Review: The Hunger Artist Release New Indie Rock EP 'Uh...'

By: Trevor Ryan

Colorado’s mysterious underground indie rock outfit The Hunger Artist are at it again with a second studio recorded EP titled Uh…, and the four-piece collective have really given us summer pangs with their newest music.

Uh… has heavy-hitter influences from bands like The Strokes and even Cage the Elephant, but The Hunger Artist’s brand of indie rock has a vibe all its own. Think summer jams on steroids. You’ll have roadtrip feels from these tracks the whole way through. Uh… is sure to get you ready for summer adventures, and keep you thoroughly entertained all at once.

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The record starts off with the track “Gotta Live a Life,” which was also featured on the 2016 release of Rock Against Trump, a collaborative effort featuring various artists. As you may have guessed, “Gotta Live a Life” has a political stance throughout, though it never veers from its upbeat positive roots and heavy distortion. A great opener for the EP, this song gives you the overall feeling of who the band is and what they’re about, and all while proving a point.

From here, we’re led into “I kno! You Don’t Know.” Featured as the single of the record, and even supported by a music video of its own, this is where we start to genuinely hear those iconic influences. Strokes-esque in sound, “I kno! You Don’t Know” utilizes heavy, dirty guitar riffs accompanied by a hard-hitting, yet simple upbeat rhythm. With that, you get these wailing, lung-clenching vocals, making this track a superb choice for the single release.

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Finally, and most significantly in my book, is the ballad “Darling Please.” With heart-grabbing lines like, “We've been changing for so long/It turns out maybe we're both wrong,” this is the one that will have you in the feels. Lyrically, you’ll find that The Hunger Artist have a simplistic way of subtly conveying a message with a profound, witty passion and powerhouse vocals.

“Uh…” is set for release on April 18th. You can find show dates and more right here.

Keep up with The Hunger Artist on Facebook.

-Trevor

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

The Crowleys Release New Single "Pink Rainbows" From Upcoming EP

By: Norman Hittle

Just out, The Crowleys have released their first single “Pink Rainbows” from their upcoming EP.

If you could combine the mellower aspects of Rush with the retro psychedelic rock vibes of Tame Impala, you’d start to get an idea of what The Crowleys’ new single is about. Its clean electric guitars and synths form a bed of warm chords appropriate for its comfortable crooning of vocals to rest in.

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The band is comprised of Stuart Downie (drums/backing vocals), Kaulin Horlick (bass), Justyn Horlick (guitar/keys) and Cohen Wylie (guitar/lead vocals) from Hamilton, Ontario. When the four-piece aren’t jamming, they’re trying to obtain an Old Milwaukee Ice sponsorship, playing D&D in the van between gigs, and writing love songs.

“Pink Rainbows” comes from their new forthcoming EP Colours Change Their Tone, due out this Friday, February 9th. The band said this regarding the song:

“Pink Rainbows is the first song that we have recorded that we never played as a full band prior to hitting the studio. Cohen wrote the song awhile back and recorded a few of the parts, and then the rest of the band kind of wrote and recorded on the fly. It gave a lot of creative freedom and we believe it shows in the final product.”

Keep up with The Crowleys on their social media. And check back for their new EP February 9th on Bandcamp.

-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: Nate Barnes Dives Deep On New Solo Project Plutinos

By: Julia Talen

Having toured and played with musicians and bands such as Rose Hill Drive, Ryan Bingham, Pete Townshend, and Matisyahu, Nate Barnes has set out on his own with his musical project Plutinos. Listeners can pick up on subtle influences, from the rock’n’roll of Rose Hill Drive to the mellow, singer/songwriter qualities of music by Ryan Bingham in Barnes’ new record, but Plutinos dives deep, proving Nate Barnes as a musician with his own sound and vision. Barnes has written, performed, and recorded all of the music on the EP, and each track incorporates a plethora of Barnes’ musical skills encompassing a wide variety of rock genres, from psychedelic, to indie, lo-fi, classic, and everything in between. Simultaneously, verse content explores the nuances of breaking the mold and becoming yourself after trying to fit into others’ boxes.

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The first track off the self-titled EP titled, “Out of Touch,” draws listeners into the disorientation of feeling “out of touch” with reality and with yourself. The guitar and bass are strong, and symbols thrash as we drop into the tune. Barnes’ voice is hazy and distant, rounding out the harder rock’n’roll instrumentals while also playing on the theme of feeling mixed-up and frustrated, “floating in the wicked sea” of “false hope, broken dreams” and feeling “out of touch.”

The second track, “Dream is Lost,” juxtaposes the first, with a slower more reflective tone. The tune opens up with language that conjures vague but evocative imagery with phrases like “slowly fades away” and “edges blur” denoting dreams, memories, and lost feelings. The instrumentals in this track mirror the sung lines, and the tune feels abstract and lulling.  Echoing and ethereal “ooo’s,” which we got a taste of in the first track, accompany the repetitive refrain in which Barnes croons, “the dream is lost.” His vocals are so echoey they are almost hollow, hovering over the resounding and meandering guitar that takes us through this misty, introspective track, which mourns the loss of a real, true dream, forgotten from getting caught up in a fantastical illusion.

Nathan Barnes.

Nathan Barnes.

Up next is “Trying To Be,” which traverses the relentless pressures of fitting into conventional molds or boxes you think you should be in. The guitar and drums are heavy, again contrasting Barnes’ hazy vocals, which feel slightly more clear in this song. The lyrics are relatable, talking about social media’s influence on people “trying to be” something they’re not, and the tune, quite catchy, makes this one a stand out.

In “Falling Away,” the track opens with a more rustic guitar before Barnes layers his now signature “ooo’s” that haunt and echo with a bass and drums that reverberate. There is a beautiful bridge in this one, almost as if we come to a reckoning in this EP’s story of self-destruction while trying to fit in, where Barnes’ sublime guitar reminds me of something in a Sigur Ros song. Listeners get lost in this tune as it ebbs out and we wake up to the final track.

“Hand in Hand” is a hopeful send off to forge forward from the messiness of life with support so you don’t fade into illusory societal conventions and pressures. The verses sound like Tame Impala- psychedelic and deliciously dreamlike- yet the refrain, which builds, reminds me of the rawness that the Dum Dum Girls cultivate in a variety of their tunes.  A few bridges bring in that interesting, experimental, and ethereal guitar soloing similar to the previous track, highlighting how this holistic album weaves vocal and instrumental themes throughout, keeping it cohesive.

This record “venture[s] into uncharted wates… to dive deep,” as Barnes’ explains, like the mythological creatures named after the trans-Neptunian plutinos, who are associated with an underworld. Barnes’ self-titled EP feels hypnotic, raw, and contemplative. He has taken his experience playing with other bands, elevated it, and created something that is true, authentic, original, and definitely astronomical.

-Julia

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

Wrap Your Ears In Our 'A Very Indie Holiday' Playlist

Spend your holiday season with your ears wrapped in our newest playlist! “A Very Indie Holiday” by tastemaker Sierra Voss has tunes by artists like The Shins, Fruit Bats, Vulfpeck, LCD Soundsystem, Blitzen Trapper, The Lumineers, Cat Power, and of course, Christmas-loving Sufjan Stevens.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out our many playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our Contact page and do it!

Happy Holidays music lovers.

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

19-Year-Old Ben Pisano Proves You Can't Underestimate Young Artists With Current Project Corsicana

By: Will Baumgartner

When Denver band Corsicana took the stage at Boulder Theater as openers for local-gone-international heavyweights Devotchka, one couldn’t help wondering how much such a young, slender band could deliver live. I’d heard the album Haven online, and while the music had definitely drawn me in and left me impressed, I also noted that all the instruments and electronics had been played by Ben Pisano, the group’s 19-year-old frontman. Like Prince’s first recorded efforts, where he also played everything on the recording, my question was, “Great stuff, but what’s it gonna sound like live?”   

Corsicana. Photo Credit:  Montana Martin

Corsicana. Photo Credit:  Montana Martin

Corsicana onstage was indeed a small, young-looking band. Pisano in the middle with his guitar and sensitive look, two petite women flanking him on guitar and bass, and another member on drums. By the middle of the first song of their set though, most of my skepticism about the band had vanished, and I found myself reminded of two things: 1) Never underestimate the power and scope that can be drawn out of two guitars, a bass, a drum kit, and a little bit of electronics. And 2) Never assume that the young have little of depth or substance to deliver.

Steinway & Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Steinway & Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Being the first of two opening acts (Pandas & People, another rising local band from Fort Collins, were coming up next), Corsicana only had a half-hour to win me over, which they unequivocally did. In the first song, Haven’s “Revelry,” I heard why the term “dream pop” is used right after “indie rock” in the “About” section of their Facebook page; the swirling music and ethereal vocals of the verses definitely invoked a floating, dreamy feeling. Then, the wait to see how hard they could rock was over, as the song’s chorus kicked into passionate overdrive.  

In the second song, “Attrition” (also from the Haven album), I began to hear the more “pop” side of Corsicana, as I was reminded of a sort of Death Cab-meets-Radiohead combination of delicate verse with beautiful falsetto vocals leading into a hard-driving bridge. Guitarist Melanie Steinway (also of Denver band Tyto Alba), bassist Jordan Leone, and Amos Chase on drums and synthesizer all worked beautifully together with Pisano to create the feel of a real band, not just a solo artist with backing musicians.

The third song, “Empyrean,” showcased more of Corsicana’s well-crafted way with linking a wistful verse with sparse instrumentation to an explosive chorus. It also boasted a killer arrangement, showing that Pisano and company are more than familiar with the art of balancing and bouncing musical colors off of each other with a masterful use of dynamics.

Ben Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Ben Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

One of the things that I find so impressive about Pisano’s songwriting is his lyrics. Though I couldn’t always make out what he was singing at the show, I later asked him to send me the lyrics, and was a bit blown away by how literary his writing style is. His songs read like short stories, with imagistic sentences creating little snapshot-like flash fictions where one can picture a whole scene or even a period of time in people’s lives. “Empyrean” also boasts the added feat of being a story told entirely in dialogue; the song is a conversation between two people, with each line separated from the next by quotation marks. And apropos to the rather epic scope of the music, all the songs have either direct references to history and myth, or an overall mythical/historical feel. Epic battles, exiled characters, big cities and small hallways, funeral pyres, and people locked in or out of a “prison of heart”. In these days of illiterate solipsism, it’s really something to read lyrics that evoke whole worlds and complex lives.

The next song, “Kokytos”, continued Pisano’s fascination with myth: Kokytos is one of the five magical rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology, and translates as “The River of Wailing.” This was, ironically, the most upbeat and insistent song of the set, at least musically. The lyrics imply more of the story of heartbreak and frustration that seems to be the central theme of this young man’s songs- at least for now- but the music is so insistent that I couldn’t resist grooving and bopping a bit to it. Again, Pisano showed exquisite vocal prowess, veering between his falsetto and a full-throated howl. And like a lot of the songs in this set, the ending featured the band’s ability to power-drive upward to an instrumental climax.  

The set’s closer “Patron,” another song from the Haven album, again reminded me a bit of the Death Cab/Radiohead combo I’d heard at first, while also invoking a sort of stripped-down version of the Icelandic experimental rock band Sigur Ros. (This was actually not the first time in their set that I heard echoes of that band.) This song had a bit more pop and drive to it, while still having an unhurried groove, and gave an appropriately powerful ending to their set as it rocked harder and harder through the instrumental section that closes the song.

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When I asked Pisano where he got the band name, he told me it was the title of a song by The Antlers, one of his favorite bands. Listeners may hear all kinds of influences in Corsicana’s music, and considering Pisano’s powerful and expansive voice, it’s not hugely surprising that he was chosen to open for Devotchka, whose singer Nick Urata arguably possesses one of the most impressive voices in modern music. But Pisano’s ultimate achievement, so early in life, is that after hearing his music for a while, it sounds like no one else as much as Corsicana.

Corsicana will be taking some time off from performing to go back into the studio for the rest of 2017, and according to Pisano, these sessions will make use of not only of his live bandmates, but also of several guest artists contributing. Given what Corsicana has already done, I’m sure the new recordings will be an event well worth the wait and anticipation.  

Keep up with Corsicana on Facebook and their website.

-Will

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

Tyto Alba Release Haunting Video For "The Hunger"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s indie rock outfit Tyto Alba released their newest music video this week for their track “The Hunger.” The song is from the band’s EP, In Our Own Time, which dropped earlier this year.

Frontwoman Melanie Steinway’s haunting vocals combined with eerie masked figures make “The Hunger” and its accompanying music video a mysterious and emotive track. The video, which was filmed by Slice Cinematics (A Shadow of Jaguar), showcases Steinway performing at Syntax Physic Opera surrounded by men in feathered masks interspersed with eldritch church scenes and Steinway calling out at her own reflection. Colorado’s Brent Cowles makes an anonymous appearance as the band’s “voodoo priest” at the start of the video as well.

A scene from "The Hunger."

A scene from "The Hunger."

Tyto Alba held their release show for the video last night at Syntax, a venue which has turned into a local haven for many musicians, and which was a new addition to this year’s Underground Music Showcase spots.

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Check out the band’s video for yourself above and stay on the lookout for more new music from Tyto Alba by keeping up with the band 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.

Red Bull Sound Select Brings The Hotelier, Thick Business, & Overslept To Globe Hall Denver

Red Bull Sound Select and Consequence of Sound have joined forces this month to bring The Hotelier with Thick Business and Overslept to Denver’s Globe Hall Wednesday, September 6th. You can save $10 off tickets and snag entrance for only $5 by RSVPing at this link. Curious about the bill? We’re glad you asked...

The Hotelier.

The Hotelier.

The Hotelier, who are touring on their third record Goodness, are a Massachusetts alt rock outfit who first gained wide attention in 2014. Pitchfork once said their record Home, Like NoPlace Is Thereburns with a five-alarm intensity… with rousing group chants, call-and-response hooks, and collegiate jangle.” It’s been considered a “classic of the emotive rock-revival cannon,” meaning you should join us at this show for the feels.

Thick Business.

Thick Business.

Thick Business, who we actually caught at The UMS in 2016, are a Boise, Idaho based four-piece who mix indie with prog rock and psych pop. Apes On Tape recently said, “Thick Business borders on the epic while still being a damn good time.” We concur. Your $5 is worth it for this band alone.

Overslept.

Overslept.

And then there is local quartet Overslept, a mixture of “heartwarming indie rock and acoustic-forward pop.” The Denver band are currently playing shows in support of their record That’s Not Very Punk Rock Of You, which the band describes as “a collection of low gain songs.” Cool.

So grab your tickets now for this 18+ show and get ready for sweet sounds and BBQ at Denver’s Globe Hall with Red Bull Sound Select and Consequence of Sound. Tickets are only $5 at our link; $15 at the door. More information in the Facebook event. See you on Wednesday, September 6th Denver!

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

Premiere: Compass & Cavern's "Good Enough" Showcases Sound Of Their New Alt-Pop Record

By: Norman Hittle

It’s been two years of cultivation with odd dreams of rock’n’roll legends, bouts with love, and feeling the press of time as temporal beings; and finally the Denver based indie-rock/power-pop duo Compass & Cavern are back with their full-length album Before it Begins, and premiering their third music video from the record for the track “Good Enough.”

Compass & Cavern is frontman/guitarist Will Timbers, and synth-master Chris Frucci. Their name is derived from two concepts that resonated with Will and Chris throughout the project’s formation. “Compass” refers to the phrase, “don’t confuse the map with the territory.” Will first came across this idea in college philosophy lectures and thought it was a particularly beautiful way of describing how we mistakenly claim to “know” things with which we have a surface-level connection. For example, we could learn everything there is to know about the Grand Canyon, but our understanding of its grandeur is incomplete until we actually experience it for ourselves. The “map” pales in comparison to the “territory” it is representing.

“Cavern” is an allusion to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, a parable that uses sweet imagery to help us understand how we develop ideas about what is “real.” Remember the black and blue vs. white and gold dress picture that took the internet by storm in early 2015? That was a powerful and tangible example for how we can experience reality differently because of our varying perceptions of the surrounding world. Knowing this, C&C sees music as the best medium to share perspectives with others.

As far as sonic similarities, I would say C&C’s sound is influenced by some of the more formidable alt-pop acts such as 311, Twenty One Pilots, and Weezer.

Regarding the video, Compass & Cavern told BolderBeat:

“The song attempts to portray a blend of confidence and self-doubt in the context of a relationship (or at least a desired relationship!). It's the feeling of superiority and the recognition of personal shortcomings when thinking about what, or who, is best for a person you admire. It's basically a pride pendulum swing. The video plays on that theme, but leaves even more ambiguity as to who the ‘good guys’ are in the story. With every song we write, my biggest hope is that listeners will understand and identify with the emotion and message, at least to some degree.”

Stream and listen to Compass & Cavern’s Before it Begins on Bandcamp, add them to your Spotify playlists, and take a gander at the creative storylines in their other videos on YouTube!

-Norman

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

The 2017 Underground Music Showcase Announces Second Round of Artists

The Underground Music Showcase 2017 just announced their second round of artists for this year's festival! Additions include: Headliner Zola Jesus and artists like Bad Licks, Chocolate Diamond, Dear Rabbit, Decatur, Edison, HERESTOFIGHTIN, The Hollow, innerspace, The Kinky Fingers, Ned Garthe Explosion, Retrofette (we should mention here we're premiering something awesome from this band this Friday), Sleepy SunSIR, Sugar Skulls & Marigolds, Sur Ellz, Treehouse Sanctum, Turvy Organ, & more! Make sure to get your tickets for the July 27th-30th festival in the heart of Denver here. And see our previous story for initial lineup announcements at our original announcement link.

Reminiscing on last year's UMS? Peek back at our coverage of 2016:

-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: Ireland's Empty Lungs Drop New Indie Grunge Rock EP, 'Don't Get It'

By: Trevor Ryan

Empty Lungs recently released their third EP Don't Get It on Hidden Pony Records, and it will undoubtedly leave you wanting so much more from the trio if you get down with indie grunge vibes. Fronted by Matt Carson, the three-piece utilizes classic and new age elements meshed together to produce one insane gem.

Wasting absolutely no time getting you to their sweet sounds on Don't Get It, the three track project confidently throws you into their fresh, original, and upbeat sound from the start. With every track nearly borderlining ballad territory, Don’t Get It will dwell on your mind for days with its immensely catchy hooks and adrenaline pumping breakdowns.

Check out Don't Get It:

The band, who are based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, have quite the following overseas and online. But what makes this project so unique is the contentment you will get from the record as a whole. You can legitimately feel the raw effort put into each track, and are only left wanting more of their refreshingly distorted sound.

Watch Empty Lungs’ video for “Losing It. FInding It.”:

Be sure to keep up with Empty Lungs on their Facebook; follow their current tour 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.

The 2017 Underground Music Showcase Initial Lineup Has Arrived

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The long-awaited and highly anticipated Underground Music Showcase 2017 lineup has arrived. With headliners Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esmé Patterson, this year's fest will take place July 27th-30th. Colorado’s Bandits, Britt Margit, This Broken Beat, Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers, Brent Cowles, The Burroughs, Chloe Tang, CITRA, Coastal Wives, Colfax Speed Queen, Corsicana, déCollage, Dirty Few, Dragondeer, Wolf van Elfmand, Evan Holm & The Restless Ones, Gasoline Lollipops, Get Along, Jilly.FM, Joseph Lamar, King Cardinal, Last of the Easy Riders, Loretta Kill, Mawule, Modern Leisure, One Flew West, The Other Black, Povi, RL Cole, The Savage Blush, Silver and Smoke, SIXXXD, Slow Caves, SYCDVK, Television Generation, The Velveteers, Whiskey Autumn, Whole Milk, Wildermiss, and Yasi are just some of the acts on the bill we've featured in the last year, so needless to say, we're stoked on this lineup. And there are more artists still TBA!

Stay tuned for more UMS info and get ready to join us on Denver's South Broadway for one of our favorite events of the summer! Tickets here.

Reminiscing on last year's UMS? Peek back at our coverage of 2016:

-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.

NYC's DIIV Are Back On The Scene & Playing This Saturday At Summit Music Hall

By: Sierra Voss

New York’s DIIV are back on the scene and taking the stage at Summit Music Hall this Saturday, May 13th via Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Denver as curated by The UMS. The band recently posted on Instagram, “YES… the DIIV is playing some shows. Same clothes, new outlook on life. #soberville #day33.” Sick.

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DIIV formed back in 2011 by frontman Zachary Cole Smith. The band released their sophomore album Is the Is Are last year after a three year gap from their first release, Oshin (2012). DIIV’s albums are known for there swooshy guitar lines and sonic song structure. The dream pop, shoegazing vibe the band started back in 2012 has been deepened and elongated in their newest release. This Saturday’s showcase also includes openers Candace, a trio of full of psych dream tunes from Portland, as well as Colorado’s own surf pop indie rock outfit Slow Caves! This is a powerful bill, so come check out the show! Just for being a BB reader, you can nab $5 tickets here ($15 at the door kids). Get to it and stay tuned for our photo gallery from the show-

Listen to DIIV’s Is the Is Are:

-Sierra

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

Denver's Coastal Wives Stay True to Their Vows

By: Jura Daubenspeck

It’s the kind of music that sounds dynamic and new, but twirls around you with a vague familiarity. It’s the kind of music that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but tells stories that feel relatable and reminiscent. It’s the music of Coastal Wives.

Coastal Wives.

Coastal Wives.

You may have caught them at one of their Underground Music Showcase sets throughout the years, or maybe you’ve snuck into one of their shows in the Denver area. If you’re lucky enough to have seen them play live, you might have found yourself wondering how to categorize their sound before quickly realizing some things just shouldn’t be held to a mold.

Coastal Wives has a little something for everyone. You could label them as indie rock, but that’d be too easy, as there’s so many other sounds sewn into their music. Their sound has a gentle depth to it, and haunting qualities that place you into flashbacks of the storyteller. With vocals that are just the right amount of raspy, and lyrics that you can sink your teeth into, Coastal Wives take indie rock into their own hands and bend it like putty.

Since their inception in 2014, the band has had two releases, Coastal Wives (2015) and Traditions (2016). Listening to the two collections, you can tell that the latter, Traditions, was a more playful, but well thought-out move for the group. The four-song EP has a tighter, fine-tuned quality that feels personal, palatable, and unique. Coming from a group that favors quality over quantity, these releases have left us with just enough solid tuneage to keep us craving more.

Listen to Traditions:

Coastal Wives have been working hard as ever, writing songs and rehearsing every chance they get. They’ll be hitting the studio soon, ready to work on some tantalizing new material sure to please your music-loving ears.

The band will also be performing at Larimer Lounge on April 29th, along with Master Ferocious, Weather Big Storm, and Cool Dogs in the Kennel. So give these guys a listen and be sure to catch them at their upcoming show later this month - it’s a guaranteed good time. Buy your tickets here!

Connect with Coastal Wives on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

-Jura

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

Review: A Calling West Release New Record, 'Space For Echoes'

By: Trevor Ryan

Matt Owen, also known as A Calling West, has just released his latest album, Space For Echoes. Indie rock based out of Boulder, CO, A Calling West is a relatively new project. Owen’s last release under the name was with his EP, Static, which was released in 2015.

The feel of Space for Echoes is pretty progressive. Starting out with a few very mellow, experimental tracks which are backed by a female vocalist, Matt and his instrumentals build with each tune. Every song gives you the sense of this specific build, which feels like it rockets upward on the upbeat vibes of “Her Name Is Summer” and then mellows out with the instrumental "Forest" before ending with the truly echoey at times "Climbing Trees."

There is a strong, independent-feel to the entire record, which was mixed and mastered at World Famous Studios in Lakewood, CO. It’s a very raw, yet well executed project that provides some of the best long-drive road trip tunes I’ve heard in awhile. At times it feels like an elaborate experiment with different sounds, down to the very pure, yet offbeat vocals that fade in and out of each track.

A Calling West, in short, definitely has my vote. Experimental music is thriving right now and if there is a local band that has the potential to grow this genre, it’s safe to say these guys are definitely in the running.

Be sure to follow ACW on Facebook, Twitter, and their BandCamp 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.

Electric Guest Are On One Powerful Comeback Tour

By: Sierra Voss

Electric Guest stopped by the Bluebird Theater last weekend, offering up one last hurrah before the work week for Denver residents. The room was packed with excited fans, a surprising turnout for a Sunday night. Electric Guest had been on a five year hiatus, and it was clear via conversations floating around the room that the audience was excited and had been anticipating their return.

Electric Guest hail from Los Angeles, where they formed their band 11 years ago. They roll four deep, comprised of Asa Taccone (lead vocals), Matthew Compton (drums), Tory Dahlhoff (guitar and keys) and Todd Dahlhoff (bass). Prior to their most recent album Plural, the band had not released since their debut record Mondo in 2012. When Mondo hit the airwaves, they quickly fell into the swell of indie rock music emerging at the time. Just as the band began to rise in the ranks of indie bands, they disappeared for five years. So it made sense that the room at the Bluebird was buzzing in anticipation to see if these boys would pick up where they left off.

Watch Electric Guest’s music video for “Dear to Me”:

The band started the show with no sound. Lead singer Asa Taccone immediately took it as a cue to ask the audience questions, while the sound technicians got things squared away. Asa asked the audience if anyone had some weed. Leave it up to Denver to immediately respond by someone throwing a whole vial of weed directly at his face.   

Asa Taccone.

Asa Taccone.

I was pleasantly surprised by the band's unique sound and lively performance once things got started. Lead singer, Asa Taccone has some crazy-glorious vocals going on. About 80% of the time, he rocked out in his super-clear and powerful male falsetto. Chills. The show really picked up when the band dropped an old favorite, “This Head I Hold.” Audience members cried out after “Troubleman,” but to no avail; this particular song went unplayed. The band wrapped up their set just under the hour mark.

EG’s music has certainly evolved since 2012, taking a turn away from a full-bodied band to a more focused, electronic sound. Still, Electric Guest hold true to their funky, vintage, retro-groove vibe, the one that first caught the attention of American and European audiences five years ago.

Matthew Compton.

Matthew Compton.

Curious yourself as to where this band is headed on their path of return? Catch a show for yourself by snatching tickets here.

-Sierra

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

Drown Your Sorrows In Hartwick Pines' Sophomore EP 'Melancholia'

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Got the case of a heavy, blue heart? Hartwick Pines’ EP Melancholia is here to help.  

Hartwick Pines.

Hartwick Pines.

Cozy up to some indie, angsty rock by listening to Hartwick Pines’ latest EP Melancholia. It’s four songs sharp enough to rip through that heartache of yours, just enough for you to feel it, because you weren’t feeling it enough already. I don’t know about you, but when I’m sad and broken, this music fills my hollow heart and I crave it.

Listen to Melancholia:

Hartwick Pines, an indie rock duo comprised of Ryan Menghini and Brandon Buttner based in Los Angeles, released the sophomore EP late last year. It’s perfect for a somber day, preferably overcast and rainy. In other words, don’t listen to this when you’re ecstatic, ready to blow with expendable energy. It won’t work.

Purposefully titled Melancholia, this EP takes your hand and leads you to a place of solitude and introspection, conjuring up loneliness and heartache of love past. The ambient undertones and the airy vocals let you feel like you’re floating, giving you a sense of safety to let go and take up space so that you can experience and feel those uncomfortable places within, without getting claustrophobic.

Being an EP, it’s a short, four-song journey, but it leaves a mark nonetheless. Check out the band’s Facebook page to stay tuned on upcoming shows and such.

-Mirna

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

Talking Festivals, Politics, & New Music with Dressy Bessy's Tammy Ealom

By: Claire Woodcock

Dressy Bessy was one of the first bands remnant of the Riot Grrrl movement in the early 90s based in Denver, CO. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and lyricist Tammy Ealom instituted the indie band, associated with the prolific Elephant Six Collective Recording Company, with guitarist John Hill (who also plays with the E6 band The Apples in Stereo), bassist Rob Greene, and drummer Darren Albert in 1996. After the band released four albums, Craig Gilbert superseded Albert on drums in 2005, and DB released 'Electrified' that same year on a new label, Transdreamer Records.

Dressy Bessy.

Dressy Bessy.

In 2008, when Dressy Bessy released their second record with Transdreamer, the stock market crashed, and the band learned the consequences of trying to tour through an economic recession. Then the country didn’t hear much from Dressy Bessy. In 2015, bassist Greene left, and the end of the Obama era was in sight. As a result, Ealom, Hill, and Gilbert started recording again, this time in their home studio. The product of this recording was 'Kingsized,' which Dressy Bessy released a year ago. Since then, the band has toured the country on the frontlines of a new wave of protest music.

Recently, Ealom spoke with me about upcoming shows and plans for a new record. Read on:

So I heard you went to D.C. recently for the Women's March on Washington.

I did, I did.

What did you think?

It was completely overwhelming and beautiful, and I'm glad I did it. It was beautiful to see so many like minded people come together to protest. I'm still in shock with all of these politics just like everybody else. I had never been in a crowd that big before and it was emotional. But you actually did feel a camaraderie and to feel in camaraderie with that many people at once can be overwhelming. It was incredible, and I'm glad I did it, and it doesn't stop there obviously.

What was your takeaway from being in D.C. that day?

I learned that we not in this alone; there are a lot of people who are freaked out and not standing for the way our government and our world is going with this new Trump administration. I think I'm suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome just over this entire year. Our album came out almost a year ago and we toured the country a couple of times all the way around, the whole time just sort of reaching out to people and just trying to get across how important it is and was that we're paying attention. I was a true proponent of Obama and I felt really comfortable with him as our president. He is an intelligent, calm person [who was] in charge of our country and it made me comfortable. I didn't obsess about politics everyday. Now I do. I wake up in the middle of the night and I reach over and I grab my phone just to check to see and make sure we don't have to put on gas masks, you know what I mean? Like this is such a crazy time.

Tammy Ealom.

Tammy Ealom.

Dressy Bessy dropped 'Kingsized' about a year ago-

February 5th last year.

So coming up on exactly a year after taking a considerable amount of time off, what has it been like to jump back into the world of album releases and tours during an election year?

It’s been amazing. The record came around about the same time civil unrest was starting, so it was amazing because I was able to go and let it out. I live for this shit. I've been doing it for 20 years and we're continuing on. We're planning a new album hopefully next year. I'm halfway there with new songs, and they just keep coming, so I'm going to take advantage of it and get it out there.

Any ideas on what Dressy Bessy’s next album’s going to be like?

That's a tough question because I don't question where my songs come from, I just let them develop like, ‘Okay, cool cool’ and a lot of times I'm not exactly sure where they came from. I don't sit down like, ‘Oh, I'm going to write a song today.’ Sometimes I just get this feeling as I lay there like ‘Oh God;’ it's like a ball of [noise] and I just let it out through song.

Rock, you just rock.

Rock and roll, that's all it is. It's all rhythm and blues.

Dressy Bessy got its start in Denver over two decades ago. How do you see the topics and songs you guys write about and play evolving over time?

Well, the internet was a big game changer. When our last album came out, Myspace was the place to promote your music. So I think [the internet’s] opened up a world where people can get their music out there. One thing, around 2008 before Obama came in, it wasn't feasible for a lot of bands to tour because gas was so expensive and people didn't have the money to go to shows. So that was kind of part of the reason we stepped back for a second too, because that was the way we went out and made a little bit of money to pay our rent. Now there's like a thriving DIY scene that's happening that more people hear about because of the internet. You kind of just take it day by day or month by month, it's like, ‘Okay let's go out and see what's happening.’

That's such a great point you make about the internet being a promotional tool for musicians. A lot of times I feel that my generation, millennials, myself included, take the access that the internet provides for music exploration for granted.

I mean, it used to be you'd have to send flyers out to street teams and you'd contact them through snail mail and then get their address and send packets of flyers. Now it's just as quick as Facebook. People are paying attention and they see [music] that way.

That makes me wonder how the internet has affected both your pre-existing fan base, as well as your new beginning. Because the people who were listening to 'Pink Hearts Yellow Moons' and were turning out for Dressy Bessy shows are a little older now...

We kind of knew that we'd have to rebuild our fan base, which is what we're doing right now and what we have done this year. It's just what we do, but we are finding our fans range from ages 4 to 70, which is pretty incredible. There are literally all ages at our shows, which is amazing. And a lot of our old friends who aren't paying attention every day are finding out. It happens every time we leave a city; the next day we get a load of messages: ‘Oh my God you guys are still going!’ And this happens every day: ‘Oh my God you have a new album! See you next time!’ And then they see us the next time.

I feel like 'Kingsized' definitely lends itself to a new generation of listeners that are looking for or to hear some sort of sanity in music, you know?

I appreciate that. It's a crazy world [laughs] it's just a crazy world. But yeah the struggle is always there and if it weren’t there, I don't think I'd appreciate what I do as much. It makes it real.

So speaking of the internet, your website teases more shows this year. Any idea when and where they'll be?

In March we're doing the Treefort Music Fest, which is a festival in Boise, Idaho. So we're planning to do some Northwest shows around that. The festival invites are coming in and we're sort of just using those as anchor shows to tour sections of the country at a time. Going out and covering the country all at once can be exhausting and physically, mentally taxing. We used to do six to eight week tours and just go do the whole thing and then come back just like [exhausted] you know? We've discovered that [for us] to keep our sanity, it's best that we go out max two weeks at a time, and just do regions of the country, and then come back for two weeks and go out and tour another section of the country. In March, we'll start doing some stuff. And we'll have Colorado shows within there too. We love Fort Collins and Grand Junction.

Awesome, right on.

Yeah it's coming. We're just trying to get a handle on it.

That's great that you're planning Colorado shows.

Oh of course. Denver is great, you know? There's a reason I've lived here for 23 plus years. I've always loved Denver. Whenever I travel, I'm excited to get home you know?

16473301_1311941575534250_2067741229250307108_n.jpg

It seems like everything went really well for Dressy Bessy since 'Kingsized' came out. I know you were sort of going into it without any real expectations, you were just kind of seeing what would happen, right?

Right. Just going in and doing what we do. I mean, if you put a record out and you expect the world to embrace you, you're bound to be let down. We do it because we have to, we don't do it because we strive to be rockstars or to be rich. We have to do this, so whether lots of people like it or not, we're still going to do it. It's a life calling for us. It's satisfying to go out for 300 people or 30 people or three people; it doesn't matter. If [the crowd’s] all into it, for us it’s completely satisfying. It’s like I always say, I just keep doing it, I keep doing it, I keep doing it, and after I'm done I'll have a legacy. It'll all be there for other generations to pick up on and perhaps be influenced by and it's much bigger than me. My music will live long after I'm dead and that's awesome. I'll take that. If the planet's still here, oh my God.

That's very forward thinking of you. So you see Dressy Bessy as a necessary voice in the industry right now.

I always have. My lyrics are always up for interpretation but I'm of the girl power generation, you know what I mean? Just speak your voice and don't take any shit. And a lot of my songs come about when there’s some sort of conflict, whether it be in my personal life or the world around us... it's sort of my way to just get it out. It could be protesting a relationship I have with a friend, or whatever. Writing songs is my way of getting any negative energy that I have towards a situation or a person or the world in general, just getting it out through song, if that makes sense.

Dressy Bessy is one of several Colorado bands who will perform at the Treefort Music Fest March 22nd-26th. CPR’s Open Air reported that local bands Trout Steak Revival, The Still Tide, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Dragondeer and Brent Cowles have also made the list. For the full lineup, which includes Angel Olsen, Mac DeMarco, The Growlers and plenty of other big names, go here.

-Claire

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

The Lollygags Release New Self-Titled EP of Feel-Good, Upbeat Rock

By: Austin Michon

On their latest self-titled EP, Denver band The Lollygags find a mature sound, reminiscent of classic rock for the modern era. Catchy, feel-good, upbeat rock and roll is the name of the game for this new release. The new lineup of Jonathan Snyder (vocals/guitar), JT Nething (vocals/guitar), Austin Rosen (drums), and Brian A.C (bass) creates a departure from the raw feeling of their 2014 release, People I Know.

According to Snyder, “Unlike that album, this time around I didn't have to play everything. Back then the band was just me and a rotating cast of characters. This time around there was more of a solid lineup and we'd been playing together for a while.” It shows. In 2017, they have crafted a refined, dirty sound that is reserved, yet edgy, and something completely unique.

Unapologetically memorable guitar riffs drive the pace of this EP, while the rhythm section creates a strong foundation, and a relaxed, yet urgent vocal line slithers in and out of the tracks. Ranging from fast paced groovy numbers (“Just Like the Rest of Them,” “Beneath the Floor”) to slower ballads (“As Hardcore as It Gets”) to Southern rock-inspired slow jams (“Drown”), the band presents something for anyone who likes good music and wants to forget the troubles of the world for a bit.

The five songs from Lollygags’ newest EP take the listener on a journey of infectious grooves through the many influences that create a blend of garage, Southern, classic, and indie rock that will make your toes tap and your head nod. Playing shows since 2011, the band has created quite a following, and the band’s upcoming shows to support their new music will surely not disappoint. Make sure to catch them at Denver’s Hard Rock Cafe this Friday, February 3rd, and keep up with their other gigs 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.

Evan Holm & The Restless Ones Have Us Reminiscing On 'Good Old Days' New EP

By: Jesse Sandoval

That feeling when you’re alone and suddenly reminded of your former lover’s touch. When you realize you’ve been without something precious for far too long. When you think about the mistakes you wish you didn’t make. When you wonder if your lingering nostalgia is another rivertooth mistake... These are the kinds of feelings that Denver’s Evan Holm & The Restless Ones stir up in the two folk soul tracks they have most recently gifted us, “Good Old Days” and “Long Gone”.

Denver's Evan Holm.

Denver's Evan Holm.

Beautifully recorded live, and on tape at Silo Sound with Todd Divel, the band's two new tantalizing tracks will be part of their latest EP, titled Good Old Days, which is set for release this week. And let me tell you, this is a release I am stoked on.

Listen to Evan Holm & The Restless One’s “Good Old Days”:

Evan Holm & The Restless Ones have managed to produce tracks that are silky smooth, soulful, and show a balanced maturity of gratifying writing and performance with “Good Old Days” and “Long Gone”. The reverb on these tunes is so comforting that it’s almost as though the alleviating effects of the music were made sonic. It is beautiful music. The group is releasing two new songs this week from the EP as well, "What I Know" and "You Are You".

Since “Good Old Days” and “Long Gone” were recorded live, we already have a sense of how tight the group is. It’s no surprise then that the five-piece have already played some major Denver gigs, and even had a UMS spot this summer.  

Evan Holm & The Restless Ones.

Evan Holm & The Restless Ones.

The CD release party for Good Old Days is slated for this Thursday, October 6th at 8PM at the Hi-Dive. Turvy Organ will open the night, and I recommend you don’t miss this one. You’ll be glad you went.

More info on the release show and other gigs can be found on the band’s Facebook page.

Recommended If You Like: The National, Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, The War on Drugs

-Jesse

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