Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs Release New Album, 'The Beautiful and the Damned'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If you’re looking for a new alt-country indie-folk group to listen to while you traverse the Rocky Mountains this weekend Colorado, we found ‘em. Meet Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs. Originally from Virginia, leader and founding member Matt Rouch moved to Denver, CO and has slowly been inserting himself into the Colorado music scene ever since. After many moonlit nights playing Meadowlark Bar’s open mic, Rouch met members Justin Catanzaro and Alex Fostar. Together, the trio has been making noise more than just upstairs, with mentions in Scene Magazine, The Marquee, and AXS.

Matt Rouch.

Matt Rouch.

Rouch’s style is a self-described “blend of new and old”, with influences that include The Decemberists, The Tallest Man On Earth, Johnny Cash, and Loretta Lynn. But above all, for Rouch it’s about the songwriting:

I guess my favorite quote about wrtiting goes something along the lines of ‘great writing isn’t better than average writing, it’s just more honest’, and I try to always remember that when I sit down to write a song.”

Rouch recently released a new full-length album, The Beautiful and the Damned. It’s a well-composed release that is perfect for summer, with its strummy tones, blazing harmonica, and overall upbeat, but daring honesty on themes like heartache and finding oneself through travelling alone. It’s a release definitely worth checking out, and can be streamed on the band’s website.

Matt Rouch and The Noise Upstairs have several Colorado shows coming up, so make sure to stop over to one of their live sets and keep up with them here!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Card Catalog: Move And Feel And Dance

By: Kelly Harthan

“My intentions are to relate to others and to share my stories. I want to make people move and feel and dance.”

-Jenn Tatro

Card Catalog labels their sound as classic American, ranging from blues to alt-country to rock, and I would have to agree, with maybe a hint of “rockabilly” added in the mix. The Colorado trio consists of Jenn Tatro (vocals/lyrics/guitar), Dalton Clayton (lead guitar) and Rob Spears (bass/backup vocals). Tatro’s strong voice packs a Pat Benatar punch, ridden with subtle rich tones and emotionally charged melodies reminiscent of a classic Patsy Cline. Accompanied by Clayton’s aggressive guitar licks and Spears’ strong dance-oriented bass lines, the trio create a distinctive sound of their own, with an energy resemblant of JD McPherson. In short, Card Catalog makes you want to dance as they showcase their originals, along with covers from Johnny Cash, Queens of the Stone Age, and Prince.

The band name Card Catalog came from Tatro, who believes it reflects their music: “I want to be able to do a broad spectrum of things with our music, and not get stuck in one sound. I feel like the possibilities are endless when searching through an actual card catalog."

Card Catalog.

Card Catalog.

With this group, it’s apparent that friendship and collaborative creation are at the nucleus of their sound. Clayton and Tatro had been a duo for several years prior to the addition of Spears, who they met when he jumped onstage uninvited during one of the duo’s open mic sets a few months ago. After Clayton and Tatro let Spears sing a Prince cover, he was officially in. Reflecting on the creative process and accompanying sense of accomplishment of the band now that their momentum as a trio has begun, Clayton said, “those moments only happen because we support each other and help drive each other”.

When I first sat down to do a little research on Card Catalog, I was surprised at how little I could find of their actual music. “We have been hesitant to put too much recorded material onto social media sites until the quality is where we'd like it,” explained Spears. But after getting a sneak peek at two songs from their upcoming EP, I was impressed and set out to do my best to describe this local band’s unique flare. As a songwriter myself, I couldn’t help but pay close attention to Tatro’s lyrics, and the emotion that translates through her vocal melodies in the tracks on the band’s upcoming EP, Can I Be.

“The story behind Can I Be comes from my desire to have someone in my life that lets me be exactly who I am. At the time I wrote that song, I had just come out of a relationship that didn't go the way I was expecting. I just kept coming back to the feeling of wanting to be the gas for someone's fire, and to have something where we lifted each other up.” Tatro said.

In talking with Card Catalog about their recent entrance into the local scene, Clayton added, “People around here really love and support live music. I feel lucky I get to play for these folks.” As a native Coloradoan, I could not agree more. So there you have it- great music and great people with something to say.

Card Catalog has several shows coming up this summer in Boulder, as well as an upcoming EP release for Can I Be. Get details on their Facebook and Instagram.

-Kelly

Hillary Susz is a Denver Mod Rock Queen Hitting The Boulder Scene... Tonight!

By: Dawn Raymond

Mod Rock: Meet Colorado. 

Hillary Susz is a Denver based mod-rocker originating from Seattle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Western Washington University and draws her musical influence from a variety of genres: freak folk, ambient pop, psychedelic, jazz, and soul.

Denver's Hillary Susz.

Denver's Hillary Susz.

Perusing Susz is a bit like sampling fine wine. Between her rich and varied vocals, and guitar that ranges from gently melodic to good ol' grunge, you sense some of the influences that round out her sound. Those influences range from Nina Simone to PJ Harvey, but I swear I detected a little essence of Interpol and Johnny Cash as well (go figure).

Susz’s lyrics are hauntingly poetic, as one might expect from an artist with a bachelor's degree in writing. There are too many worthwhile phrases to begin to list here, but if you get the chance to let her lyrics roll around in your mouth, you will find them quite satisfying.  

Hillary has a summer tour in the works to support her upcoming LP release of The Heart Will Jump (With Nowhere to Fall). You can find tour updates on her website, or on her Facebook page.  

Fortunately, you can also find her in person tonight at The No Name Bar at 10PM. It will be a gratifying evening of auditory entertainment for all.

Watch Susz’s official music video for her track “Swat Team”: 

-Dawn

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

*This feature was originally published 03/23/16, but due to a snowstorm, Susz's show (then at Innisfree) was cancelled. As such, we're re-publishing it for her new show, tonight (at The No Name Bar).