Premiere: Augustus Release New Single "Demons" From Upcoming EP

By: Andrew Wright

In the dizzying internet world where all the different kinds of music thrown at you can be overwhelming, to the pop-dominated airwaves of half-dead radio, it is a touch of awesome nostalgia to hear simple, cool, straightforward rock and roll. The Boulder-based band Augustus are a call back to this music, the kind that simply exudes cool without trying.

“Demons” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming EP, which is due out in the spring of 2018. “Demons” is simple in its form as a rock song, but this is a good thing. The most important lesson I ever learned in music theory class was to write music and then have the theory make sense of it; in other words it’s ok to be simple when the music is actually good. Augustus have accomplished this powerful principle with “Demons,” making this band yet another solid one in the ever-growing pool of awesome talent in Colorado. With bluesy guitars under frontman Colin Kelly’s thick and reverb-y vocals, to the rock-heavy drum patterns on this track, “Demons” is a perfect wave of rock’n’roll.

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“Demons” is the first of two singles to be released from the band’s Denver Art Institute sessions, where drummer Jay Elliot is an adjunct professor. Members Jim Herlihy (guitar) and Chad Mathis (bass) tracked their instruments live at DAI along with Elliot (drums) and students from an advanced audio course helped engineer the sessions, making this song bleed even more Colorado music community vibes. The vocals and lead guitar were tracked at Casa Nostra Studios in Boulder by Kelly (vocals/guitar), with mastering by Dominick Maita.

Augustus have plans to release a music video for "Demons" soon. You can keep up with this four-piece rock'n'roll outfit and their next EP here.

-Andrew

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

"Let's Build An Album Together!": Riley Ann's Latest Project Is All About Fem Rock

By: Claire Woodcock

Colorado's Riley Ann is ready to release her latest batch of songs. There’s just one problem:

“I want to move forward with not only recording this project, but also my whole music career. But when there are so many bands willing to play for so little, it’s hard to make a living as an artist. If you turn down a non-paying gig, there’s someone else behind you who’s willing to play for exposure. It undercuts everyone else and it really has a negative impact on the entire music community.”

Riley Ann’s path from fiddling folk in Illinois with The Matriarchs to her dynamic one-woman folk rock band paved her route to Colorado. Since her move in the fall of 2015, her presence and drive have initiated various collaborations, like her Old-time duo The Darling Ravens, and a new bluegrassy pop trio, DJ Meow Mix & the Grabbers.

“Although I have several musical projects going, this album is my passion project. Now that I’m back from tour, I’m getting an all-female rock band together. My new tunes need a full band, and that’s the perfect way to showcase them live.” she recently told me.

Riley Ann.

Riley Ann.

Her story of how, in a year, she became a vocal advocate for musicians to get paid a living wage for their art, is a story that many music transplants in Colorado’s bumping scene have had to grapple with.

“Artists deserve to get paid for their art. Playing simply for exposure devalues the music,” she said. “And when that mentality spreads, how do musicians make a living? It’s not going to be through album sales or digital sales. On Spotify I get one-tenth of a cent per listen. You can’t make a living on that.”

Riley Ann launched her Kickstarter campaign in November, teasing her first single “Bloodhounds,” which was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jay Elliott (IntroVertigo Recording) and Dominick Maita Mastering, both of whom are based in Boulder, Colorado. The single is an authentic sample of Riley Ann’s new sound from the forthcoming album, which features a full rock band.

“Bloodhounds” is dark and gritty, with roots in Old-time and a heart in rock’n’roll. Riley Ann’s single was recently featured on Colorado Sound as part of Chris K’s Colorado Playlist. Her vocals are vibrant, carrying the same electric currents in the realm of female frontwomen like Angel Olsen, St. Vincent or Mount Moriah.

“I’m excited to get these songs out into the world and I don’t want to risk having to record them one at a time as I can afford them,” she reasons. “Because the longer I wait, the longer they’re going to sit, and the more dated they’re going to sound. They sound current, they sound contemporary, and they just fit right now within this renewed appreciation for the fem rock scene. It’s kind of like when Mumford & Sons came out. Everyone tried to sound like Mumford & Sons, but by the time everyone began to sound like Mumford, it was too late.”

Riley Ann’s presence in the Boulder music scene is remarkable. Not only has she founded the Coalition of Women Songwriters organization, where she’s connecting female musicians with jam and performance opportunities, empowering them to tour, write, and negotiate a living wage for their art. She also volunteers with Girls Rock Denver, a nonprofit camp that helps teen girls find their voice and form bands and collaborations. Riley Ann has proven herself throughout the past year to be a musician dedicated to building up the community around her.

“I don’t want to nickel and dime this album, I want to do it right,” she says. “And using crowdfunding is the way for me to expedite this whole process and get these songs out into the world as soon as possible.”

Riley Ann’s Kickstarter campaign ends in just a few days, so make sure to give it a view to see her rewards and show support. Donating to a local artist means you’re donating to the Colorado music scene! More about Riley Ann and her music can be found on her website.

-Claire

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

Whiskey, Love, & Death: The Making of Foxfeather's New Self-Titled Album

By: Zach Dahmen

At a time when most local acts are releasing four song EPs, Foxfeather’s new project is bucking the trend. The Boulder-based band dropped their first full length album this month, a self-titled 11-song release. Formed in 2013, the five-piece outfit consists of Carly Ricks Smith (lead vocals), Laura Stratton (guitars/keys/vocals), Patrick Coleman (upright/electric bass/violin), Ben Batchelor (drums/percussion), and Ian Hendrick (electric guitar). This Friday, October 21st is Foxfeather’s Denver CD Release Show at The Walnut Room with Doves and Wolves. Before they hit the stage, we wanted to chat with them about their songwriting style, their new album, and whiskey. Here’s our sit down with Foxfeather:

How did Foxfeather come together?

Laura: Carly and I first started working together to hone our songwriting skills. We were writing and just having fun with it. There came a point when we needed to have more to these songs than just vocals and guitar, which led us to the next stage: forming the band.

Patrick: It was last summer on tour when the five of us officially cemented the lineup.

Carly: And this really feels like the beginning, right now, with this album.

How do you feel like you’ve changed from your first EP to your new album?

Patrick: Our instrumentation has changed in a direct way. We no longer employ mandolin and fiddle. Also Ben is a jazz drummer, and that for me has changed the feel of the band immensely.

Carly: With our first EP, Laura and I really struggled with our identity, and it was difficult to let go of the idea that we were a folk duo. It took making that EP, playing, and touring with this band to make us realize that this is what we wanted. That’s why we self-titled the album; it’s all five of us playing this record.

Foxfeather. Photo Credit:   Kirsten Cohen

Foxfeather. Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

Talk to us about your recording process.

Laura: Jay Elliot was our sound engineer [on this album]. We recorded in his home studio last April for nine days. And our producer was Jagoda, who was such an integral part of the entire process. Everyone was there for the whole process.

Ben: It would have felt like we were missing a family member on Thanksgiving had we not all been there for the whole process. Jay mixed and was the conduit, and he was really able to see the tone of it and get a sense of who we are. The songs transformed in those moments.

Carly: The studio changed the way we played these songs live too. We were really trying to be as open as possible during this process.

Ian: As the lead guitarist, I found there to be a lot of pressure; there’s this responsibility, but Jay, Jagoda, and the studio made me feel confident to produce something we are all proud of. It was an authentic experience that was really special.    

Listen to Foxfeather's new self-titled album:

What do you think makes a good song and how do you incorporate that into your writing?

Patrick: Whiskey, love, and death. Those were our themes for this album.

Carly: Laura and I write these songs; it’s a process to find a story that fits. Trying to find that word that gives that exact feeling; starting with just an idea and creating a story around it. Laura and I feed off of each other in that. That base and foundation is what allows us to make these songs.

Ian: For me, a good song is not about geeking out about guitars, it’s the lyrical content and feel. Does the song make you feel something?

Ben: Yeah I think a good song evokes a response from people; that’s the end goal. To connect.

Tickets   here  ! Photo Credit:   Kirsten Cohen

Tickets here! Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

What song surprised you most while recording?

Everyone: “Day for Lovers.” (simultaneously)

Laura: We had 16 songs that we brought to the studio. We had a lot of them we weren’t sure would make it. But “Day for Lovers” was a surprise.

Carly: “Day for Lovers” is one of our oldest songs. It changed a lot. We took it and cut some verses and rearranged it to make it its own thing. Afterward, we were like ‘Holy shit. What did we just do?’ I called my mom and told her I just made some baby-making music. It’s become one our favorites.

What are your favorite places to play?

Everyone: Gold Hill Inn; it’s a special place.

Carly: Also Taco Del Gnar is a place we’ve been more than six times. They gave us the opportunity to start touring southern Colorado.

Laura: It’s a home away from home for us.

ON THE ROAD.

ON THE ROAD.

If you could play a show with any band, who would it be?

Everyone: Lake Street Dive. For sure.

What song do you wish you wrote?

Laura: “Pony” by Kasey Chambers, which we cover.

Patrick: Or Dawes’ new song.

So what’s up next for Foxfeather?

Carly: Promoting the CD, planning some small tours, and playing more festivals.

Laura: And continuing the creative process. It’s cool to think about where we can go and to not be stuck in a box.

Catch Foxfeather this Friday at The Walnut Room in Denver. Tickets here! And make sure to give their self-titled album a listen for yourself above.

-Zach

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

New On the Scene: Boulder Band Nite Owls

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Here's why you should stay up late with Boulder's Nite Owls.

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Indie rock group with a Southern twang.” That’s how Boulder’s Nite Owls describe themselves. The three-piece outfit (who are still playing around with their lineup) dropped their first EP this month, Where’ve You Been. We dig it, though we’d add there’s a little alt-punk sound to what these boys from the South are doin’. We decided to chat with Nite Owls to learn more about their birth in the Boulder scene, what it was like recording Where’ve You Been, and what these dudes plan to do next. So here’s our conversation with Nite Owls members Albert Opraseuth (vocals/guitar) and Nick Leng (drums/vocals):

First things first, how is it that Nite Owls came to be?

Albert: Well, I was born and raised in the Atlanta Metro Area, which is where I met Nick originally. I played in a few bands there, but always as lead guitar.

Nick: Yeah- we played music together in Atlanta in a band called Tasty Beverage. 

Albert: But then I moved out of the country and Nite Owls itself actually started as an idea that I had when I was teaching English in South Korea in 2012. While I was there, I contacted Nick, who was already in Boulder, and told him that when I came back to the US, I would be going to graduate school at CU Boulder.

Nick: So when Albert moved to Boulder after Korea, he shared some of the music he’d been writing with me and we started working on it together.

Awesome. How did your third member, current bassist Justin "Jud" Nair join the mix?

Albert: We’ve had a few members since we started playing together: one guitar player left to live in Seattle, and we had a keyboard player leave to pursue his own original material. Getting Jud was a happy and very lucky bonus. He’s our roommate as well. But the main core from the beginning has always Nick and myself.

The Nite Owls. Photo Credit: Murray Meetze

The Nite Owls. Photo Credit: Murray Meetze

Sweet. So after you two reunited and started working together again, how did you decide what material to include in the EP? And what was the recording process like?

Albert: Well I wrote these songs when I was back in Korea. Each of them are “songs about girls;” cliches that I had been struggling with for a while. [The EP] is basically getting relationship angst out of the way to move on and start writing about other stuff that I consider to be more important. As far as recording, I demoed out my songs on my computer and everyone else wrote their parts from that.

Nick: Then we went to our friend Jay Elliot’s professional studio and we recorded bass and drums together to a click track with scratch tracks of guitar and piano. We did our vocals in Albert’s bedroom and the rest of what we needed [we recorded] in an old barn. From there, Albert took the reins as far as production.

Awesome. We know you guys have a video out for your song “Cyclones.” Tell us about that track.

Albert: “Cyclones” is about a person that storms into your life when you think you have everything settled and they essentially infect your thoughts and turn you into a crazy person.

Ahaha- happens to the best of us. So what’s up next for Nite Owls?

Albert: We’d like to get our lineup set in January, practice and write new material in February/March, and put out a 7” in the summer. I’d also like to play more house shows. That’d be fun.

Nick: I’d just like to play more gigs and record more. It’s all about writing and playing live right now.

Speaking of- we haven’t had the chance to see you guys live yet. What has your experience been like jumping into the Boulder music scene and getting gigs?

Albert: Honestly, this town is a little weird. It’s a college town that seems very oriented to a certain type of music. Maybe it has to do with the culture and economic structures of this town, but I’d like to see more house shows or venues/dive bars on The Hill for bands to play in.

The venue shortage is a definite issue. If there are any rock club investors out there, we hope they’re listening… Anything else you’d like to add guys?

Albert: Please check out Where’ve You Been and invite us to play your next house party! We all love this town and would like to become a bigger part of the music community here.

And we’d like to see that too Boulder! So keep up with the Nite Owls events and new music here

Give Where’ve You Been a listen below:

-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.