Weir Drops New Single "Copper" with Local Electronic Label Alias

By: Natalie Pulvino

One way Colorado has distinguished itself in the music world is through the unwavering rise of live-electronic bands. With influencers like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, GRiZ, SunSquabi and more, young and aspiring musicians are crafting something fresh every day. This week, we sat down with Nick Vann of Nobide and Chris Weir of Weir to talk about Weir’s new track “Copper”, which is being released through Vann’s label Alias today.

So Nick, tell us about your record label Alias. When was it formed, what inspired the project, and what is your vision for the label?

NV: It started in January 2018 with my buddy Gunter- it’s a pretty similar vision to other Colorado labels in that we want to put out organic electronic music. Electronic music with live elements in there with really good branding. The vision is to make it a taste-maker label I suppose. Our slogan is “Global Taste, Local Face,” so it’s focused on the local element as well.

Can you give a brief overview of the other artists on the label? Are they all local electronic acts?

NV: Yeah, local, organic electronic incorporating live elements that aren’t completely made on the computer. We have Hxrse, mxxnwathcers, f-ether, and Nobide, to name a few.  

What is your or your team’s current process for choosing what music you’ll distribute through Alias?

NV: Pretty much, if it hits us sonically and “in the feels,” and if we sort of know the person.

Chris Weir.

Chris Weir.

This leads us into the next portion of our interview, which is Weir’s new single “Copper.” Nick, what excited you about “Copper” enough to distribute it through Alias?

NV: It was really different from Weir, not the stuff he’d been making prior. Cinematic and organic, a bit more instrument-based than his prior music. The arrangement is killer.

Very cool. And Chris, tell us a bit more about “Copper.” The song is intense and thick with emotion. What drove this project and what were your inspirations?

CW: Originally I had a friend reach out to make a track for a ski video that he was working on, so I wanted to experiment with more of a hip-hop based, slower tempo, and ended up developing it into something a lot more than a ski video. And by writing it through a dark time, I used that energy in the core progressions and in the sound I was picking out. I wanted to create a vibe similar to the mountains, or tie it in with nature in some way.

What’s the most experimental or exciting part of the song for you?

CW: Probably the overall hip-hop vibe because pretty much all I’ve written in the past has been more dance-house beats, so it was cool to take the tempo a lot slower and fill the space more.

Why did you feel Alias was a good fit to distribute and help promote “Copper?”

CW: It really was more up to Nick, but I saw it fitting Alias more so than my previous projects for sure, in terms of the organic soundscape that I was messing with.

Do you think “Copper” represents a shift in your musical work, and if so, where do you see this shift going?

CW: One hundred percent- I definitely see myself going towards more of a live performance and incorporating more instruments on stage. To me, this track has a lot more elements that I think I could play out live and develop more into what I see Weir being.

Weir at work.

Weir at work.

These last two questions are for both of you. What is your read on the thriving live-electronic scene in the Boulder/Denver area?

NV: It’s so all over the place in the best possible way. Every type of music is getting produced and there’s a really strong community vibe around it, where people just want everybody to succeed. At the end of the day, everybody just wants more good music.

CW: I think it’s just really cool that there’s so much variety both in Boulder and Denver, and all of Colorado. There’s obviously a huge pop of jam bands, soul and funk, but it’s cool to see more electronic and live-electronic acts popping up.

NV: It seems like Colorado may be doing that in a more forward-thinking way than other areas.

What do you mean by that?

NV: It seems that there’s more technological innovation with the blending [of] instruments to create more of a band. Geographically, we’re right in the middle of the country, so musically we’re blending everything together here.

Lastly, can we expect any further artistic collaboration between you two?

NV: Absolutely.

CW: I would certainly hope so.

Be sure to give “Copper” a listen now and catch these guys live in action at Larimer Lounge next Saturday, April 6th.

Keep up with Weir here and check out alias.fm.

-Natalie

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

Five Reasons to Ring in the New Year with Denver's Decadence

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The new year is quickly approaching, which means countless concert options for Colorodans on the 30th and 31st. One that continues to stand out is the two-night, multi-stage electronic music festival Decadence, and for good reason. Read below to see how Decadence never fails to bring EDM fans in Denver two nights that they won’t stop talking about until the next year...

The Venue and Location - The event takes place at The Colorado Convention Center. This venue is humongous, which means there is plenty of room to fit multiple large stages and for thousands of music lovers. The Convention Center is located in the heart of Downtown Denver on 14th Street, so once the show is over, you can still enjoy Denver’s bar scene and get the most of your night.

Two Days of Fun (if you choose) - Why limit your New Year celebration to one day? With Decadence, you have the option to go either the 30th, the 31st, or both nights! Each night has a unique, star-studded lineup that touches every facet of electronic dance music. You can choose which lineup looks best and go on that date, or if it all looks great, extend your NYE partying to two nights!

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The Full Experience - There’s a reason this event is called Decadence: it is over the top in all the best ways. Around the venue you will find performers on stilts, entertainers with never-before-seen outfits and lights, and incredible stage productions with each act. There is even a balloon drop at midnight, and you can guarantee there will be lasers and great light shows. Decadence does New Year’s Eve the right way!

Everything You Need in One Place - New Year’s Eve can be a madhouse in a large city. Getting around town to grab dinner, drinks, and go to a party is hectic and expensive. Decadence, on the other hand, is the only stop you need to make all night. Besides providing the main event entertainment, you will be able to purchase food and drinks at The Convention Center, so your party never has to stop.

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Top-Notch Lineup - Every year, the Decadence lineup gets even better. Colorado is a state filled with EDM lovers, so large events like this know they need to provide a unique and stellar list of performers. Some notable acts playing the night on Sunday, December 30th include, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Zed’s Dead, Above & Beyond, and Alison Wonderland. DJs playing New Year’s Eve include Illenium, Griz, Big Wild, and Marshmello. While these are just some of the big names, there are many more acts playing throughout the night to keep you dancing too.

Treat yourself and go all out this New Year’s at Decadence! For more information on the night, lineup, and tickets, click here!

-Ben

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

Listen to BolderBeat's 'End of Summer' Spotify Playlist

By: Joliene Adams

Every month, we publish a new Spotify playlist for your ears. Make sure to follow us on Spotify and take a listen at BolderBeat. Here is September's playlist:

BolderBeat's 'End of Summer' Playlist:

1. Tenth Mountain Division, “Drunk Man’s Blues”

Song most likely to sneak jam bandy vibes and bluegrass inspirations right under your nose without it mattering one wit.

There’s something about the way the vowels are pronounced. I’m convinced it has something to do with the hints of warm, soulful vocal spice. You won’t have much to say about a mandolin not being able to throw down after this song either. Rock undertones and jam overtones effectively avoid over-indulgence and hit the baby bear right where the Goldilocks counts.

2. Big Gigantic, “Got The Love”

Song most likely to dance in hi-tops on a spaceship to.

Somewhere along the way, soulful hip hop meets orchestral marching band and they all go to Burning Man together and start a band. This is what happens afterwards. If not a true story, it’s a believable back-story. Also, I couldn’t help but think, “Is that a wooden cowbell coming in at 1:44?”, even though I know better. How can that not make a person smile?

3. A Shadow Of A Jaguar, “Mama Needs The Bottle”

Song most likely to be mistaken as coming from Denver.

Denver isn’t the end all be all. But they do have more rock and roll. Bar none. We almost did, until West Water Outlaws broke up. And then there’s The Yawpers, who relocated to and announced themselves officially as a Denver band. Drop into the rock bowl at the sound of charging, down-stroke guitar grit, and quick, punchy drumbeat stalls between classic, unfrilled, rolling rock drums. Watch out for rhythmic vocals with attitude enough to make you want to spill your whiskey. Just buy the cheap stuff before, m’kay?

4. Envy Alo, “Bodzinger”

Song I most want to see the crew of Scooby Doo dance to.

Instrumentals done well drive me wild. I’m no less obsessed with words than music. But music doesn’t need words. It can communicate perfectly fine on it’s own. Also, killin’ it cool on the keyboards. Anyone would look amazing dancing to this song in bell bottoms. Groovy, but in the still totally hip way.

5. Policulture, “Great Respect”

Song most likely to render me unable to think of anything but bunny rabbits in sunglasses dancing in a field throughout it’s entirety.

You can definitely skank to this, but you don’t have to. You can dance like a slinky might to the guitar too. Ska and reggae are certain influences, but the track is in no way walled-in by them. Short, jumping keyboard strokes with a steady low-key bass keeps the groove moving forward.

6. Sunsquabi, “Odyssey” (feat. GriZ)

Song most likely to jet ski in outer space to.

If you hear this song in the elevator on your way to work, by golly you have the right job. Elevator music has a nasty reputation. My words here are no diss and all compliment. Sunsquabi and GRiZ could totally fly on an elevator, and chances are everyone’s day would be better and the world itself would be a better place for it. High five.

7. Gregory Alan Isakov, “Suitcase Full of Sparks”

Song with the best story to tell, and the best way of putting it.

“Travelin’ through the graveyard/suitcase full of sparks/honey I’m just trying to find you.” You’ve got my attention Mister Isakov. Light smatterings of harmonica and banjo punctuate earnest lyricism, and have a way of making new feelings come from old familiars. It’s amazing how light instrumentation and unobtrusive background vocals can hit your heart with a such a thunderous thud. Here is the song most likely to make me feel feelings & get those goosebumps.

8. Augustus, “Virtues”

Song that’s the most unto itself amongst all.

Augustus’ “Virtues” is the most own unto itself amongst the whole set. This number has the most interesting musical arrangements and distinct use of instrumentation. Won’t find vocals that hit so high delicately and then swing low anywhere else on this playlist, period. Cello like molasses that doesn’t stick, and thus doesn’t slow down the way it pours over you so warm and soft.

9. Cold River City, “Time Slips Away”

Song most likely to make me chill the heck out when a bus is late, all the while falling in love with the person at the bus stop next to me.

Now that’s some saxy sexaphone (courtesy of guest Jeremy Mohney). Back and forth male and female vocals lend this song a lyrical, crooning playfulness that doesn’t hinge on catchy word play. It speaks to the still-in-love love struggle when it’s done in reality, but far from it in heart. Hits me like permission to move on from any break up while still knowing the past was special and untouchable. If you think that’s hokey, it still won’t stop my pokey.

10. Sixty Minute Men, “Born This Way”

Song most likely to listen to on a catamaran at sunset.

Possiblly the best transition from and into a song on the playlist. Cold River City to Sixty Minute Men rolls like a board off one wave, up onto another. This song’s not in a hurry, and the slow simmer gives the listener rooted boots on the ground and soaring above the clouds vibes all at once. Put it in cruise control and tap those thumbs on your steering wheel folks.

11. Na’an Stop, “Questions”

Song that sounds most like an album single, and I somehow feel most likely to least question if I heard it on commercial alternative radio.

It’s catchy, folks. It makes me grateful for stereo speakers and headphones. It’s lyrics call you out and leave you feeling encouraged all at once. Keys and horns sometimes make you feel like someone might be laughing at you, but in a way that doubles back and only has you laughing at yourself, life, and all of us. It’s catchy. But it’s way more than a surface tune.

12. Evanoff, “Transcendance”

Song whose title best matches its music.  

Transcen + (d) + ance. That’s how we do on this ditty. The song title works on two levels. I feel like I could transcend my next climbing problem to this at The Spot, then dance the good vibes that follow off at The Fox straight after. Vocal thunder emanating from a teacup, heavy beats that don’t browbeat: this song communicates what it calls itself without riffing off some theme or line from lyrics, because it has none!! Best guitar shredding to boot.

13. The Motet, “Know It Too Well”

Song I’m most likely to dance to on isolated vocals alone.

More cowbell?! How yesterday of you. MORE ORGAN. The Motet knows it too well. I’d call this articulate funk, an ice cream sundae of funky guitar layers cut fresh and so clean. So much more than a wedding song, I can’t help but say that I can picture everyone from grandma to the youngest buckaroo dancing out on the floor having a good sass time at anyone’s matrimony.

Follow BolderBeat on Spotify for more Colorado music playlists. 

-Joliene

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

Big Wild Is The Next Big Name In Electronic Music

By: Annie Kane

This summer, Big Wild will be one of the most talked about names in electronic music, and we got to talk to him about what that feels like.

Jackson Stell, the DJ, engineer, producer and composer behind the name Big Wild, is making waves by bringing an unconventional approach to his music. With hip-hop beats and instrumentals initially pushing him into the production side of music in high school, combined with the outdoorsy lifestyle Stell has recently adopted in California, Big Wild’s sound is very much a testament to its own name. Stell has toured recently with Odesza and GRiZ, and has currently sold out 13 of the 23 US shows on his spring tour. We got to catch up with this emerging young voice, and find out what has led him to where he is today and where he plans on going. Keep reading and check out the audio of the interview below!

What sort of music did you grow up listening to? I read in an interview that your dad played guitar on one of your songs, so I was wondering what sort of environment you were in.

It was very much kind of me just finding whatever music I was into. I was into a lot of random things, like movie soundtracks. When I was a little kid, I used to be really into surf music and I used to be really into funk music too; it was kind of just whatever kept me really interested. And then when I got into middle school and high school, I really got into hip-hop and that’s why I started to make instrumentals and stuff from there.

Big Wild. 

Big Wild. 

Why did you choose to go down the electronic path?

That kind of happened when I got into college. Electronic music was becoming more popular and it was like a whole genre of music. I started to really appreciate and enjoy a lot of the aspects of it, and I wanted to take my hip-hop background and make it a little more experimental and interesting, and basically just try a lot of new things. With electronic music becoming bigger, I kind of grew to like it more and I decided [that was] where I wanted to go with music.

Listen to Big Wild’s track Aftergold (feat. Tove Styrke):

When did you realize your passion for music could turn into a real career?

I knew I wanted to do music for a long time. After producing for a couple of years, I started to sell instrumentals to rappers. I was running a little business and DJing, and I was really enjoying it too. I realized that this is what I wanna do. I never knew for sure if I would actually be able to make a living off of it, but I knew I would try my best to make it happen.

You toured with Odesza- can you talk a little about that experience?

Yeah! Those guys were really helpful in kind of getting things going for me in terms of live shows, opportunities for songs, and releasing [music] through Foreign Family Collective. Touring with them was a really good experience. A lot of the ideas that I have now for my live shows kind of came from learning from those guys. They were super helpful and they’re definitely super good friends of mine now. We stay in touch and talk about music all the time.

So they helped you adjust to the touring life?

Yeah, definitely. [They helped] in terms of my show and also how to go about running a tour and making sure to have a good time and explore the places you’re going to and to, you know, make the the most of it.

Check out Big Wild’s CHVRCHES “Empty Threat” remix:

You talked a little earlier about your interest in hip-hop music. With Phife Dawg’s recent passing have you gone back to any of A Tribe Called Quest’s music as as far as inspiration?

A Tribe Called Quest was definitely one of my earlier hip-hop influences, and like love for hip-hop, but that kind of came later. [For me], it was local producers in the beginning who kind of influenced me. That being said, I was super into A Tribe Called Quest when I got into high school. I think [Phife Dawg] and A Tribe Called Quest’s contributions to hip-hop in general are really significant. I definitely did go back to A Tribe Called Quest and looked through their catalog [after Dawg’s passing] and that brought back a lot of memories from high school.

How do you find new music?

I explore random things on SoundCloud and see what people I’m following are liking or reposting. It’s kind of the way I find out about lesser or smaller known artists. I’ve been getting really into Spotify lately, too. I’ve always had an account, but I find [Spotify] is getting better at [allowing users to] discover new stuff. And also just word of mouth. I kind of have a really good group of friends whose musical opinion I really like. So if they recommend me any new music, I’ll check it out, and I try and reciprocate by showing them what I’m listening to. I find that actually is the most effective way to find music- through your friends whose music tastes you really vibe with.

Definitely. So who are you currently listening to?

Well I’ve been listening to them for a while, but I’ve been listening to Tame Impala and their new album Currents. But also, let’s see, I’ve been really into a lot of vocalists with interesting voices lately because I think that’s also where I’m trying to go with my production too. There’s a band called Reptar that I’m really into, a singer named Rationale in the UK, and I’ve just been listening to a lot more vocal music and figuring out how I’m going to incorporate that stuff into my own production.

So when you start making new music, how do you get over I guess the “writer’s block” so to speak when you get stuck?

That one’s tough. Sometimes I can actually get over a writer’s block if I just keep working every day on music and really just forcing myself to continue and keep pushing until I finally come up with something that really clicks with me, or I just hear something. But there [are] also times where I get out of a writer’s block just by hearing a new song or a new artist that’s made something that is totally different from whatever I’ve [recently] heard and I really like it, and then I’ll be like “Oh sh*t! Maybe that’s how I can combine, or maybe that’s how I can get over this hump, is if I use some of the ideas from this song or what that guy did with the vocals and the effects and stuff”. Just little inspirations like that really help. [Other times], it’s just taking a break for a week or two, and when you come back to it you feel really refreshed. If you keep trying to do the same thing over again, that’s when you start to get really stuck.

Are there any other artists or hobbies outside of music that influence you?

I grew up in a small town, and at the same time we’d always drive to go hiking and do a bunch of outdoor activities. When I was a kid, I wasn’t super into it, but at my age now, I reference those times just being outside. I think that really helps me, that really influences me to. I think it has really influenced my sound and the sounds I choose, too. I’ve just recently picked up surfing and I really, really suck at it, but I really enjoy it too. So it’s a good way to kind of take my mind out of the studio, and just go and relax and do something totally different. I also really like to cook, too.

Watch Big Wild's Spring Tour 2016 Video:

Are there any collaborations or projects that we can look forward to hearing from you in the future?

Yeah! There’s a new song I’ve been playing with a singer named iDA HAWK, who GRiZ actually did a couple of tracks with. I’m really stoked about how it’s coming out, and I’m kind of hoping for it to be the next single. I have a track with a singer named Nina that’s really cool too. I’m gonna be releasing stuff this summer and fall and a couple of more remixes as well that I’m really excited about.

Is there anybody that you’d to collaborate with in the future or any artists that you sort of have your eye set on?

Definitely that singer Rationale; I’ve been into his music for a super long time. Anderson Paak is definitely getting a lot more attention [now] which is very well deserved and I would love to make a track with that guy. He has such a cool sound.

He definitely does. I guess my last question would be, do you have any advice for those aspiring to make music?

Challenge yourself to make something different all the time and have your own, because that’s one of the most valuable things you can do in terms of learning how to produce, and learning to appreciate other styles, and to stick out from the crowd and have your own sound. If you make the same thing everybody else makes, it’s gonna be really tough for you. People wanna hear something that’s unique to you. You have to learn that. That’s the biggest advice I’d give to a producer.

Be sure to catch Big Wild in a city near you before he sells out!

Listen to my chat with Big Wild:

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.

BolderBeat's Tiny Desk Contest Compilation + This Weekend's Shows to See

By: Hannah Oreskovich

You entered. We watched (and listened).

Hey Colorado! A lot of local acts have been working on something awesome the past couple of weeks- their submissions to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest! As you probably know, NPR has a sweet feature called Tiny Desk, the brainchild of Bob Boilen, who is also the creator of All Songs Considered. Boilen essentially invites artists to play at his desk and their intimate performances are recorded live; often they’re really badass. Check out some of the most recent Tiny Desk performances here.

Last year, NPR started the Tiny Desk Contest, allowing any and every US artist to have a shot at getting an invite to play Boilen’s sought-after desk. The winner was Fantastic Negrito, who you can check out here. This year, the winner will play the Tiny Desk and also appear in a taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another and tour the US with NPR and Lagunitas. We kept seeing so many local band’s submissions pop up that we decided to throw them all in a feature for your viewing pleasure. We were impressed by everyone’s submissions and we're sure you will be too. So give these vids some traffic yo:

Asalott

Pretty sweet collection, eh?

PS: We couldn’t totally forgo our weekend picks, so here are some shows with their event links to check out the next two nights:

Tonight (Friday, 02/05):

Ancient Elk, The Velveteers, and The Savage Blush at Syntax Opera House in Denver

Hunter Stone at Taco Junky in Boulder

Many Mountains with Still Cellars Distillery and Arthouse in Longmont

Whiskey Autumn and Shiny Shoes First Funk Friday at The Bohemian Biergarten in Boulder

Tomorrow (Saturday, 02/06):

Andrew Sturtz at The Infinite Monkey Theorem in Denver

Griz with Special Guests at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver

Imaginary Pointsmontropo, Glimjack, and Shuad’Dib at The Forge in Boulder

Na’an Stop with Policulture and Realtalk at The Fox Theatre in Boulder

Sam Hozdulick’ Album Release Party with Special Guests at Lost Lake in Denver

Both Nights:

Opening Music Weekend at Cafe Aion featuring Paul Kimbiris and Foxfeather

And don’t forget to tune in Sunday for our partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions! We will feature Na’an Stop’s “Win a Bagel” in honor of their headlining performance at The Fox this Saturday. Crank your dials to 95.5FM in Boulder Sunday night between 9-10PM, or stream Green Light here. Listen for local!

Thanks for keeping us afloat as we continue to support local music. If you dig what we’re doing, please give us a like on Facebook (especially from your band page so we can keep up with all you do).

-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.