Review: Professor Plumb Releases Their New Single "Red Sky"

By: Adam Cabrera

In their new single “Red Sky” released on February 15th, the Denver-based rock band Professor Plumb drifts atop a turbulent sea of metal doom in a slow, heavy hitting jam which warns of impending catastrophe.

Professor Plumb.

Professor Plumb.

First appearing in the Mile High in 2018 with the release of two singles and eventually a five song EP entitled The Magic Twelve (EP 1), Professor Plumb has proven themselves to be one of Denver’s more noteworthy new artists over the past year. Led by vocalist/songwriter Benom Plumb, who began his career working in music publishing and is currently an Assistant Professor at The University of Colorado Denver’s Music Industry Studies Program (hence the bands name), Professor Plumb is his first effort as a performing artist. Comprised of Plumb performing second bass, John Demitro (Pink Fuzz, The Velveteers) on guitar, Alex Bailey on first bass, and Ben Hatch performing drums, the band managed to find some recognition with their 2018 single “Midnight Creep.”

But last year’s aggressive, punk-inspired single plays in stark contrast to Friday’s release, as “Red Sky” introduces a new sound previously unheard from the band. Where “Midnight Creep” was a fast paced, rock’n’roll shuffle, “Red Sky” is funereal. Reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” or Pink Floyd’s “The Nile Song,” the single moves along sluggishly while relishing in dark, menacing guitar riffs which subside just before breaking off into a high-energy guitar solo. One sound that distinguishes the recording is Benom’s voice. Sitting well below the vocal range of many punk/metal singers, Benom projects a unique baritone which cuts clean through the densely packed distortion and booming drums.

Furthermore, the heavier sound lends itself to the similarly dark themes presented in the song lyrics. Steeped in metaphor and ancient mysticism, the song’s imagery paints a picture of world destruction and coming apocalypse. Borrowing a line from an old rhyme often repeated by mariners, Benom’s words warn of red clouds on the horizon and “wicked” sailors who appear ignorant of the coming storm.

When asked what the song’s lyrics refer to, Benom explains that he has always been fascinated with “end-of-the-world” scenarios and the self-destructive, often hippocratic, nature of the people involved. In regards to Red Sky, Benom says that he was influenced by a red winged-planet referenced by the ancient Sumerians. The planet, aptly named “destroyer”, was said to wreak havoc on the Earth as it entered our atmosphere. With this in mind, it’s easy to imagine a certain pessimistic outlook on humanity that the song details but Plumb suggests that a far more positive message can be realized. To Benom, the song is a word for the wise and encourages, “kindness, empathy, love and compassion for one another” by pointing out the hubris of humankind and the dreadful consequences if it be left unchecked.  

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The single comes as a precursor to The Magic Twelve (EP 2), the group’s next release in a series of three similarly titled EPs. So, in the swirl of an eerie crystal gaze and heavy metal rumbling, “Red Sky” gives us a taste of what’s soon to come from the band as well as something to blast over the stereo while we wait.

Professor Plumb will be performing at the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) Songwriter Showcase on Saturday, March 2nd located at The Post Brewery in Boulder, CO. The same day, Benom will be hosting a panel on film music and audio production on the Pearl St. Mall. On the morning of March 3rd, you can also catch them performing a short set just before the screening of The Mustang at BIFF.

Keep up with Professor Plumb here.

-Adam

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

Review: Retrofette's New Single "Lover In Japan" Is a Tasty Summer Splash of Synthwave

By: Norman Hittle

Denver-based Retrofette are an electropop act with 80s era funk and a splash of synthwave. Their latest single, “Lover in Japan,” is due out just in time for summer. Check it out:

If you left it up to me to describe Retrofett’s sound, I would liken it to what might have happened if Broken Bells, Julian Casablancas of the Strokes, Prince, and David Bowie had the chance to record a song together. Is it that good?! Yes, yes it is.

Frontman Sean Culliton pretty much nailed the overall feel with his comments on the song when he told us, “Lyrically, (it’s) a melancholy note written to an estranged lover. But sonically, it's a sunny day at the beach with neon sunglasses and volleyball montages.”

Retrofette. 

Retrofette. 

The band is the byproduct of keyboardists Sean Culliton and Xavier Provencher's love for vintage synthesizers and sweaty dance floors. Joined by synth bassist Ben Weirich and drummer Dylan Johnson on stage, the quartet’s brand of 80s-tinged synthpop was born in March of 2016. Aside from this single, Retrofette released its debut three-song EP I Don’t Mind in 2016. They have also played BolderBeat’s Official Showcase at 2017’s Underground Music Showcase, been listed as one of 303 Magazine's top Denver acts to see, and selected as the “Best Pop” act of 2017 by Westword Magazine.

The guys will be celebrating the release of “Lover in Japan” this Saturday, June 2nd at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. The night will also feature sets from Motion Trap and DJ Clay Cornelius. Tickets and show details here.

-Norman

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

Rumours Follow Set to Release New Wave Single "Mr. Miserable" This Week

By: Norman Hittle

Denver based new wave act Rumours Follow have been steadily gaining momentum in the Colorado scene since winning Denver alternative radio channel 93.3’s Big Gig in 2014. Nearly four years later- not to mention four years stronger- the band are set to release their new single “Mr. Miserable" later this month with a show at Lost Lake Lounge. 

Rumours Follow.

Rumours Follow.

To say the least, the track is an exciting blast from the past, fortified with the tech of modern electronic music. It’s easy to call it new wave and synth pop on the surface, but there’s a lot more going on than can be gleaned on a first listen, such as the band’s nods to 80s greats like Prince and Duran Duran.

Rumours Follow successfully fuse elements of jazz, funk, synthpop, and alt-rock together, while maintaining a high-fidelity production value that definitely couldn’t be heard in the 80s when their brand of music inspiration was in its heyday. Yet regardless of era, this band is making 2018 a staple in their career. Just earlier this year, the band released their single “Spitting Rain."

In accordance with continuing to be noticed, Rumours Follow will be officially releasing their single for “Mr. Miserable” with a debut release show at Lost Lake Lounge Saturday, May 19th. Event details and tickets here.

Keep up with Rumours Follow on Facebook.

-Norman

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

Premiere: Whitacre Release Catchy New Folk Rock Tune "Fantasy"

Denver’s Whitacre, the five-piece rock project led by Paul Whitacre, have plans to drop new music this year and today, we’re premiering the band’s newest single, “Fantasy.”

Whitacre, which is comprised of Paul Whitacre (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Chase Perry (banjo/keys/vocal harmonies), Mark Cunningham (drums), Kyle Miner (lead guitar/vocal harmonies), and Brent Perkins (bass), recorded the track at Colorado Christian University’s studio. “Fantasy” was produced by Nicholas Webber, who is also featured on vocal harmonies on the songs, with engineering by Toshi Jamang.

Whitacre.

Whitacre.

“Fantasy,” which starts out with some stompy percussion, is a feel-good folk rock tune primed for summer. Its thick strings and catchy chorus make it feel like a Lumineers-inspired ditty. Whitacre himself sings the instantly appealing and memorable chorus, “We could be/What people thought was fantasy/Only portrayed in the Hollywood movie screens/All the love you read about in all those fairytales/I will be your fantasy.”

Said Paul about the track, “When we released our first single, 'Set Me Free,' we had a very small fan base and had no idea what to expect in our musical future. Now, after 50,000 streams, a show with Pandas & People and Wildermiss at the Bluebird Theater, and talks of a national tour this summer, we really feel a sense of fans longing for new music. Releasing our second single, 'Fantasy' is still really only the beginning. We've signed a recording contract with Joe Richmond for a five-song EP and are confident this song is going to continue laying the foundation that will make that a successful release later in 2018!”

“Fantasy” will drop across all streaming platforms this Friday, March 16th. To hear it live, catch Whitacre next at Larimer Lounge on Thursday, March 22nd where they’ll share a stage with The Ghost of Paul Revere and Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs.

Keep up with Whitcare here.

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

The Ivories Want To Be Your Valentine This Year

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Los Angeles trio The Ivories identify their sounds as “indie surf psychedelic punk.” The band, who are signed to Vogue House Sounds, came together after meeting in college. The diversity of their backgrounds may explain why their style encapsulates several genres, so we sat down to talk with the three-piece about the music they grew up on, the atmosphere they try to create in their live shows, and why it’s appropriate that their debut EP will drop on Valentine’s Day this year.

Let’s start with a bit about your background. Where are you all from and how has that environment shaped your music?

Erin: I’m from Zaragoza, Spain. I remember starting to have some kind of interest for music when my aunt made a Spotify playlist for me when I was around 12 years old. It had songs from David Bowie, The Cure, The Doors… I thought it was sick! And then my family gave me my first guitar and I started playing music. One of the first albums that I discovered was The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie and it blew my mind. Later on I started digging a little bit more into Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, and also Spanish rock thanks to my group of friends back home. Rock’n’roll baby!

Bryan: I’m from Santa Fe, New Mexico. My mother’s from South Korea and my father is from Texas, so I got a lot of different cultures growing up. Before I knew how to use the internet, it was mostly my family’s CDs (Michael Jackson, Korean music, and my dad’s classic rock and blues stuff), MTV, and the music in the Gamecube games that I listened to. The first CD I ever bought was Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled record. Everyone around me in Santa Fe was self-loathing and depraved for the most part. I did a lot of crazy things- I traumatized myself by choice and had like 20 ego deaths from ‘shrooms by the time I was 17. I developed anxiety from all of that and then I started writing music that actually had some substance.

Xavier: I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado to a large family whose taste in music spans far and wide. I grew up surrounded by many amazing musicians who have inspired me to pursue my dreams. My earliest memories as a child were being in my father’s studio watching him record his EP. I was intrigued by the work he was doing and wanted to do the same thing. My parents had a nasty divorce that affected me for quite awhile as a child; as a result I was exposed to many things a kid were not supposed to see nor comprehend, so I became frustrated with the world around me. A few months after the dust settled I was gifted my first drum kit at the age of nine and found my escape from reality. I was able to take all of my angst and frustration and release them through rhythm.  

How did the three of you meet and start making music together?

Xavier: We met in one of our classes while attending college in Los Angeles and proceeded to form a band based on our mutual interest in music.

Listen to “Red”:

Talk to us about your newest single and your upcoming EP.

Xavier: We’re planning to release our EP on Valentine’s Day. We just put out our first song from the record, “Red.” I think we’re making a video for it soon- we’re working with the incredible Italian filmmaker Caterina Piccardo. We have SO many songs written that we want to record!! Making music takes so long though. We’re playing a bunch of shows in the next few months as well.

Beyond the artists you mentioned listening to growing up, who do you draw inspiration from for The Ivories sound?

Bryan: If Kurt Cobain and Paul McCartney had a baby and they were raised by Talking Heads’ grooves- that’s us. We cover a few artists like P.H.F (a New Zealand band we love), Blondie, Blur, and Violent Femmes. I also kinda wanna be Morrisey. The Cure is a big one. When people hear us play live, they usually compare us to The Smiths, The Cure, The Beatles, and The Pixies, which is one of the reasons our band name is what it is. I loved the Tony Hawk [video] games and skating when I was a kid too, so definitely those soundtracks influenced me.

Xavier: As a kid, my parents as well as my uncle inspired me to play the drums. Seeing them play music made me want to do the same thing. When I first started playing drums and bass I received a copy of Death From Above’s “You’re A Woman I’m A Machine,” and was immediately hooked- from that point on I knew I wanted to be a musician. I loved the high energy rock’n’roll and was determined to re-create that emotion in my music. I draw a lot of inspiration from disco/punk influenced bands such as LCD Soundsystem, Death From Above, and Moving Units.

Erin: When I was in Spain there were not a lot of women playing music in the young music scene of my town. And since I moved to LA, I’ve been finding so many bands fronted by women, which made me feel super inspired and empowered to keep writing music. Bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Savages, The Kills, or The Runaways have been pretty important in my life lately. And also the LA scene is amazing- I love to go to shows of small LA bands and get to know what their sound is and how can I add it into my music.

The Ivories.

The Ivories.

When you perform live, what type of environment are you trying to cultivate?

Xavier:  When we perform live, we want to pull people away from their thoughts, concerns, and troubles. We seek to make people feel euphoric as they witness one of the most raw forms of human expression known to man and woman.    

Bryan: I’m trying to make everyone in the audience feel like I’m their Valentine. All the songs are about a girl, and I’m singing them all in first person like I’m talking to that girl... disassociated and detached… a whisper in your ear when in reality, I’m screaming into a microphone. It’s weird. I feel like coming to our live show is like being my counselor and just listening to me talk about all my problems. All the lyrics I write are kinda self-loathing and sad, but people dance and that makes me feel good and I guess that’s what matters!

What about your music most makes you feel most empowered?

Bryan: Being able to tell people things that I would never otherwise express. Whenever I get nostalgic and reminisce back to something, a big part of how I remember it is what music was playing at the time of the memory. I even associate people with certain songs and albums. I’d love for someone to feel that was about my music. I often overthink when something doesn’t go my way, so writing songs is a good way to channel that anxiety into a tangible form so that I can release it all and get it out of my mind. I take stressful or traumatic experiences and analyze them in a third-person kind of way to take myself out of the equation and try and look at it from a different perspective. I notice little details and little gestures or expressions that made something go the way it did, you know? Writing is a good way to process things- healthier than drowning it or bottling it up.

Erin: The fact that there’s music that can make you go back to one time of your life when you were having a similar sentiment- it’s amazing to me. And being able to make people feel that blows my mind. Also, just being on a stage makes me feel so powerful. It’s the moment that we have to show the best part of ourselves.  

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Outside of the glory and fame of celebrity, where do you see your music going?

Bryan: I want our music to be in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 soundtrack.

What are your plans for 2018?

Xavier: As we play more shows and just get to know each other better, we start meshing our ideas together more. Our music past this first EP is going to be much more collaborative and live-sounding; more how we initially imagined our sound being.We want to play some festivals this summer but we’ve been so caught up finishing our EP, making this music video, and playing shows that we haven’t been looking beyond that very much!

Bryan: I wanna put out at least two more EP’s, a few music videos, and I wanna have some kind of event that will put together fashion, visual art, and music. I also want to become truly happy independently this year.

Solid goals. When are your next few booked shows/tours?

Bryan: Our next show is at Harvard & Stone in Thai Town in LA on the 21st of February.

Keep up with The Ivories on Facebook.

-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.

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.

Premiere: Last of the Easy Rider's Release New Psych Rock Single "Unto The Earth"

By: Julia Talen

Denver’s Last of the Easy Riders released their self-titled EP about one year ago. Since then, they have been busy playing shows and writing new music, having recently released a single called, “Goin' Down Slow” in September 2017. Their self-titled EP and “Goin' Down Slow” continue to showcase the band’s good ol’ sixties cosmic rock’n’roll vibe, effervescent of The Band or Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. However, a subtle eerie quality hovers over their most recent track, “Unto The Earth,” expanding upon the group's psychedelic tendencies and echoing obscure nuances like those found in The Byrds’ “Eight Mile High" or Pink Floyd's “See Emily Run.”

Listen to "Unto The Earth": 

“Unto The Earth” opens with funky guitar scale progressions alluding strongly to late 60s and early 70s rock as notes and instrumentation blend with the group’s vocals, giving us a hazy, psychedelic feel. The vivid, colorful, and poetic verses are as enticing as the funky, bohemian sound with opening lyrics, "In her I see greens of spring/softly glistening/coming after me" and “Walking beside my love at dawn/wishing for an endless morning/a crown of violets in her hair/wilting as its warning.” The pastoral imagery enthralls the listener, invoking illustrative elements amidst the experimental guitar scales and chords that build and retract. The refrain "unto the earth we all return/laid to rest in these strawberry ferns/rosemary and white clover" slightly haunts the tune as well, with wailing harmonies and ghostly "ahhs" as we feel themes of grappling with love, existence, and endings permeate the track.

Last of the Easy Riders.

Last of the Easy Riders.

The song is even and balanced with psychedelic and vintage elements as it wanders, tunneling and traversing instrumentally, vocally, and lyrically. It has a kaleidoscopic quality, and though it's perhaps a little different than what we're used to from the Last of The Easy Riders, it highlights the group's versatility in exploring the many realms of rock’n’roll, from classic, country-folk, and psychedelic. You can see the Last of The Easy Riders alongside Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels play this song and others at their upcoming show, November 22nd in Denver at Globe Hall!

-Julia

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

Review: Teen Ravine Returns With Extracorporeal Single “Hall of Horrors”

By: Shivain Chopra

Releasing their second single, “Hall of Horrors,” Canadian pop duo Teen Ravine continue to impress with their diverse talents, both instrumentally and vocally.

At first listen, the track gives off a Bon Iver-like vibe, but listen closely and it becomes clear that there is more to it. “Hall of Horrors” has a much more mellow vibe than the band’s debut single “Friend of a Friend.” The use of electronically manufactured tones and distortion, in tandem with the punchy bass line and an alternative rock beat, bring this song to life. That being said, the song is also smooth and slow, and could best be compared to Glass Animals. Both share soothing vocals over a well-synched orchestra of instruments and precisely picked digital filtering.

Listen to “Hall of Horrors”:

To confine the music of Teen Ravine to one particular sound is tough, because it encompasses various different musical ideals, but “Hall of Horrors” could be said to be a part of the more recent psychedelic pop music genre. This goes hand-in-hand with what the duo state to be their goal with making music. Said Teen Ravine, "We want to make music that feels like you're floating in a warm bath occasionally looking down at your weird naked body." It’s evident after listening to their newest single that Teen Ravine are working toward making music that not only affects the listener’s conscious state, but also their subconscious.

Teen Ravine.

Teen Ravine.

Overall, the soft but powerful vocals, diverse instrumental sections, and wonderful sound production come together to create something that is as much of an immersive experience as it is a piece of music on Teen Ravine’s “Hall of Horrors.”

Look out for a full-length album from Teen Ravine this October, as they continue their rise through the world of music.

Keep up with Teen Ravine here.

-Shivain

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

Review: After Remixing A Track For Bon Iver, Nightshifts Has A Debut Single Of His Own

By: Julia Talen

After catching his first break remixing a Bon Iver song and being retweeted by Justin Vernon (who then released the track on JagJaguwar), Toronto musician and producer Nightshifts has released his debut single, "All Along," and its dreamy, lo-fi, vintage-y vibe does not disappoint.

Listen to “All Along”:

Nightshifts shared, "I wrote and recorded the track in my unfurnished apartment when I first moved downtown; just sitting on the floor with my guitar, mics, and synths. I crafted it to sound like it was created at the bottom of the sea."

Nightshifts crafts a wistful, psychedelic track with an underwater vibe that emerges as the tune swims through verse and refrain, fluctuating by way of Nightshift's wailing “oh’s,” echoing guitar, and synths. Nightshifts lyrics like "scratchin' at the surface/like an endless skipping stone/I want to dive into your waters/want to be with you alone" allude to the deep waters of pensive thought one floats in and out of when longing to tell someone that you love them.

Nightshifts.

Nightshifts.

“All Along” vacillates between misty and murky reverberations to a refrain with rooted beats and soulful impressions, like the transition to a night shift; the haze of a bright, neon sign made more visible in the night's obscurity. The catchy bits interspersed throughout blurry, echoing resonances get stuck in your head, making you want to dance a little, as Nightshifts continues to experiment with sound and mixing in this debut single. Nightshifts will be releasing a new song each month over the next year, so keep up with what he drops next here.

-Julia

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

Premiere: This Broken Beat's "Out In The Deep End" Showcases Emotional, Musing Side Of Their Upcoming Record

This Broken Beat.

This Broken Beat.

Last May, we premiered indie pop duo This Broken Beat’s music video for their track “Sleep.” It was an eerie piece with a video filmed in Boulder’s misty forests to match its moody tones. Today, we’re excited to bring you the Denver band’s latest single release. Their tune “Out In The Deep End” drops on all music platforms today and you can preview it below:

“Out In The Deep End” is an emotional pop track that features Julio Perez’s smooth and soft-spoken vocals with Annie Richardson’s beats. Perez also authored guitar, keys, and production on the track, which was recorded at Streetlight Audio.

Fresh off of their UMS performance, the band told us:

"‘Out In The Deep End’" is a very exciting song for us because it's one of the last singles we are releasing before the full-album comes out later this fall. It's one of the very few on the album that carries a low-key, contemplative tone to it. The genre & feel to the song are something we don't often express in our music, but it helps bring the full spectrum of emotion to the album. We can't wait for you to hear it.”

Give “Out In The Deep End” a listen for yourself, and keep up with This Broken Beat here.

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

Premiere: Dear Me,'s Debut Single "The News" Is Catchy Comedic Pop

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s indie rock trio Dear Me, are self-described “socially relevant, humorous songwriting.” Members Andrew Rogers (guitar/vocals), Sam Columna (guitar/vocals), and Jamie Beekman (keys/vocals) have been playing shows together since 2014, though they didn’t start gigging consistently until close to a year later when Sam told us, “It wasn’t until f*cking July 2015 when we agreed to play a gig at The Gothic with Chemistry Club that I honestly did not think we were ready for. But we somehow managed to survive and after that, shit was real.” It’s comments like these that kept me smirking during my recent chat with Sam about Dear Me,’s new single, which we’re stoked to premiere exclusively on BolderBeat from the band’s upcoming record Present Perfect.

Listen to Dear Me,’s new single “The News”:

“The News” is an undeniably timely tune in subject matter, and expresses a sentiment I think most of us can relate to: as informed as we want to be, the current media whirlwind of world news can be overwhelming at times and force us into one story before we’ve processed the others that came before it.

Dear Me,.

Dear Me,.

Said Columna about the track, “Part of me maybe wants to evolve past the magic of hearing something that you’re feeling expressed in a song- like it’s sort of cliche and basic and that makes it a character flaw. But every single time a song nails my inner monologue- dead to rights, word for word, kills me softly- it’s like a transformative experience. I’m reminded how lucky I am to be able to make art. If anything I make has that impact on anyone, then probably I am doing a good thing."

Sam continued, "[With “The News”] I was just hoping to capture some of the Groundhog Day-esque overwhelmed horror that I found myself feeling all the f*cking time. I actually wrote the hook, ‘I need something stuck inside my head besides the news,’ in like 2014 when I was a sunglasses salesman and I couldn’t afford to be in touch with my feelings at work or else my numbers would suffer. And that year planes disappeared out of the sky, Ebola happened, the Israel-Palestine conflict flared up, Michael Brown was murdered, there was that hostage crisis in Sydney… and yes I’m looking at a list of 2014 events right now... Robin Williams also died... and all of this happened to coincide with me falling in love with NPR, so I was hyper-aware of everything. And all of it was immediately politicized. There was no acknowledgement or time taken for human suffering- everything immediately felt like currency, or else like a weapon. I couldn’t f*cking deal with it. The hook [from “The News”] was super, ultra, mega-literal for me.”

Sam Columna.

Sam Columna.

Though the subject may seem a bit dark, Dear Me, manage to express Columna’s inner monologue of that time with a catchy hook and poppy vocal melodies, driving keys, and a strong percussive build interspersed with quick guitar breakdowns, while also weaving their stylistic humor within “The News.” This ability has had the trio previously described as “Louis C.K. meets The Beatles.” Though Columna admits there is definitely a comedic element to their work, it’s clear there is an important balance to Dear Me,’s songwriting.

Regarding this balance Sam, told me, “Oh man. Well when this comes up I always like to make it clear that we’re not Flight of the Concords or Axis of Awesome. We’re not a comedy band. We just sing songs with lyrics that are often blunt about social circumstances, and are sometimes funny, in a caustic, dark, Louis C.K. kind of a way. I actually didn’t really think of my songs as being particularly humorous until I started hearing people laughing during open mics. But I’ve always been a person who has found a lot of life to be depressing, or awkward, or uncomfortable, or shocking, or whatever, and I’ve always responded to those parts of life by laughing at them. I think Andrew is that way too. And since art is an outward expression of inward shit, it was inevitable that some of that would make it into the songs.”

“The News” is the first single from Present Perfect, Dear Me’s debut album. The record is a followup to the band’s three-song 2015 EP Name On a Page. The nine-song record was, in some ways, five years in the making.

Said Columna, “Present Perfect has lots of fingerprints on it. It was tracked either at Streetlight Audio or at Beyond the Infinite Multimedia, run by Dae Dupont, George Till, Quinn Blue and Leo Cashin. It was mixed and mastered entirely at Streetlight Audio, which is run by Tyler Paul Glasgow, Jack Roberts, and Jeff Hummel. Tyler Paul Glasgow produced and added some tasty slide guitar and synth layers on a few of the tracks. Elliott Cook played drums on any track with drums on it, and bass responsibilities were split between myself and Casey Cormier. That just leaves the core members of Dear Me,: Andrew and I both played guitar, Jamie played keys. Andrew and I split lead vocals on the album, and the songs were written by either me or Andrew, and arranged collectively by me, Andrew, Jamie, and whoever happened to be in the rhythm section at the time. Jamie mostly arranges all of our vocal harmonies, and we credit her with keeping us from sounding like a bag full of cats in a burning dumpster.”

Jamie, Andrew, & Sam.

Jamie, Andrew, & Sam.

When asked about whether Present Perfect is comprised more of old tunes the band has played over time, or new songs written just this year, Sam told me, “In some ways it’s like a greatest hits collection of a band no one knew about that had been skulking around in living rooms and cigar bars for five years and finally managed to stumble into a studio.”

More seriously, he added, “The vast majority of the songs are relatively recent, like written inside the last couple years. But something we really wanted to capture with the album was sort of the breadth of all the junk that we’ve kicked around over the last however many years. We wanted the album to capture everything we’ve been over the last five years, [and] I think it does that. Some of the tracks were multi-tracked in studio, some were tracked as full band performances with overdubs, and some were live acoustic trio tracks. That’s all the stuff we’ve been. And I think we managed to massage it into a mostly cohesive product. So I feel pretty dope about that.”

It’s this play between laughs and seriousness (and those same interplays throughout the band’s new record) that had me wondering who some of Sam’s influences are in the comedy and music realms.

“Beyond Louis C.K., I’m a fan of Mike Birbiglia and Dave Chappelle. I like storytellers. Obviously there’s innumerable musicians that I love, but my three desert island albums would probably be Abbey Road by the Beatles, Curse Your Branches by David Bazan, and Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers.” he told me.

And local artists?

Danielle Ate the Sandwich is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard. Andy Sydow and I have peed in many backyards together. He’s my closest non-Jamie friend from CU Denver, and he got me a job teaching music. I really admire his musicianship, and his tenacity. He puts on a pretty sassy live show too. Corsicana went on tour with us last October, and together we discovered the healing properties of cayenne pepper. Ben has the voice of an angel and is irritatingly young. Andrew actually taught him to swim a billion years ago.”

After the release of Present Perfect, Dear Me, have a CD Release Show booked at Syntax on June 10th and are planning to tour around Colorado and the region. They also want to jump back in the studio.

Said Sam, “I feel a little bit like releasing this album was the top of a roller coaster, and the five years before that were the long slow ticking part while we climbed up. And hopefully from here it’s screaming and raising our hands in the air for awhile.”

We’re definitely raising our hands for Dear Me,’s newest release, so give their single “The News” a listen for yourself above, and make sure to grab tickets to their Syntax show by contacting the band here. Keep up with Dear Me, on their Facebook.

-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.

Premiere: This Broken Beat's "Sleep" Showcases Denver Eerie Electropop

By: Norman Hittle

Denver based indie-pop duo This Broken Beat are all about exposing the fine line between living safe and taking risks. The band has said all of us in life “will inevitably get caught up in ideas of irrelevance years down the road, and make mistakes out of in-the-moment emotions, but it's all to illuminate the beauty of choice and free will.” Little more exemplifies their creed than their latest video for their single “Sleep”:

The video was filmed and edited by Justin Urban of UrbanImpression, and the song was recorded with Tyler Glasgow and Jack Roberts of Streetlight Audio.

Regarding the video, This Broken Beat told BolderBeat: “We really fell in love with the eerie, dark aspect of the song, so we wanted the video to also paint that picture. A good portion of our music is major and upbeat, so it was cool to dive into something different. We were hoping for a foggy day for many of the nature shots and fortunately we got one right when we needed it. There are subtle stories throughout the video alluding to the big picture story, which the last scene gives away, so watching it in full-length is crucial if you're wanting to understand the production as a whole. Some days, staying in your bed with your dreams sounds much easier than going out to face life's challenges, and we wanted to capture that emotion."

This Broken Beat.

This Broken Beat.

The duo, which consists of Julio on guitars/vocals and Annie on drums, have been playing together since 2013. “Sleep” is their third release after 2016’s Sweat & Blood single and their 2016 self-titled EP. With a sound that’s reminiscent of Ed Sheeran and perhaps Maroon 5 circa Songs About Jane (with some added electropop flair), This Broken Beat bring a beautiful and full-depth soundscape to the Denver scene with “Sleep.” The song is very well-produced and tight, and you can tell these guys went to great lengths to write and record a quality project.

Make sure to check out “Sleep” for yourself above, and keep up with This Broken Beat’s upcoming shows here.

-Norman

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

One Flew West Talk About Their New Lineup & Sound With Us

By: Austin Michon

“Life is a pain in the ass, and music is a way to escape the daily grind. We just want to have a good time and let loose, and we just want to share that experience with other people.”

Longmont’s One Flew West have recently been recording music and planning their latest single release parties for the two tunes I recently reviewed on BolderBeat. Post-review, I got to ask the band some questions about their history and influences, which include, “Kraftwerk, Nickelback, and Smash Mouth. Duh.”

One Flew West.

One Flew West.

Formed in 2010, the guys have been, in some form or another, making music for a very long time. Said the band, “David and Jonah have known each other since 1st grade, and started playing music together in middle school. We sucked really bad. Pretty much nothing but Ramones and AC/DC covers that sounded like a flock of ducks getting run over by a cement truck.”

But OFW has come quite a ways since then.

“We're working with a new lineup, and our instrumentation has changed a bit.” the group told me regarding their two newest singles, which they plan to release with an EP this fall. “As we've gotten older, we've learned how to actually write, produce, and record music. We're really looking forward to this next EP because we'll be entering the studio with the largest skill set we've had since the band's formation.”

The band has gone through some lineup changes as of late, with the departure of guitarist/trumpeter/cowbell extraordinaire Joe Pineda, and the addition of new bassist Dawson Fry.

“We're a four member band now, and there are some restraints with that setup. However, having less people means we're tighter as a band than we've ever been before. Dawson is an outrageously good bass player, and we can't wait for people to see him live!” said frontman Linden Jackson.

And when it comes to their live setup with the new lineup, the band told us, “We're adjusting our sound to fit the new lineup, and we've spent a lot of time putting together a new live show with new music. Our old music is still a big part of our show, so old fans will still enjoy the direction we're heading in.”

Catch OFW for a taste of the new and a reminder of the old at their back-to-back single release shows this weekend at The Lost Lake on March 3rd and Downtown Artery on March 4th. Keep up with One Flew West on their Facebook.

-Austin

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

Singer/Songwriter Paul Whitacre Drops New Music Video For Single "Beth"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Singer/songwriter Paul Whitacre recently relocated from Indianapolis to Denver, CO. Though he started playing guitar before he turned 15, Whitacre didn’t follow his musical passions until college. He hit a turning point his sophomore year, after finding faith and exploring music.

Paul Whitacre.

Paul Whitacre.

Most recently, Whitacre released his second single, “Beth.” The catchy love song is perfect if you’re looking for those true Valentine’s Day feels, and the music video for the tune, which dropped last week, will definitely make your heart smile. Filmed in Indianapolis by Unsilenced Films, the music video for “Beth” features shots of Whitacre singing and playing acoustic guitar with fellow musician Clay Langebartels (electric guitar/bass/drums) interspersed with scenes of what we’re led to imagine is a much younger Whitacre and his childhood crush on “Beth.” The video features several drone shots as well, which are awesome.

Watch the music video for “Beth”:

When we asked Whitacre about the song, he told us, “I used to always want to marry a girl named Beth because I thought it sounded good with my last name, and when I started dating a girl named Bethany, I found out she had always wanted to marry a guy with my last name, Whitacre.”

Though things didn’t work out in the relationship, Whitacre says that whenever he brings this up at live shows, people are drawn to the story. He likes writing from his own very personal stories.

“I've promised myself and my fans that I'll never sing a song that doesn't have meaning to me. I hope you find the content of my songs both challenging and hopeful. The stories attached to them have shaped who I am, and I hope you can relate to them in your own way too.” says Whitacre.

So make sure to give “Beth” a view, Whitacre a listen, and catch him live by keeping up with his tour schedule 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.

Brooklyn's A Shadow of Jaguar Release New Music Video For "Keep On Knocking"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This past fall, Boulder, CO rock duo A Shadow of Jaguar made the move to New York. Now based in Brooklyn, members Brian Hubbert (lead vocals/slide guitar/bass) and Andrew Oakley (drums/vocals) actually laid down several tracks before their Colorado departure at Denver’s Silo Studios back in 2015. One of these tracks, “Keep on Knocking,” is a tune originally written and recorded in 1976 by pronto-punk band Death. The track itself was not released until 2009, and now, ASOJ have put their own spin on the rock’n’roll hit “as an homage to America’s rock pioneers.”

Just last week, A Shadow of Jaguar dropped an accompanying music video for their version of “Keep on Knocking.” The video features shots of the duo gallivanting around several Boulder hometown haunts, including The Fox Theatre, Dot’s Diner, and The No Name Bar, where Whiskey Autumn’s Matty Schelling actually makes a short cameo appearance. These scenes are interspersed with action shots of a lady friend rocking out, skateboarders, and an ASOJ live performance. Filmed and directed by Colin Anders of Slice Cinematics, you can peep the video for yourself below:

Currently, ASOJ are busy gigging around NYC, but have plans to release more singles for your ears in 2017. Keep up with their tour schedule 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.

'Colorado Sings Colorado'- Our December Spotify Playlist

By: Joliene Adams

Paper Bird knows what I mean. We both get it. Coloradoans LOVE Colorado. With plenty of good reason. This month's playlist is a love note to you Colorado, and all the music scene does to stoke fires in the hearts and minds of its people. To honor that love Colorado artists also have for their art and the people who listen, here’s our playlist of no-shame-sing-your-heart-out-loud for Colorado. We’re listening and thank you!  

BolderBeat's 'Colorado Sings Colorado' Playlist:

1. DéCollage, Magnetize (2016), “Denver Hustle”

DéCollage is one of those rare, exceptional beasts whose capacity for innovation is matched by their ability to effectively, cohesively render it on repeat. Their knack is a multidimensional, sensorial experience. I wouldn’t call DéCollage stylistic minimalists, but just as the art form of décollage, (where you remove parts to create your art rather than to add like a collage) this group has a sharp sensibility for which parts to leave in, and all the more importantly, which to leave out. They achieve stylistic versatility across and within songs without giving way to clutter.

There’s also something definitively fashionable about DéCollage’s music. This is in no way to trivialize it or call it fleeting. Quite the opposite. It’s so damn fashionable because it picks up on the numerous textures, trends, and facets available in contemporary and past pop to render a whole new thing from all these roots. “Denver Hustle” sounds runway ready. “Hold that pose,” they lyrically interject, “Hustle, hustle, hustle. Shine, shine. Summer, summer. Glow, glow, glow, glow.” Get it girl, get it.

2. Bop Skizzum, Coloradical (2012), “Coloradical”

What we have here is unadulterated funk’n’roll. This band is eight members thick and it sounds like it. “Coloradical” is fit to start a spontaneous street parade from the second the percussion hits. Crunchy guitar and saxophone raise the bar of this tune, and keep the voracious good times spiraling upwards.

I’ve always prided myself on an immense capacity for fun, and Bop Skizzum renders that passion musically. Though disbanded as of Valentine’s Day, 2014, Bop Skizzum made the final cut of sixteen potential songs found of Colorado musicians playing Colorado-themed music because: A) Colorado lives for the funk; dies for the funk and B) This tune is fun as hell. May the horn section and keys bring the funk to the fore always.

3. Mesita, With Love, from Laniakea (2016), “Chronolorado”

The piano hit me like a rearview mirror. Reflective. You can see forward past it, backwards through it, but both through the ultimate view of now. Emotively drift off to the gentle unfolding of instrumental minimalism on this track. And no worries: the thematically, existentially-heavy material will lighten your load like a backpack lifted from the shoulders at a journey’s end. All in due time, Chronolorado.

4. Head for the Hills, Robbers Roost (2007), “Telluride Song”

Appropriately, we have one of Colorado’s most popular bluegrass bands of the day singing about Telluride. Joe Lessard’s lovely fiddle, (which I’ve heard described as a violin you can spill beer on) gently brings you in. Solo vocals give way to echoing ones as the fiddle breaks things down hard and shows exactly how beer might get spilled on it, being played with such exuberant force and all. Sam Parks’ mandolin definitely shows how to roshambo right proper all the same too. This is a song the whole family will tap their feet to at the farmer’s market or a bluegrass fest. Classic Colorado for everyone.

5. Fed Rez, Folk Rock (2016), “Danver”

Let’s play a word association game. I’ll say a word, and you say out loud the first word that comes to your mind. Your word is: Denver.

What’d you come up with? I’ll hedge my bets it wasn’t diversity.

Fed Rez brings a Chicano/Mexican contingent into their work heavily on this number, both linguistically and culturally. And the song’s as full of food as a belly on Thanksgiving. “Danver” doesn’t eliminate your appreciation of the song as a listener if you don’t happen to know what a pot of hot posole is or chicken mole either. But if you do, I bet your stomach’s growling.

Fed Rez refer to themselves as allegorical hip-hop. Whatever the precise allegory is on “Danver,” food and location are definitive themes, as you ride around Westwood and Athmar Park to Green Valley Ranch and Park Hill, effectively cruising Denver with the Fed Rez Mile High City natives.

6. Grant Farm, Grant Farm (2012), “Funky Boulder”

This one sure sounds like the Boulder I know and love. As with a number of songs that made this playlist cut, this one’s good for dancing away or driving down a road, hand out the window doing that thing where you swerve and wave it against the force of the wind. But keep an ear- the pace of this song keeps at a clip that the brief escalating drum builds with a charging guitar that could easily get you caught speeding. Ride on you mountain roads.

7. The Good Time Travelers, The Good Time Travelers (2016), “Colorado”

My favorite moment on this tune is a very specific, but subtly calling one. “Getting high in the country, above the tree line, my head’s in the clouds. Getting low, in the ______.” Play another word game with me. What goes there? I’d go with valley. The Good Time Travelers go with canyon. And that’s so Colorado of them! This one’s a lighter, more reflective piece. The acoustic singer/songwriter duo keeps it simple and true. It’s an honest homage to home sweet home.

8. Hang Rounders, Bring Your Sister (2015), “I-70 Westbound”

Hang Rounders hang their hats on a simple foundation of guitar, pedal steel, bass, banjo, tenor guitar, drums, backup vocals, fiddle, and the proclamation that they are best heard live and danced to. Sonically? Good old fashioned country western. Thematically? Good old fashioned country western. Pick a highway, any highway. Pick a past or current flame… aim for one you’d most want to hear say or say to, “Daddy, would you please come home?” Add 3AM and snowing literally, or as metaphor, and you arrive at the same place as the listener: memories and/or daydreams of flying down that chosen road toward a chance of love. Nostalgia.

9. Paper Bird, When the River Took Flight (2010), “Colorado”

“Colorado! It’s your mother’s favorite state!”

Paper Bird represent something a lot of folks think of when they think Colorado music: bluegrass, Americana, and rootsy. They inject a sense of humor into this one, hitting the nail on the head that you’ll all whoop and yell “Colorado!” with joy when you make it here, but in all honesty? “No offense, but we won’t miss you when you’re gone.”

Caleb Summeril’s banjo strums undergird harmonica solos with Paul DeHaven’s guitar make you want to take a turn on the dance floor as each instrument takes it’s turn at the forefront. This is good mountain town porch music to the hilt. They ask you to sing along, and that’s a gas. I sang proudly in the shower to this tune more than any other jam, so that’s absolutely something. Coloradans are nuts for Colorado and Paper Bird sings it proudly.

10. Dechen Hawk, Soul Sessions (2012), “My Hometown”

Dechen Hawk’s hometown is Boulder. So this one’s a love song that is, well, just that: a love song. It just happens to take place in his hometown. References to the city don’t come up, but this well known Front Range artist is a staple of a vital, vibrant component of the local music scene. Our solo artist goes soft and soulful with variations in vocal delivery that keep this track interesting while showcasing a certain diligence of Hawk’s songwriting and musical composition abilities. The ultimately cheery melody alongside the sometimes lamenting lyrical content lend an authenticity and a fresh uplift, despite sometimes hard feelings. And that’s love.

11. Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Even Better Times (2014), “Denver Rock City”

“Denver Rock City” comes at you straight with punk’n’party roll. They sing of changes Denver’s undergone or undergoing in the same lyrical breath as they sing of a stubborn personal refusal to change one’s ways or intentions. They tell you flat out, “And I know it’s a shame South Broadway is gone, but we’re all still kickin’ man- the party’s never gonna stop.” Bud Bronson & The Good Timers full-bodied guitar with rock rolling drums brings the perfect backdrop to keep said party going musically without you ever having to reduce yourself to vodka redbull to do it. They even got me to give it up for John Elway without thinking twice, and I’ve never seen The Denver Broncos play. Live or on television.

12. Lotus, Nomad (2005), “Colorado”

Get in the recliner, chez lounge, or down on the ground and lay on your back because it’s time to float off into full relaxation mode. Mike Greenfield’s light whisking of brushes on the drums and tender splashes on the cymbals combined with Luke Miller and Mike Rempel’s warm and restful guitar chords take you there inherently. It’s an instrumental love homage to Colorado. Considering both the song title, and this track’s downtempo lounge music vibe, you can easily imagine yourself wandering on a warm Colorado summer on a sunset mountain trail with zero of effort (either in imagining, or in physical labor). Chill.

13. Small Hands, This is Our Colorado (Single, 2011), “This is Our Colorado”

Small Hands’ (aka Richie Wallace’s) first two influences listed on Facebook are Hunter S. Thompson and Wu-Tang Clang. Chances are good that could be someone from many places, but any Coloradoan familiar with its literary and musical ties know the two are staples on the scene. If you’re even remotely familiar with the Boulder area, Small Hands will give you known coordinates that stimulate crisp mental visuals in no time. If you’re not familiar with it whatsoever, carefully crafted and accessible lyricism create a mental picture that won’t have you missing out on the joyride: “Lookin’ at the mountain silhouette… sky ahead, electric blue… Towering rocks tempting you to climb… Yellow aspen like fire in a sea of pine…” The song cruises and lets the visuals seep through its hip-hop poetics and uncomplicated, rich electronic and drum backbeats. Smooth.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to take a listen to this playlist and more Colorado music playlists at BolderBeat.

-Joliene

All songs per the artists featured.

Colorado's OvalofSand Releases New Single "Thumb Tacky"

By: Dom Ellerbee

Friends: I would like to introduce you to the new, original, and very intricate musical musings of Boulder artist ovalofsand. Originally from Colorado, venturing to the rain soaked lands of the Pacific Northwest for a time, and eventually settling back down in Colorado, ovalofsand manages to enthrall his listeners with tales of times best left forgotten.

ovalofsand.

ovalofsand.

Listen to ovalofsand’s “Thumb Tacky”:

The debut single off of his upcoming album Stronger/Stranger, entitled “Thumb Tacky”, manages to give you a fleeting glimpse of the overall record; a short summary of what this developing masterpiece will be. I had the privilege of being one of the first to hear the upcoming album in it’s entirety, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised:

Imagine yourselves in a sensory deprivation chamber, blasting this track on full volume, and listen. In doing so you will be taken to a strange, yet somehow familiar library of sound. Ambient melodies coupled with light-hearted guitar work make for some impressive and astonishingly beautiful tunes. This is just about the closest thing you’ll get to the sound of the Seattle underground. You’ll find songs with the mood of bands like Magnog, and the melodic capabilities of Kissing Book.

Stronger/Stranger is a concept album that follows the story of a toxic relationship, escaping that relationship, and moving on from it. It truly is a wonderful, fresh, and original new piece of art. The combination of sounds on the record serve the sole purpose of telling a wonderful story, and making you feel something powerful again.

ovalofsand laying tracks.

ovalofsand laying tracks.

If you want a little taste of what you can expect from ovalofsand, take a listen above, or head over to Spotify to hear this artist’s first album, Dear Forest, under his old name, "Young Jesse". Stick around, and listen to everything ovalofsand has to offer. BolderBeat will update you when Stronger/Stranger drops for the public, but in the meantime, I think you will love what you hear on “Thumb Tacky”.

-Dom

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

Colorado's Western Roots Rock Band Coal Town Reunion Release New Music

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Formed in 2014, Coal Town Reunion are a Colorado Western roots rock band. Comprised of Jeff Montoya (bass/vocals), John Paul Maxfield (guitar/vocals), Sami Steidl (violin), and Alana Dym (drums), this four-piece outfit came together with one goal: to “write honest songs and play the hell out of them”. For the past two years, the band has been doing just that, performing live at gigs around the state.

Recently, Coal Town Reunion actually recorded some of their original tunes, with plans to drop an EP. The first track from the release, “Labor Day Parade” is already out (peep it below). The song’s lyrics were written by Montoya about the nostalgia surrounding a Labor Day Parade he grew up going to annually as a child in Trinidad, Colorado. The track features a sweet string solo by Steidl, driving vocals, and an overall Colorado mountain vibe that is true to the artists of this group.

Said guitarist Maxfield, “[We are] the sons and daughter of the miners, steelworkers, farmers, and cowboys that once called Colorado their home”.

Listen to Coal Town Reunion’s “Labor Day Parade”:

CTR are the sort of band who’d have a dance hall hollerin’ and swingin’ in minutes. Their energy is palpable in their work, and their Colorado pride is hard not to jump around to.

This Thursday, September 22nd, you can catch Coal Town Reunion at Cervantes’ in Denver. The band will also be playing a set at Denver’s Walnut Room Thursday, November 3rd. Stay tuned for Coal Town Reunion’s new music and upcoming performance 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.

Colorado's The Velveteers Release Debut Single + Music Video for Track "Death Hex"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Colorado rock duo The Velveteers released their first music video and single today for their original track, “Death Hex”. Recorded at Silo Sound Studios, the track features commanding vocals by frontwoman Demi Demitro over heavy guitar and a slammin’ rock’n’roll drumbeat courtesy of John Demitro.

John & Demi Demitro.

John & Demi Demitro.

Demi’s presence in the accompanying music video for “Death Hex” is as equally hypnotic as the single itself. In it, we enter a black and white world lit only by candles, and are hexed with prismatic visions of Demi playing in front of dual drummers in gothic makeup. Visions of Demi’s smile, eyes, and headbanging hair flash before us as if part of a spell.

Watch The Velveteer’s new music video for their debut single, “Death Hex”:

Said Demi of the video, “‘Death Hex’ is about awakening from the dead and saying goodbye to the past. It was really inspired by a sense of magic I felt happening. It’s a story of coming back from a bad situation and coming out on the other side better than you ever imagined.”

Though The Velveteers have been around for a year and a half, “Death Hex” is the first music that they have actually recorded. They’ll be supporting the single, and showcasing a number of other original tunes, on their upcoming UK tour with California’s Deap Valley, and they’ve got more studio plans in the works as well.

On top of being a talented player, Demi’s got the attitude of a real rock goddess in creative control of all she does with this project, and that’s one reason that checking out The Velveteers is a must. Make sure to listen to “Death Hex” for yourself, and peep The Velveteers' UK tour dates 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.

Bonne Finken Showcases Her Multi-Faceted Artistry in Upcoming "Speak to Me" Single & Music Video

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Des Moines singer/songwriter Bonne Finken is no stranger to the music game. A professional vocalist since 2005 and a cancer survivor, she has made quite the name for herself locally and nationally. She has released two albums (Soul on Display; Fairytales/LoveAffairs) with numerous hit singles, and is about to release her upcoming single and music video "Speak to Me" this Friday, August 12th.

Bonne Finken.

Bonne Finken.

Bonne recorded the single with producers Glenn Sawyer and Rich Veltrop of The Spot Studios in Denver, CO. "Speak to Me" is the first song from Finken’s upcoming album, set to be unveiled in full this winter. It is a powerful electronic dance tune, but like much of Bonne’s music, the thought and work put into it make it so much more than just a catchy song.

"Speak to Me" is a personal statement about transition, growth, and resilience, and how those themes have influenced Finken’s writing. Bonne is known for challenging her skills and taking her craft to another level. Over the last ten years, Bonne’s music has been shaped by her constant thirst for knowledge, and her desire to be more involved in the process. She storyboarded, directed, edited, and starred in the video for “Speak to Me” herself, truly making it a representation of her in every way.

Watch Bonne Finken’s teaser for her upcoming music video “Speak to Me”:

"It’s very meta," Bonne shared, "it’s very much how my music started off. I used to ask people who knew better to work on the technical parts. But I’ve learned now the only way to get exactly what you want is to do it yourself. So on top of knowing the music in and out, I learned the editing, production, recording, and directing aspects.”

The music video took five weeks to film, with only one hour each day acceptable for the type of lighting needed for the video. While she learned a few lighting tricks of the trade, Bonne channeled her fierce passion and commitment to the music by insisting her team use the natural light instead. While this project was still a collaboration of creative talent, working with a skeleton crew of producers Jon Locker and Mike Ray, "Speak to Me" is Bonne’s transformation into an even more multi-faceted artist.

The music video for "Speak to Me" is its own entity, and not a direct correlation to the lyrics. Each convey a message of bravery, perseverance, and transformation, but are meant to be related to in different ways. Yet, no matter how you take it all in, the overlying message speaks to the struggle, the fears of failure, and the overwhelming need to keep moving forward no matter what. The video represents the song itself, as well as the hard work put into creating the video.

Bonne has already released a 15-second teaser for the "Speak to Me" music video. It’s been a totally hands-on process for Bonne so far, and she cannot wait to unveil what she’s been working on. Tune in to Bonne’s upcoming announcements by checking out her Facebook, website, and blog.

-Jura

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