Review: Dinosaur City Records Has a New Mixtape Out & It's More Important to Listen to Now Than Ever

By: Julia Talen

Dinosaur City Records (DCR), a small independent label out of Sydney, Australia, has been issuing annual mixtapes for the last couple of years. With their third one released at the end of May, Jordanne Chant, co-founder of the label shared, “the mixtapes are a nice way of showcasing a diverse mix of brilliant music that’s being made at the moment.”

Cody Munro Moore. 

Cody Munro Moore. 

Most of the tracks off Dinosaur City Records Mixtape #3 are unreleased, and listeners can locate indie musicians based in Australia, NYC, and LA across the compilation’s 23 tracks. Moreover, as the DIY music scene continues to go unrecognized or be simply dismissed (ahem Rhinoceropolis and Glob here in Denver), it’s important for people to tune in to what artists are continuing to create and innovate.

Thankfully, DCR is keeping independent music alive. Chant and co-founder Cody Munro Moore clearly have a keen ear for original musicians and listening to this mixtape (via online streaming, digital album, or cassette tape) is a must for any music nerd or curious listener looking for something different than their Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist.

The mix starts with Ali Flintoff of Denise Le Menice. Her hazy track, “Addiction” casts a lofi DIY vibe that’ll permeate much of the album, weaving psychedelic surf rock undertones into the fiber of the tune. It’s catchy, lovely, and enticing.

As we move through the tracks, we get a taste of a variety of genres. “Tender” a tune by Sophie McComish, the artist behind Tuffence Meringue, soothes the listener with hypnotic vocals and instruments, evocative of authentic musicians like Frankie Rose.

Brooklyn-based band Navy Gang’s tune, “Just Kidding Not” follows. Their infectious and witty tune with lyrics, “I’m indecisive/I fucking hate you/No I don’t/Don’t know if I love you” evokes Animal Collective during its chorus, as the band whales, “I don’t ever wanna be alone again.” It’s pretty brilliant. And this clever, experimental tune leads into “Cockroach,” by Bourgeois Earth, which is probably my favorite of the 23 songs.

“Cockroach” is wildly exploratory, melding electronic sounds with brass instrumentation, and ethereal and alien-like vocals that make their mark. If you like the 2009 album Merriweather Post Pavilion, or really any sort of experimental pop music, you’re going to love this one. Though it’s exploratory, this ingenius track is compact and holds together, not flailing every which way as it probes all sorts of music genres and instrumentation throughout its corners.

Mezko’s “Without You” reminds me of some genius new work from LCD Soundsystem, Bored Short’s “Bar Cards” slows things down a little, reminding me vocally of Alex Cameron’s somber, but brilliant songs. Sadventure’s “One More Night” also breaks ground with its drifty, floaty melody, similar to a song off an old M83 album, getting heavier as it moves along.

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In the latter half of the album, we hear Painter Paige Emery’s lo-fi, hazy tune, “Here Now Stay Go” which sounds like she’s painting pieces of her song into the air to create a masterpiece of sounds.Track 17, Romy Church of e4444e’s song, Volume Two has a rhythmic opening and shifting and folding lo-fi vocals that are calm yet penetrating. And Cody Munro Moore’s new wave tune “As The Empire Fell Apart” definitely evokes the artful, post-punk vibes of Talking Heads.

I’ve only scratched the surface on the myriad of incredible music across this mixtape. DRC’s curated a record that’s original, unique, cutting edge, and incredibly important to listen too. The small label’s mission to honor and acknowledge independent music is of utmost importance to the music scene these days, so be sure to tune in.

-Julia

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

How Harmony Drive Went From Metal to Melodies

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Metalheads-turned-acoustic rock/pop stars is not a musical transformation you hear of very often. But in the case of Norwegian rockers Harmony Drive, this metamorphosis was natural, necessary, and welcomed.

Harmony Drive.

Harmony Drive.

Harmony Drive’s story started long ago, when the three members, Lars Erik Schjerpen (vocals/piano/guitar), Andre Myhren (guitar), and the epically-bearded Vidar Braun (bass/supporting vocals) met in Southern Norway, before settling back in Oslo.

In 2011, the band formerly known as 'Metal Heads With Broken Hearts' decided to make a change with their music, focusing more on acoustic riffs, colorful harmonies, and beautiful pop structures. They wanted to move away from the hardcore metal aesthetic that followed them then. And so, Harmony Drive was born.

HD at The Spot Studios.

HD at The Spot Studios.

In 2012, Harmony Drive released their first single, “Something’s Wrong”, which was mixed by producer Rich Veltrop from The Spot Studios. The hit song received high rotation in the US, and even made its way to number 11 on the Philippine radio charts without ever having been released in the Philippines. This was the first song from Harmony Drive’s debut album, aptly titled from their former band moniker, Metal Heads With Broken Hearts (2014). The band collaborated with Rich Veltrop once again, and drummer Dave Elitch (The Mars Volta, M83, Killer Be Killed) to create the album.

Since then, the band has toured worldwide, making friends wherever they share their music. But even with countless performances in various countries, the guys shared their most memorable performance, which took place after a show in Hope, Idaho:

“We met these beautiful fans, and they told us we had to come back with them. We rode on a boat, barbequed, and sang ‘House of the Rising Sun’; it was amazing. We love playing intimate gatherings. We love playing for people, but when we don’t play for so many people, we get to connect. When you connect, then you can talk about music, and values in your life. We’re so grateful we get to experience this whole part of the gig.”

The guys of Harmony Drive embody artistry, perseverance, and playfulness. With their art comes the partying, but it also comes with the beautiful mindset about the connectedness of life, music, and people. Their passion for creating hard-hitting music that also carries a sincere softness is clear, but their general passion for the craft is what shines through the most. The album Metal Heads With Broken Hearts leaves much to anticipate, as it offers so much for a lover of memorable harmonies, gentle acoustics, and grunge-like vocals. A few of my personal favorites from the album include “Something’s Wrong”, “Remember”, “The Last Song”, and “Chan”.

Watch the making of “See You” at The Spot Studios:

Harmony Drive is about to release the official music video for their newest track, “See You”, on September 30th, and will release another song, “Be There”, in the Philippines soon after that. Check out the exclusive sneak peek into the making of “See You” at The Spot Studios above, and be on the lookout for the band’s upcoming announcements. You definitely don’t want to miss out on what they’re bringing to the table.

-Jura

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

BolderBeat's Guide to Colorado's Summer Music Festivals 2016

By: Claire Woodcock

It finally feels like summer, so let's fest. 

We know you want to hit the festivals on our list. 

We know you want to hit the festivals on our list. 

It’s festival season, which has all of us here at BolderBeat elated. Press kits are flying, and we want you to be as on the curve as we are! So here are our top picks for Colorado’s summer music festivals:

Project Pabst May 20-21

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats at Denver's Project Pabst. 

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats at Denver's Project Pabst. 

Project Pabst was a wild success,” were Zach Dahmen’s words in retrospect of the festival that rocked Denver a few weeks ago. We brought you exclusive coverage on Best Coast, TV on the Radio and more in our feature of the event. Relive that time Charles Bradley almost did the splits and The Violent Femmes helped us blister in the sun with our photos per Ian Glass.

Sasquatch Music Festival May 27-29

Kurt Vile at Sasquatch.

Kurt Vile at Sasquatch.

BolderBeat had a press invitation to Sasquatch Music Festival this year, so we threw down content on The Cure, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine, M83, Grimes, Sufjan Stevens, Purity Ring, Kurt Vile And The Violators, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, and more! Take a scroll through our pictures right here and read over our recaps of the awesome weekend. It wasn't in CO folks, but it sure was awesome.

Sonic Bloom Festival June 16-19

The 11th annual Sonic Bloom Festival is coming up soon! This year, SB is at Hummingbird Ranch, nestled in the heart of Spanish Peaks country. The weekend will feature performances from Bonobo, Tipper, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival also features a crazy lineup of yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 16-19

Telluride's Bluegrass Festival has been a massive success for 43 years. 

Telluride's Bluegrass Festival has been a massive success for 43 years. 

Telluride is known as one of the best festival spots of the west, and Telluride Bluegrass Festival has been keeping that notoriety alive for 43 years! The festival dates fall on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, giving you the longest day of the year to wander from set to set. Guests this year include Ryan Adams, Neil Finn, Emmylou Harris, and more!

Westword Music Showcase June 25

Summer in the city at Westword's Music Showcase. 

Summer in the city at Westword's Music Showcase. 

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts, most of which are Colorado-based. Denver band 888 is slated to play one of Westword’s main stages, while Cold War Kids, Matt and Kim, and New Politics front a lineup sure to make this year’s showcase a success.

The Ride Festival July 9-10

Views on views at Telluride's Ride Festival.

Views on views at Telluride's Ride Festival.

The Ride Festival, another Telluride fest, is one of the first live music/camp combos of the summer. Since 2012, this festival has firmly established itself in rootsy rock vibes. This year’s headliners include Pearl Jam and Cage the Elephant.

The Divide Music Festival July 22-24

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Divide in Winter Park is a new music festival in Colorado this year. Its lineup boasts performances by Bleachers, Cake, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Kid Cudi, Miike Snow and more! Festival perks include hiking, biking and yoga for festival-goers.

The Underground Music Showcase July 28-31

For many Colorado musicians, UMS is one of the biggest festivals of the summer. Performers on the national scene include San Francisco garage rockers Thee Oh Sees. Go celebrate over 100 local performers making it happen in CO's music scene at this Denver setup!

Bass Center July 29-30

Bassnectar is bringing a massive show to CO.

Bassnectar is bringing a massive show to CO.

California’s Bassnectar first brought Bass Center to Colorado in 2010; this festival is the traveling circus of electronic music. The Bassnectar tour travels with its own custom sound rig, and headlines some of the most noted venues in the country. Acts this year include Flux Pavilion, Flying Lotus, Wu-Tang Clan, and Lupe Fiasco. You can check it out in Commerce City, and there are two camping villages for the hardcores: “The Shire” and “Narnia”.

Vertex Festival August 5-7

At its core, Vertex is diverse music, outdoor adventure, and artful fun in beautiful Buena Vista, CO. Alabama Shakes and Odesza are two of the headliners, to give an idea of the range of performers on this lineup. We’re covering press at Vertex, so expect lots of info to hit our site over the summer on this one!

ARISE Music Festival August 5-7

Nighttime shows at Arise rule. 

Nighttime shows at Arise rule. 

Here’s another festival that is Colorado heavy. ARISE will take place at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch again this year, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films!

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 12-14

Did we mention this fest is free?

Did we mention this fest is free?

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in historic downtown Fort Collins. Local faves DeVotchKa and The Fray are headlining this bad boy, and there's a ton of other great local acts playing too. Check out the lineup here!

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 19-21

BYOBlanket to Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

BYOBlanket to Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is happening in Lyons, CO, a mountain town 15 miles north of Boulder that NPR’s All Things Considered once described as “the Nashville of the Rockies”. The festival recently added The Decemberists and Conor Oberst as national acts to their local lineup.

Riot Fest September 2-4

BolderBeat couldn’t be more excited to wrap up the summer festival roundup with Denver’s Riot Fest & Rodeo in September. With national acts like Sleater-Kinney, The Misfits and Yo La Tengo, to name a few, Riot Fest will be an explosive ending to the upcoming sunny summer of music!

Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all summer on our dedicated fest page!

-Claire

All photos per the festivals featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Sasquatch Music Festival Is This Weekend

 

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Sasquatch Music Festival starts tomorrow and we're pretty excited about it.

The furry creature in the woods is REAL kids and we’re STOKED to be covering its presence in The Gorge this year. Welcome to our weekend at the ‘Squatch! The massive music festival starts tomorrow, and here are the deets:

Who’s playing?

Sasquatch has a fat lineup this year, with heavy-hitters including: The Cure, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine, Major Lazer, M83, Grimes, A$AP Rocky, Sufjan Stevens, Purity Ring, Leon Bridges, Jamie xx, Kurt Vile And The Violators, Big Grams, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, and more! You can peep the full list on their website, and if you’re trying to figure out who to see when, click here for the schedule.

Are tickets still available?

Only a few, which are likely to sell-out in the next 24 hours. Cop ‘em here.

Life at The Gorge.

Life at The Gorge.

What’s up with this festival?

4 days. 4 stages. Music, food, comedy, and camping. Hooping. Ice Cream. The chance to see Bigfoot. Sun. Sweat. Unexpected onstage collaborations. Fun. The opportunity to refuse to shower for four days and make your best friends revel in your Yeti-like scent. And all the while, surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in what is now the fest's 15th year. Yeehaw!

Aye! We're headed to Sasquatch!

Aye! We're headed to Sasquatch!

We’re bringing you exclusive coverage over the holiday weekend, so get ready for rad photos and sweet show summaries! Check back for all things ‘Squatch- show starts tomorrow.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos and artwork per the festival featured and those credited.