whiskey Autumn here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist 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.

Catching Up with Whiskey Autumn: Fireworks, #MusicMasquerade, & R&B Jams

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder's Whiskey Autumn are bringing new tunes to this Saturday's Music Masquerade.

We’re just two days away from our #MusicMasquerade with Whiskey Autumn, Villain Baritone featuring Andrew Sturtz and Hunter Stone, and Noctogon at Studio 700! Want the event details? Then peep the FB event here. This week, we’ve already brought you features on both the boys of Villain Baritone and the prog/alt rock trio that is Boulder’s Noctogon. Give those a read if you haven’t yet kids.

Today, we’re talkin’ Whiskey Autumn, the headliner of Saturday’s bill. This indie, doo-wop rock trio comprised of Greg Laut (vocals/guitar/keys), David Landry (bass/vocals), and Matty Schelling (drums, vocals) have been up to some pretty sweet thangs as of late:

They dropped this badass video for their single 07.04.07:

And they released 07.04.07 for free download and your listening pleasure:

You might notice that 07.04.07 has more R&B and pop undertones than some of Whiskey Autumn’s previous work, and that’s the sort of sound the band has been experimenting with most recently. Said frontman Greg Laut:

I had grown a bit tired of the Americana vibe of our previous two EP’s so writing from a R&B/pop perspective felt very refreshing. The recording process for 07.04.07 was interesting because we chopped up and sampled the beat in a similar manner to what a hip hop producer might do and incorporated some electronic elements. We’re constantly pushing to further develop our sound and explore new ideas. The song is certainly a sign of things to come in the near future.

The three-piece have written several other songs in this new vein, one of which they just filmed a live video performance for with Ian Glass Media (who also filmed 07.04.07). They plan to drop that video sometime in February, along with a live performance video of a popular R&B cover that you’ve probably seen them play at one of their recent shows.

A scene from 07.04.07.

A scene from 07.04.07.

Whiskey Autumn is also heading back into the studio over the next couple of months with plans for a new EP release in the late summer or early fall of 2016 Want to check out their previous EPs? Head here.

When we asked the WA boys what they’re most excited about for Saturday’s #MusicMasquerade, they told us this:

We’re really looking forward to playing a rocking, DIY venue like Studio 700. Plus everyone will be wearing masquerade masks so it will feel like we are in Eyes Wide Shut. Fingers crossed that Tom Cruise will dig our sound.

So there you have it Boulder! Come see Whiskey Autumn close out the night at Studio 700 this Saturday! Join the FB event righhhht here. And don’t forget your mask...

-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.

A Haunted Fest Followup

By: Hannah Oreskovich and Greg Laut

Apparently Halloween and EDM are a good combo. 

Ah Boulder: Where you have to celebrate Halloween at least five times before the actual holiday or you're just not doing it right. Well we did it right this year kids! But we got so caught up in our work with The Fall Showcase that we never did share our awesome Haunted Fest experience. So here it is:

Program Council put together yet another killer lineup for this year's Haunted Fest, featuring Porter RobinsonSound RemedyMinnesotaExmag, and Ananda. There were beats on beats, a lot of red power rangers in the crowd, and PR played until 230am HARDDDDDD. While he restricted any press photos AND allegedly didn't allow the acts before him to use visuals (only Ananda used the light board behind the DJ booth and he was first on deck), Robinson did put on an epic show complete with nitrous cannons. Crazy.

Anyway we had a sweet time chatting with all of you and we snapped some photos thanks to Program Council. See a few of our faves here and head over to our FB for the rest. Maybe you'll even find your costumed self in the crowd. Check it:

Ananda in full-lit glory. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Ananda in full-lit glory. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Hand Claps with Exmag. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Hand Claps with Exmag. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Minnesota in Motion. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Minnesota in Motion. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Sound Remedy Twistin' Knobs. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Sound Remedy Twistin' Knobs. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Connect with BolderBeat:

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-Hannah and Greg

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Greg on Twitter.

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

A Thank You From BolderBeat

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Thanks to you, The Fall Showcase was a major success. 

Ben Hanna and The Knighthawks at The Fall Showcase.

Ben Hanna and The Knighthawks at The Fall Showcase.

Hey Boulder! Thank you so much for your support of The Fall Showcase last Friday! We had 100 people check out the event - and almost all promotion for the show was done just through our site and social media. So you rock! Special thanks to The Riverside for working with us. We also had a great time with Rocky and Skylar from Green Light Radio- and we’ve had a number of you reach out to let us know you tuned in to one of the CRN networks. Thank you!

BLVD at The Fall Showcase

BLVD at The Fall Showcase

Six months ago, I had a hunger to promote the local music scene and all of you great people making art within it. I started this site and approached my friends to work on features with me and they said yes! A huge thank you to David Landry, Zach Dahman, Pete Laffin, Alex Cutter, and Greg Laut. Their strong teamwork made TFS possible and they keep our website alive and kickin’ with all of their great contributions!

We’re excited to bring your more events and are already working on the next one :)

Whiskey Autumn at The Fall Showcase.

Whiskey Autumn at The Fall Showcase.

If you’re an artist interested in having us promote or host a show with you, please reach out to us at bolderbeat@gmail.com. We’d love to hear your ideas.

Check out more event photos from The Fall Showcase here.

And if you dig what we’re doing, tell a friend.

Like Us On Facebook Here

Follow Us On Instagram Here  

Follow Us On Twitter 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.

Band of Brothers: A Sit-Down with Whiskey Autumn

By: Pete Laffin

Whiskey Autumn are all about their art.

WA. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

WA. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

I had the great pleasure of sitting down last week with Whiskey Autumn, a band I enjoy and admire, for an in-depth chat. They're headlining The Fall Showcase tomorrow night. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:

I’ve been a fan of Whiskey Autumn for awhile. What I’ve always been impressed by since the first time I saw you guys is that the aesthetic you present isn’t based on a current “in” trend. Often, newly-formed bands put their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing: “I know, let’s start a new-grass band with a Fleet Foxes twist!” Rather, you guys settled into an aesthetic that’s very much not “in,” namely first-wave British Invasion. That’s what it looks like, what it sounds like; from your originals, to your covers, to the way David and Greg knock their heads around in your music video like a couple of Beatles bobble-head dolls. It’s very bold to go against the grain, but it’s even bolder to pick something so far from the norm. How did the three of you individually contribute toward defining this aesthetic?

Greg: That’s an interesting question. I guess it wasn’t a conscious decision to go toward or against a trend. We were all big Beatles fans. We all had the vinyl. It was the way we first bonded.

David: Greg already had Whiskey Autumn going before we met. Then we found Matty, and it was just one of those things: What do we all listen to? What do you we like? Because that’s going to be the fun stuff to cover. Being a band in Boulder, we have to play three-hour sets.

Matty: We’re not a jam band.

Thank god.

Greg: One of the first covers we honed in on was “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by The Beach Boys.

Matty: Which is not an easy song. If you have the balls to play any Beach Boys song to begin with, that one isn’t high on the list. You need multiple strong vocalists.

Greg: And from a songwriting perspective, it’s incredible how quick the movements come in that song. It’s almost a classical piece in that way. We were really drawn to that. And especially on our first EP, we wanted to play some doo-wop.

Laffin with the Whiskey Autumn boys. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Laffin with the Whiskey Autumn boys. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

That’s the other direction you guys go: Motown. And while the subgenres aren’t the same, they happened within the same few years.

Matty: The one thing we all could definitely agree on was the music we would listen to when we were hanging out, which was Hard Day’s Night or Pet Sounds or Rubber Soul. For all of us, that era shines above everything else.

That’s really strange. That’s a very specific subset of music for three players to run with in this day and age. It must be daunting to think you are attempting to repave a way that has already passed. Your originals reflect this era, too. In light of this, what does success look like to you guys? A week from today? A month? A year? What are the expectations for pushing something no one knows they are looking for?

Greg: The success is making the art.

Matty: Great songs speak for themselves, regardless of the genre.

Couldn’t agree more with that.

Matty: Whether you’re reaching for one aesthetic or another, if the melody is strong and the lyrics are strong, it’s timeless. You can still listen to “Be My Baby” and it sounds just as fresh and magical as it did the first time you heard it when The Ronnettes put it out. In the studio, we just want our songs to be the best they can be.

So is that success to you guys? Making the best song you can make? Does moving up in the industry have anything to do with it?

Greg: I find the joy in the creating. That’s when I feel like we’re doing the real shit. It’s also a beautiful thing not having to answer to anybody, which we don’t right now, outside of budget constraints. The art is what lives on. Live shows are super important, but creating the records is where it’s really at. That’s what will live on.

Matty: The band has grown from a bedroom-folk thing to more of a rock band, and I come from a hip-hop background playing with DJs. We are always trying to build on what we know. It’s like advancing in math, always trying to solve more complicated riddles.

Behind the scenes of Whiskey Autumn's newest music video. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Behind the scenes of Whiskey Autumn's newest music video. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Having played here for a few years, what do you make of the Boulder scene?

David: The Boulder scene is different than the one I grew up in.

Where did you grow up?

David: Dallas. Downtown there were fifteen venues with three or four band bills and everyone supported and watched each other. If you played the nine o’clock slot, you would go over to another bar to support another band that had the midnight slot. Here it’s like, damn, we have to play three hours and be on every fucking song the whole night. Where I came from you got forty-five minute slots where you played the best songs you could in that time. Being here is like being a glorified bar band where you are in the background a lot and noise cancelling.

Do you think that’s because of a shortage of acts here?

Matty: It’s a shortage of venues.

David: That’s why we are working with other artists and BolderBeat trying to create a mid-level venue over at The Riverside.

Greg: You have The Fox or The Boulder Theater, but you have to build up a lot before you can get there.

Right, you have to be invited into the kingdom. Moving on: nostalgia and sentiment. Two very unhip things you also make hip.

Greg: Why thank you.

Everything you play, especially the songs you write, seem to be reaching back in time. Not just the aesthetic, but the lyrics, the mood of the sound.

Greg: I’m always trying to draw on things that happen to me, to think of them in scenes and tell a story. I’m trying to make a song out of the picture in my head that I see of the past. After you have had some time to think about things, you can understand them better. You put them through a different filter. You write a song about it and really understand what happened.

Band of Brothers. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Band of Brothers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

In order to live together and be in a band together, you guys must get along pretty well.

Matty: There are times we want to punch each other in the face.

David: It’s gotten to brotherhood.

Matty: We have this family dynamic. We aren’t competing. We are a family and we want to do what is good for the family name.

David: Exactly. These guys are my brothers. I want them to be honest with me. Letting them down is worse than hurting yourself.

Matty: This has definitely been something different for me. It’s been very exciting. I was asked if I could fill in at first, which makes you more present. Count to four, count to six; whichever time signature we’re playing in. Stay in the pocket, keep it simple. I went into this thinking I was just filling in, which I love, even if it’s in a scene I’m not really into. It’s going to bring something new out of me. You just make a choice that it will be fun. And here we are nearly three years later, a repertoire of ninety songs we can play together, always having new musical ideas to bounce off one another. I could not have envisioned this is what it would become.

Check out the Whiskey Autumn trio this Friday at The Riverside where they are headlining The Fall Showcase. More details here.

Join the FB event here.

-Pete

All photos per Hannah OreskovichThis interview was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

Isolated Vocal Release: Whiskey Autumn's "A Fool's Errand"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Whiskey Autumn's isolated vocals series is a cool look into their sound. 

A few months ago, Whiskey Autumn approached me about modeling for their isolated vocal release series. Frontman Greg Laut storyboarded, directed, photographed, and styled the shoot for their “Letterman Sweater” track artwork, which you can see and listen to here:

In talking with Laut more about Whiskey Autumn’s isolated vocal tracks, I was inspired to work with him on the production of the artwork for their most recent release, “A Fool’s Errand.” Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we put this shoot together:

First off- what made you decide to release an isolated vocal series? And why create artwork for each track?

Isolated vocal tracks are meant to showcase a song in a way that people haven’t heard yet. The idea stemmed from nerding out on YouTube and listening to isolated vocal cuts from classic Beatles and Beach Boys songs such as "This Boy" and "Wouldn’t It Be Nice." Removing the backing instrumentation allows these songs to take on new life and emphasizes how important the vocals are to the overall sound of the recordings.

Many of the songs I write tell stories, and creating photos provides an image for the narrative. It’s fun to present a visual story and is more engaging than posting our existing album covers which people are familiar with at this point.

The images really do bring the story to life. “Letterman Sweater” was really the beginning of the portrait-style art behind each vocal release. What were you hoping to communicate with the artwork for that particular song?

“Letterman Sweater” is the story of a young man pining for his lost love. The only place he can understand and make the girl happy is in his dreams, where she is cold and puts on his sweater. The photo represents his dream world where the girl wears a piece of him and everything is a bit surreal. I wanted the picture to convey a sense of innocence since the song is about young, naive love.

Sweet. So let’s jump into the thought process behind “A Fool’s Errand.” Originally, you came to me with the idea of wanting the photo to have a feeling of rebellion. You had a strong sense of direction with this photo relating to the lyrics “adorn every white picket fence in flames.” Talk more about that.

When Whiskey Autumn was initially brainstorming album cover ideas for “Call You Mine,” I really wanted the cover to be a white picket fence on fire in front of an idyllic ‘American Dream’ type of house. We went with a different idea, but months later, I still thought this would make for a grabbing image. We just pivoted from the direction of literally lighting a fence on fire to a rebellious man preparing to burn down an established dream that he doesn’t believe in.

Speaking of the rebellious man, let’s give a quick introduction to our model. I actually did a Craigslist casting call for this shoot. We had a ton of people submit, and eventually local artist Michael Maloney reached out to us. His long hair and awesome tattoos (which he designed himself) seemed like a perfect fit for the defiant look of this photo. After an initial meet-up (and eventually an interview for his own feature, which will be published tomorrow detailing his cool artwork), we knew he was a perfect fit.

Which brings me to what I love most about the theme of this track art- the portrait element. It makes the song feel like it’s focusing on a character; a specific story, which I think is an awesome blend with such stripped-down tracks. Cut the instruments; add a strong visual. It’s a cool way for people to envision and interpret the songs differently and it presents something for their imagination to jump from.

Definitely. Even though I have my own interpretation of each song, listeners will naturally project their own feelings and perspectives onto them. Hopefully the photos will showcase what the songs mean to me while giving others a new vantage point to develop their own perceptions.

So stoked for more releases in this series. Check out the final photo we chose from our shoot and give “A Fool’s Errand” a listen here:

And make sure to check back tomorrow for the feature on the model in the photo, local artist Michael Maloney aka OhhMika The Fox King!

-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.

Boulder Listeners on Last Weekend's Shows

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We chatted with concert-goers around town and this what they said.

Snaps from the weekend: Realktalk (top left), Booster (top right), Whiskey Autumn (bottom left), & Jeff Vescuso (bottom right).

Snaps from the weekend: Realktalk (top left), Booster (top right), Whiskey Autumn (bottom left), & Jeff Vescuso (bottom right).

Here’s what some of you Boulderites thought about last weekend’s shows:

Augustus

They killed it. I would totally see them again and I want one of those masks.” -Girl outside of The Lazy Dog

Booster

“Funk’s charm comes from the dichotomy of structure and creative freedom. Booster establishes this charm through tightly synchronized rhythms and the dismantling of the focal guitarist.” -Becky Guidera

Jeff Vescuso

“Jeff Vescuso’s storytelling-driven songwriting captivated listeners by successfully blending his quirky sense of humor with unmistakable sincerity. Vescuso sang straight from the heart and left patrons feeling ‘All Buttered Up’.” -Greg Laut

Paul Kimbiris

Paul’s set was great. He played electric in his three piece. It was a blazing set. He had a lot of new songs. Audience loved it too. I really think he’s going to catch on.” -Zach Dahmen

Realtalk

“Man these guys played every house party I used to go to and I seriously love them. Was that ‘Gin and juice’ remix sick or what?” -Guy on the LD dance floor

Whiskey Autumn

“The energy was high during Whiskey Autumn’s set and the crowd carved out a dance floor. They kept it fresh with a mix of originals sprinkled with crowd-pleasing covers from the WA jukebox. I boogied.” -My own thoughts on WA's No Name performance

Hope you made it to one of our weekend picks, Boulder. If so, leave your own thoughts in the comments. Happy Music Monday.

-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.

CU’s Welcomefest Was a Massive Bash Booming with Bass, Lasers, and Infectious Energy

By: Hannah Oreskovich and Greg Laut

Welcome back Buffs.

Welcomefest.

Welcomefest.

The Buffs are back in town. And nothing proved that more than the electric energy buzzing around Farrand Field on Saturday night for CU’s Welcomefest. Put on by Program Council, Welcomefest is CU’s annual concert extravaganza for students. This year the lineup included headliner and dubstep DJ Seven Lions, NY-based Joywave, Denver’s Sunboy, and Boulder’s very own Innerspace. What started out as a few hundred people sitting in the field at 530PM turned into over 7000 students packed along the stage barriers dancing, jumping, and crowdsurfing to Seven Lions’ waves of bass.

Innerspace, a local alternative rock outfit, kicked things off while the sun was still high in the sky. They played some guitar-heavy, head-banging licks from their latest EP, Earthrise. The guys call themselves “space rock” and you can check out a ton of their songs here.

Sunboy. Sidenote: Their bassist wins for "Best Dressed" of the whole fest. we Dig. 

Sunboy. Sidenote: Their bassist wins for "Best Dressed" of the whole fest. we Dig. 

Next up was Denver’s Sunboy, a psychedelic rock pop five-piece with some Tame Impala undertones. These boys have been getting some noticeable buzz lately, and played both the UMS and the Denver Pysch Fest this summer. Though they couldn’t incorporate the visuals they’re known for in their live performances into Saturday’s show, member Justin Renaud told us they recently created a new light production that they’ll be using for upcoming gigs. When we asked hypnotizing frontman and former CU student Jordan Lempe what it was like to be back on campus getting paid for a show, he laughed and told us, “It’s great to be on the other side.” Word.

The silhouettes of Joywave.

The silhouettes of Joywave.

As the sun set, Joywave entered, all in black. Joywave released their debut EP How Does It Feel? just last April, and they’ve already played on a number of late-night TV shows, opened for The Killers, are jetting off to play Reading & Leeds + Lollapalooza Berlin soon, and will return to headline their own US tour following their European adventure. If you caught any of Joywave’s set, you know why. They’re a five-piece indie pop and electronic crew who brought sweet beats, mad energy, and fun stage banter that engaged the crowd. Frontman Daniel Armbruster had CU students dancing, screaming, and jumping with him throughout their set. By the end Armbruster had everyone begging for “One more song!” and the group ended with their most popular track, “Tongues.” The crowd erupted in excitement and a massive sing-along commenced.

Seven Lions. Let it drop.

Seven Lions. Let it drop.

With the night in full swing, DJ Jeff Montalvo aka Seven Lions, took the stage. At this point, Welcomefest was packed. Students crowded against the stage barriers and when Seven Lions emerged, they went crazy. Girls jumped onto the shoulders of boys to rock out, there were tons of crowdsurfers, and everyone was moving to the bass. And that’s because the bass was insane. It was as if Seven Lions was controlling heartbeats with every thump. He had a ton of incredible visuals behind him as well. Lasers jetted out above the crowd until they hit the dorms across the field and the stage lights strobed in time with the beat. 

Seven Lions first gained popularity for his dub and trance tracks in 2011 when he remixed Above & Beyond’s “You Got to Go.” Since then, he’s toured with Porter Robinson and played several notable festivals including SxSW, Ultra, and EDC. And, lucky for the Buffs, Seven Lions just released a brand new track, “Falling Away” on August 14th, which he played at the show. The energy of the crowd was as palpable as the bass, and at some points, the crowd even started “Let’s Go Buffs!” chants. Welcome back, indeed.

Whippin' hair and heartbeats. 

Whippin' hair and heartbeats. 

Overall, Program Council assembled a very successful lineup. When we talked about the bands chosen with Aaron Rogers, Director of Public Relations for Program Council, he told us, “The whole process [of booking acts] takes months. Booking depends on budget, timing, artist availability, and a whole lot of other factors.” This year, Program Council’s time and investment were clearly worth it.

Well done Welcomefest.

-Hannah and Greg

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Greg on Twitter.

All photos per the authors. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Watch a Seven Lions video below: 

Music Video Release: Whiskey Autumn "My Dear Miss Claire"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder's Whiskey Autumn have dropped their first official music video.

A scene from Whiskey Autumn's music video "My Dear Miss Claire".

A scene from Whiskey Autumn's music video "My Dear Miss Claire".

Local band Whiskey Autumn has just released their new video for “My Dear Miss Claire”, a highlight from the band’s latest EP, Call You Mine. The video follows a young couple around Boulder, with familiar scenes shot on the Pearl St. Mall and the Boulder County Farmer’s Market. The video pans between the couple in color, and the doo-wop rock trio performing on a farm in black and white. We sat down with Whiskey Autumn frontman Greg Laut to learn more about the video, the process of filming, and what he enjoyed most about the entire experience.

1. We really enjoyed the CD release show for your EP Call You Mine. How did you decide which song from the EP to film a video for?

After we decided to work with directors Grant Speich and Waeli Wang on the video, I asked them listen to Call You Mine and pick a song. I’ve found from experience that we are too close to the music to determine which track people will gravitate toward. Grant and Waeli both liked the dancey hip-hop beat of "My Dear Miss Claire"  and had a solid pitch for the video so we followed their instinct.

2. We dig the contrast between Whiskey Autumn performing in the country in black and white and the couple exploring the city in color. Was there any deeper meaning behind this visually creative choice?

The intention was to make the scenes of the couple exploring the city in the color of springtime seem like memories of a past relationship and the wintry black and white band scenes to be reminiscing on those [past] times. The color shots were completed using old film, which provided this dreamy, surreal look indicative of intimate memories. The digitally shot band scenes represent the clear-eyed present, where thinking back on old times makes you realize the seemingly small moments you shared with another person are actually quite powerful and should be cherished.

3. The song sounds as if it’s written for a couple who is breaking up. What’s the story behind the couple in the video? Are they actors or are they together in real life?

James and Carrie are a real-life couple! We wanted the couple scenes in the video to capture a true sense of intimacy and thought that using actors may come across as insincere. When it came time for casting, James and Carrie seemed like the perfect choice as they are both ridiculously good-looking and all around lovely people.

4. As the writer of the song, what was your favorite part about filming the video?

I really enjoyed the process of working with Grant and Waeli on the initial storyboards and seeing that come to life. It was important to the band to create a video that was more than us fake playing our instruments along to the recorded track from the EP. We wanted it to have a bit more depth, and in the end I think we accomplished that.

Watch Whiskey Autumn's video for "My Dear Miss Claire" here:

-Hannah

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

It's Good To Be Reminded - Matt Pond PA

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver loves Matt Pond PA.

“It’s good to be reminded.”

That’s what frontman Matt Pond of Matt Pond PA told us about halfway through his set at the Marquis Denver when he teasingly asked the audience for the name of opener Young Buffalo.

“I know their name. But you know- it’s like- ‘I love you’. It’s good to be reminded.” he smiled as a collective “I love you Matt!” echoed from the audience.

As Matt said, "The marquee of the marquis". Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich    

As Matt said, "The marquee of the marquis". Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich
 

Since 1998, New York based MPPA has been dropping consistently solid albums into the indie rock sphere. They’re currently on tour for the ten year anniversary of their sixth studio album, Several Arrows Later. Their sound is this: a hushed version of The Cure met up with a groovin’ drummer and one badass cello player. The hooks are catchy, the pulsing groove pulls you into each song, and the strings keep you floating next to Pond’s vocals.

Matt Pond PA set the mood the moment they walked onto the stage Tuesday night to The Cure’sPictures of You”. With the lights dimmed, the five-piece lineup was silhouetted against a golden backdrop reminiscent of the Several Arrows Later album artwork (and a simultaneous nod to the upcoming State of Gold). They fervently dove into the winding lyrics of “Halloween” with a tight hold on the kick and dreamy cello staccato. This was followed by “So Much Trouble”, which was my introduction to MPPA ten years ago and still stands as one of my most played songs of all time (thanks for that mixtape Greg Laut).

Several Arrows Later.   Photo Credit:    Hannah Oreskovich

Several Arrows Later.  Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

MPAA sinuously continued on, playing all of Several Arrows Later with bouncy energy and skilled musicianship. Their drummer Kyle Kelly-Yahner was killer and bass player Tierney Tough (coolest rocker-chick name maybe ever) added vibrant harmonies to some of the songs.

Following the album, Matt Pond PA played a few jams from their back catalogue and two new songs from upcoming State of Gold, one of which was the poppy, yearning “More No More”. It’s decidedly different from anything else from MPPA, but that’s been Matt’s style throughout his career.

Myself & contributor Becky post Matt chat. Photo Credit:   Greg Laut  

Myself & contributor Becky post Matt chat. Photo Credit: Greg Laut
 

After the final note rang out into the rainy night, I learned why Matt Pond PA has continually evolved with each album. I asked Matt what it’s like looking back to the conception of Several Arrows Later ten years ago. With a smirk he said, “I don’t know. I mean what have you been doing with your life for the last ten years? It’s like… you know you write these songs and you start out hating yourself but you learn to play them better and you learn to play for you.”

So maybe that’s it. Maybe State of Gold will show us what it’s like for MPPA to create something that they’ve learned to just play for themselves. But in the meantime, I’ll keep spinning Several Arrows Later. Because if there’s one thing I can tell you about listening to Matt Pond PA play one of their best albums live, it’s this: it’s good to be reminded.

Keep an ear out for State of Gold’s release on June 30th with Doghouse Records.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

PS: Matt- Because we talked about it, I had to:

Matt Pond PA a few years ago when they opened for Ben Folds in Omaha, NE. Photo quality terrible; show memorably great. -Hannah  

Matt Pond PA a few years ago when they opened for Ben Folds in Omaha, NE. Photo quality terrible; show memorably great. -Hannah
 

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

The Jamestown Mercantile Is An Awesome Music Mountain Spot

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Jamestown's Merc is not to be missed.

Climbing into the snowy mountains Saturday night, it was hard to tell where the earth ended and the sky began. Everything was covered in a thick white mist. After leaving rainy Boulder behind, fat flakes fell as our altitude increased. On the winding canyon road to Jamestown, we could see where parts of the mountain washed away during the 2013 flood; where a bridge fell. It’s been well over a year since the flood, but the work needed to bring this canyon back to life is evident. Guardrails are missing in what feel like necessary parts of the route and some of the neon orange road signs make me wonder if it’s safe to continue on. But we do. And it’s well worth it.

Jamestown is a tiny mountain community of a few hundred people. The houses dot along the roadway into town and amongst the cliffs above. It’s quiet when we step onto Main Street. It’s snowing pretty hard. The smell of burning firewood covers us and the warm lights of the Jamestown Mercantile Co. Cafe beckon us inside. The Merc, as it’s affectionately known, has a general-store-home-cooked-meal feel from the moment you walk in. The floors and furniture are wooden; the interior is painted red and cream. There is awesome artwork everywhere, lamps with fringe adorn the ceiling, and various low-colored lights lend groovy vibes. In the corner near the big front window, the band sets up to play. Families trickle in and out for the dinner rush; a tasty veggie pesto lasagna special tonight. Children run back and forth between the tables. Everyone knows each other here and I love that about these smaller mountain towns.

the big window beckons. Photo:   Hannah Oreskovich

the big window beckons. Photo: Hannah Oreskovich

Joe behind the bar serves me Julien’s Cliffhouse Kombucha on tap. It’s made in a pink and turquoise house on the cliff across the street and it’s amazing. If every bar had this kombucha on tap, I’d never drink a beer. Sipping in the corner, I notice the fringe-lamp lights dim around 8:00pm and the three-piece band I rode up with begins their set. The acoustics are good- The Merc has a PA and the length of the room allows for a solid sound.

The band starts with a few slow songs and then moves into some dancy, rockin’ beats. One of the locals, Matteo, asks me to dance. I noticed Matteo earlier because during the slow songs, he was stretching and contorting himself into yoga poses on the empty dance floor preparing for what I guess is now our time to bust a move. Soon we’re stomping around on the hardwood floor and collecting other people to dance with us. There are gray-haired couples twirling each other and everyone is smiling and approachable. Local or not, you feel welcomed here.

a local we made friends with. Polaroid:   David Landry

a local we made friends with. Polaroid: David Landry

Back near the bar, I meet regular Pat Brophy and ask him about this place. He tells me bands either fall in love with The Merc or they never come back. There is no in between. He says The Merc is “eclectic” and that the culture of Jamestown, although changed from his first days in the 60s, is still different than anywhere else he’s been. He tells me of afterparties up the hill that dwindle into morning and that there is no better place to stare at the stars than Jamestown.

“But don’t write too much!” he says. “We want to keep this place a bit of a secret. It’s where we have to go around here.”

the merc monkey. Polaroid:   Hannah Oreskovich

the merc monkey. Polaroid: Hannah Oreskovich

As the band's set comes to a close (there’s a 10 o’clock curfew on Saturdays), people wander over to the tip jar before making their way to the door. The crowd here is so appreciative of the groups who make the canyon drive to play and the band seems equally grateful to escape their regular Boulder gigs for a taste of this place.

Eventually, we load the gear up for the descent back into Boulder. Matteo waves goodbye; an older couple smiles holding hands as they walk home. The snow has stopped and the white blanket of mist is gone. I gaze upward. Above the pink cliffhouse, the stars look like banded agates glimmering against the granite backdrop of the clear night sky. It makes me pause and stare.

Pat was right.

Though in its recovery, Jamestown still needs donations and volunteers for flood relief. Please help their lovely community 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.

Whiskey Waves: Whiskey Autumn's Call You Mine Release Show a Success

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Whiskey flowed in more ways than one this weekend at Whiskey Autumn's Call You Mine EP Release Show.

Whiskey Autumn's Latest EP:  Call You Mine .  

Whiskey Autumn's Latest EP: Call You Mine.
 

Picture this: A stage dripping in deep blue and sea-green lighting, three talented acts pulling you closer to their sets with every melody like a gentle tide, and an ever-building swell of sound that eventually erupts into a full-on wave of a dance party. That’s how I spent my Saturday night last weekend at the Whiskey Autumn album release show at the Riverside in Boulder, CO. And if you weren’t there Boulder, you should have been.

Let’s start with the venue: The bands performed at the Riverside in a room that held over 200 people for a good part of the night, making it the mid-size venue that Boulder desperately needs for bands who have a following greater than the Pearl Street bars can hold, and who are just a step away from headlining the 625-person capacity that the historic Fox Theatre provides. Patrons drank the bar dry (insert irony of lack of whiskey at a Whiskey Autumn gig), and the interior added to the sea-vibes of the show, with colorful light splashes dangling from what looked like strands of choral on the ceiling’s stringy centerpiece. The Riverside proved a surprisingly prodigious spot for Boulder bands, and I hope more will take note and start forming its space into the weekend spot it ought to be.

The author with Whiskey Autumn frontman   Greg Laut  . Blue polaroid courtesy Becky Guidera.

The author with Whiskey Autumn frontman Greg Laut. Blue polaroid courtesy Becky Guidera.

And now for the music: First on the bill was FoxFeather, a Boulder-based folky, alt-country five-piece fronted by two lady vocalists. Together, Laura Paige Stratton and Carly Ricks Smith filled our ears with sultry lulls, twangy verses, and bouncy harmonies that set the energy for what would ultimately turn into a rockin’ evening. One of the biggest treats of their performance had to be Patrick Coleman’s phat, wavy slaps on his stand-up bass (because do those ever lose their cool factor?). He brought in a jazzy undertone that rightfully demanded its own attention. FoxFeather released an EP last fall, Foul Moon, which is definitely worth checking out. You can see their list of upcoming live shows here.

Augustus took the stage next and splashed us with an awesome foot-stomping, banjo-bumping performance. These dudes brought some serious originality to the popular Americana movement, from their catchy kick North to the dark, plucky perfection of Shadows and Tails. But above all, my personal favorite was Spoke of This Before, where frontman Colin Kelly commanded an emotional hum of heavy, raw vocals. It’s woeful reflectiveness created an energized hush. And when the banjo, guitar, and cello joined hands in the latter part of the song, the persuasive power of this trio was evident in the bluesy, gritty vibe that gripped our shoulders. Jim Hurlihy showcased his skills on a variety of instruments (sometimes multiple at a time) and Jesse Wright moved with his cello as though they were one, fluid being. Peep their show schedule here.

Whiskey Autumn set list from the night.

Whiskey Autumn set list from the night.

Headliner Whiskey Autumn opened with their track June, charming the at-capacity showroom with pop harmonies dripping in buzzy guitar riffs and prancy piano parts. Following June, WA proceeded to play their full four-song Call You Mine EP which you can stream here. Hips were jiving when bassist David Landry summoned a deep, dirty funk opening for A Fool’s Errand and frontman Greg Laut kept us spinning with his hypnotic guitar solo in Turn the Key (Let it Roll) (personal favorite on the EP). These guys can make you move. The trio floated on with several unreleased songs and catchy number Call Me Out written by guest guitarist Robbie Steifel. I wish I could link you to some of these jams, but in this case you had to be there (here’s my shameless beg for a recording of Gold Rush and Grin WA dudes). Halfway through the set, the boys wrapped us in an unexpected undercurrent of energy when drummer Matty Schelling’s Octapad erupted unapologetic and deep hip-hop beats for the band’s original 07.04.07 and for the crowd-pleasing cover of Frank Ocean's Thinking About You. Greg Laut’s smooth and varying vocal range then somersaulted us into some familiar melodies from the band’s first EP Into Something New where everyone sang along to the fan-favorite Born Again.

In what made for a wildly enjoyable and ever-changing collaborative effort, the boys had a number of special guests throughout the course of their set: Robbie Stiefel on guitar, Crucible Recording Studio owner Andy McEwen on piano, Colin Kelly of Augustus on guitar, Andrew McNew on trumpet, and Ryan O’Malley of HelicopterBearShark on saxophone. These additions allowed the three-piece to build strong sonorific swells and also showcased the true beauty of the Boulder music scene: creative artists blending talents for the love of original sound in more than just their living rooms. The trio’s closing Jackson Five cover of I Want You Back burst into a full-on boogie, followed by their encore performance of the you-have-to-sing-along Ronnettes Be My Baby. With their dreamy harmonies, inventive lyricism, and alluring instrumentalism, I’d sail on whiskey waves with these guys any night. Get yourself to one of these Whiskey Autumn shows.

-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.