Silver and Smoke Gear Up For Upcoming Single Release "Burning Bridges"

By: Jura Daubenspeck

There’s no other way to put it: Colorado’s western rock group Silver and Smoke have been killing it lately. With two EPs, a music video, and a West Coast tour under their belt, the band’s momentum is building, with even more exciting announcements on the horizon.

Silver and Smoke.

Silver and Smoke.

Silver and Smoke has come a long way since their inception in 2015. What began as a musical project started by high school buddies Ty Bray and Dino Ianni has steadily blossomed into a full-fledged rock’n’roll group. In the last eight months, the band has added bassist Rick Brown and reunited with former sound engineer and drummer Diego Valenzuela, creating an epic combination that rocks harder than ever.

Watch Silver and Smoke’s “Hope You’re Happy” music video:

After the release of their first two EPs Workhorse and Marking Time, the band continues to astound, with their evolution from the blues, to country-style rock, to heavy-hitting rock’n’roll. They continue to fill classic venues such as Herman’s Hideaway, Lion’s Lair, The Walnut Room, and various breweries throughout the city, yet still remain as some of the most down-to-earth, genuine music-making folks out there.

S&S. Credit: Grace Jensen. 

S&S. Credit: Grace Jensen. 

The band has been working closely with Denver’s Acacia Jade Studios recently, located in the heart of the RiNo Art District. The studio’s CEO Wesley Henkle shared a bit about what it’s been like working with the band:

“Tyler and Dino have helped us tremendously with our beat production by adding live instrumentation to not only our own songs but working as a rhythm section with other artists from various genres. Their fun high-level of energy combined with a strong work ethic and a drive for perfection makes them a great fix for AJS.”

With an ever-growing fan base, I’d advise anyone to hop on the Silver and Smoke train soon. They’ve got more music coming out, starting with their upcoming single “Burning Bridges,” which will be the first release off their soon-to-be-recorded third EP.

“Burning Bridges” is unlike anything Silver and Smoke fans have heard from them before. Its smooth, dark Santana vibe epitomizes the song’s storyline about packing up and moving on from whatever is holding you back (in this case, a relationship). The single is set to be released and available in all digital music stores on Valentine’s Day. So whether you’re a lonely heart, or a happy clam, there’s no doubt you’re going to dig what Silver and Smoke is about to showcase.

Be to sure catch Silver and Smoke at their (FREE) upcoming show next Thursday, February 2nd at Lincoln’s Roadhouse. In the meantime, subscribe to band’s newsletter and check out their website for the latest and greatest on releases, announcements, and new merchandise.

-Jura

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

Samantha Crain Makes Denver's Lion's Lair Her Own Den

By: Sierra Voss

Denver’s Lion’s Lair lives up to it's name. The bar is truly a hidden den located on Colfax where wild animals come to retreat from the daily grind. It is quite the quirky atmosphere. The walls are coated with bands stickers, and the windows draped with animal print curtains. Random photos of Moe from the Simpsons are scattered about the place.

Samantha Crain.

Samantha Crain.

Lion’s Lair was the perfect spot for artist Samantha Crain to perform in Denver last week. Crain's soft spoken and humorous stage banter, mixed with her raspy, velvet-textured voice seemed to seep into the atmosphere of the Lair.

Crain was born and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She self-recorded her first EP, The Confiscation. Her latest record Under Branch & Thorn & Tree was recorded at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. Crain’s voice can’t be described as a comparison to other artists; she has a sound of her own, and man, is it a stunning one. It’s hard not to fall in love with her honest lyrics and rhythmic song writing. Her performance and songs encompass it all: sorrow, wisdom, playfulness, desire, and intimacy. Four songs into her show, I felt like I was sitting down at a table with a good friend catching up and hearing their stories.

“You know the way I get/When I haven’t had my coffee yet/Well that’s the way I also get/When I can’t get through/It’s been a month or months too” - Lyrics from Crain’s “Santa Fe” on 'You (Understood)'

Crain’s pure authenticity carved a spot in my heart. Early on in her set, she introduced a new song titled, “Antiseptic Greeting”, which expressed the realities of her struggles with resting bitch face. I chuckled to myself being a survivor of RBF myself. Samantha is no doubt a talented storyteller mixing light and dark human emotions and leaving her audience raw, nourished, and validated. Ultimately, she created a comfortable and inclusive mood through and through.

If you are looking for an artist to accompany a long solo road trip or a night spent in your own den, I would highly recommended throwing on some Samantha Crain.

Check out one of my favorite Crain tunes, “Paint”: 

-Sierra

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

Denver's Marquis Theatre Set for a Night of Lady-Fronted Rock This Saturday

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Rock. Punk. Alternative. That’s how Boulder’s Mr. Atomic describe themselves. The four-piece outfit comprised of Boneth Ahaneku (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Matt Stewart (lead guitar), Mitch Rushton (bass), and Mike Suriano (drums) have been playing together for a little over a year now in the Colorado scene. And in that time, they’ve managed to snag gigs at Cervantes’, Lion’s Lair, and The Roxy Theatre while simultaneously getting picked up by Colorado’s At Night Group label.

Mr. Atromic.

Mr. Atromic.

Best known in the local punk scene for their “melodic, funk-tinted, punk rock music and lively stage presence”, Mr. Atomic are bringing their live show to you this weekend at Denver’s Marquis Theatre! This Saturday, August 6th at 7PM, Mr. Atomic will share the stage with Rotten Reputation, The Hits, and LaRissa Vienna and the Strange. All of the bands on board are female-fronted acts, which is awesome. This lineup is sure to give you a solid punk rock fix, Colorado, and tickets are only $10 in advance.

Currently, Mr. Atomic are working on recording their debut EP, which is slated to be released this fall. Until then, head 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.

Music Video Release: Tyto Alba "Turn to Stone"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Tyto Alba dropped a new video and it's rad.

Denver-based indie rock outfit Tyto Alba have been playing together for almost a year. In that short time, they’ve managed to record and release their EP Oh Tame One, put out a video for their song “Turn to Stone”, and they’re on the UMS lineup at the end of this month. Obviously, they’re doing something right. So we wanted to sit down with the four-piece’s frontwoman, Melanie Steinway, to chat about Tyto Alba’s creative process for the “Turn to Stone” video, what it has been like to perform in both the Boulder and Denver music scenes, and the other creative projects she’s involved in as a visual artist outside of her band.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Melanie, we really enjoyed the video for “Turn to Stone”. Tell us what it was like storyboarding ideas for the video and what elements you really wanted to connect your audience to visually.

Ian [the director] and I were trying to brainstorm a basic plotline for the video and I mentioned that I had four animal skulls in my apartment - coincidentally, one for each band member! That’s how we developed the idea of each member departing into the woods and finding their own personal skull, which then sits atop their gear as they’re playing inside. Ties to nature run through Tyto Alba’s lyrics as well as our visual imagery, so it felt like an appropriate theme. In all of my work I explore death and life, creation and destruction, and how opposing forces can be juxtaposed in a compelling way. I’m constantly intrigued with our connection to the natural world in a time when we’re surrounded by grey, urban life and seem to have lost our animal instincts. I aim to address the animal hidden inside everyone and often find it an appropriate metaphor for describing people and situations.

Those are interesting contrasts to play with visually. You mentioned working with Ian Glass Media. We’ve noticed he’s done a number of cool projects with musicians lately. What was it like working with him and how did you connect with him to shoot?

Ian and I have been friends for several years and had worked together previously on several video/photo projects, but nothing as big as this before. He’s an insanely creative and energetic dude, and he was psyched when I approached him with the music video project. We managed to do all of the filming in one long day up at my father’s house in Sunshine Canyon. We spent a lot of time walking up and down forest-y inclines- it was definitely a workout! Filming indoors was a lot of fun too- our bassist Ryan had made all of these glowing light bottles that made for some pretty neat decor. Overall, Ian was a blast to work with and I would definitely recommend him to anyone needing photo or video work. It’s refreshing to work with someone so enthusiastic about what they do.

Melanie Rocking Out.

Melanie Rocking Out.

We noticed those light bottles! They made for such a cool ambiance behind your indoor performance. So we know you were involved in the Boulder music scene before working with Tyto Alba in Denver. Talk to us a little bit about moving music scenes.

I spent a brief amount of time living in Boulder after graduating from college in Rhode Island. As soon as I arrived, I put together a folk-rock band called Howl Moonshine Howl, which disbanded shortly before Tyto Alba was formed. I think it might have been a challenge to be an indie-rock band [like Tyto Alba] based out of Boulder [because I feel it’s] a town that caters more to acoustic music, bluegrass, reggae, funk, etc. Denver’s music scene is incredibly diverse and there are more venues to play here for a rock band, so that was refreshing. Since we formed around a year ago we’ve played at almost every venue in town: Larimer Lounge, Lost Lake, Lion’s Lair, Hi Dive, Meadowlark, and even Syntax Physic Opera. Recently, it’s gotten tougher in Denver to get paid decently for playing a show though- a four person band shouldn’t walk out of a venue with $30 after a night of lugging expensive gear and performing their hearts out. That being said, we’re all very excited to be part of this scene and to be performing at UMS for the first time alongside all of the biggest bands in Denver.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. We noticed on your personal website that you do a lot of art on woods, including on guitars. And we saw your guitar in the video has some work on it. Have any big-name artists reached out to you yet for designs? Is this something you’re hoping to do a lot more of?

I’ve worked with Fender several times on some woodburned acoustic guitars that have gone off to NAMM for display. One really exciting commission I did a few years back was a woodburned electric guitar body for Ritzy, the singer of The Joy Formidable. It was a birthday present put together by her boyfriend, and she played it on stage at the Boulder Theatre opening up for Passion Pit. She gave me a shout out for the guitar mid-set and I think I might have cried a bit- it was so amazing to see someone like her playing something with my artwork on it! Guitar woodburning projects are pretty involved so I don’t do them too often, but I always love when people approach me with projects! I had fun woodburning my own Fender telecaster a couple of years ago as well, which is the one I now play in my band.

That must have been pretty cool to see a fellow rocker chick jamming on your art. So what’s next for Tyto Alba after UMS? And what’s next for you as a visual artist outside of the band?

After UMS, Tyto Alba will probably hunker down and write some new material in preparation for a full-length [album]. We’re also going to pop into Coupe Studios at some point to record a new single or two. I’ve been collecting footage in preparation for making another music video as well, once we have a polished new recording. [And] as a visual artist I’ve been really happy lately developing myself as a tattooist. I’d love to have more time to work on more personal projects and larger-scale fine art. Sometimes it can be a tough balance between being a visual artist and a musician, but I wouldn’t give either of them up!

So there it is kids- another sweet interview with another band on the UMS lineup. Keep up with Tyto Alba here. Peep Melanie’s artwork here. And watch their video for “Turn to Stone” 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.