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: Corsicana's "Reprieve" Recalls The Detriments Of Growing Up

By: Sam Piscitelli

Growing up as naive children we tend to imagine life as an exploration of majestic intent. We prefer to seek out our own wanderlust in order to see what the world has prepared for us. There’s an impression that the lives we lead will be difficult at times but we tend to see it as less realistic and more fantasy than anything else. In Corsicana’s new single “Reprieve” from their forthcoming record Perennial, that flawed logic falls short as we’re given an authentic perspective into the detriments of growing up.

Corsicana makes it clear within their first line that there’s essentially no give and take left in their adult lives except when they’re asleep. With taut precision and delicate placements Corsicana’s “Reprieve” introduces us to the loss of innocence, the unwarranted heaviness it leaves on your chest and the undying life of having life figured out only to end up questioning the answers you had before. The song is contradictory in the sense that it lulls you into a warm familiarity while also causing a recurring shock of wondering what’s ahead, but it’s the contradictories complexity that makes the song genuinely sincere. The ability to mourn while comprehending the ability to move forward is the basis of learning to live through life.

Corsicana.

Corsicana.

The attempts at painting a picture that is a universal struggle may seem like a challenge, but here, it’s done with ease. It just goes to show that an old idea can have a nuanced perspective when done right. It’s a welcomed approach to an idea that’s seemingly been all dried up. The idea of growing older is largely capitalized on, but is rarely executed right. While Twenty-One Pilots hint at growing up as unromantic and Taylor Swift muses she wants to turn back time, Corsicana’s take is about relying on life to balance itself out. “Reprieve” is a song that expertly unravels life’s little moments, whether that may be the beauty, the ugly, or the fine line that treads between them.

Keep up with Corsicana here.

-Sam

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

Review: NIGHTS New Single "Over & Over" Stands Out From the Haze

By: Julia Talen

Blogger, fashionista, poet, and musician Mel Denisse has been growing her latest musical project NIGHTS since the start of the year, first with her single, “Hollow” released in January and then the followup single “Gone,” which has a new music video. Just recently, her latest tune “Over and Over” dropped. The track, which was produced by Carlos de la Garza (Teenage Wrist, Paramore, Jimmy Eat World), has already snagged a spot on Spotify’s “New Rock” playlist.

NIGHTS alt-rock vibe radiates from her latest track, but the intensity of this song’s shoegaze elements differentiates it from her first two gripping singles. “Over and Over” starts off with a soft, balanced melody incorporating electric guitar and bass as well as a steady drum beat. But as the song moves forward, the residual sounds of the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals carry subtly through the track, amplified in the catchy refrain. It finishes off with nearly twenty seconds of thick amp echoes that slowly fade, a poignant compositional choice. All of the haziness embedded in the track mirrors the lyrics and themes of the song-the inescapable and nebulous rumination of the mind “over and over” again.

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Additionally, for each of Mel Denisse’s singles comes exquisitely photographed album art. For ”Over and Over,” Denisse stands amongst mist, fog, and haze in several photos that have been layered, reiterating the tune’s ideas and concepts.

With the intriguing content in her latest single and the talent evident in all of her music this year, it’s no doubt that NIGHTS career is just beginning to bloom and flourish.

-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: 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 Crowleys Release New Single "Pink Rainbows" From Upcoming EP

By: Norman Hittle

Just out, The Crowleys have released their first single “Pink Rainbows” from their upcoming EP.

If you could combine the mellower aspects of Rush with the retro psychedelic rock vibes of Tame Impala, you’d start to get an idea of what The Crowleys’ new single is about. Its clean electric guitars and synths form a bed of warm chords appropriate for its comfortable crooning of vocals to rest in.

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The band is comprised of Stuart Downie (drums/backing vocals), Kaulin Horlick (bass), Justyn Horlick (guitar/keys) and Cohen Wylie (guitar/lead vocals) from Hamilton, Ontario. When the four-piece aren’t jamming, they’re trying to obtain an Old Milwaukee Ice sponsorship, playing D&D in the van between gigs, and writing love songs.

“Pink Rainbows” comes from their new forthcoming EP Colours Change Their Tone, due out this Friday, February 9th. The band said this regarding the song:

“Pink Rainbows is the first song that we have recorded that we never played as a full band prior to hitting the studio. Cohen wrote the song awhile back and recorded a few of the parts, and then the rest of the band kind of wrote and recorded on the fly. It gave a lot of creative freedom and we believe it shows in the final product.”

Keep up with The Crowleys on their social media. And check back for their new EP February 9th on Bandcamp.

-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: 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.

Scenic Route To Alaska Release First Single From Upcoming Record & "Slow Down"

By: Norman Hittle

Life on the road for touring bands can be a tough and a necessary evil for the growth of an artist’s career. Spending most of 2016 and 2017 venue hopping and taking the stage in different locales, Scenic Route to Alaska finally had the chance to stop, take a breath, and slow down. Better yet, they wrote a song about it!

Listen to Scenic Route to Alaska's "Slow Down":

The indie pop rock Edmonton-based trio, comprised of Trevor Mann on lead vocals/guitar, drummer Shea Connor, and bassist Murray Wood, said their single “Slow Down” is a reference to their time traveling cross-country and what it takes to maintain one's own sanity in the fast paced music world.

Scenic Route To Alaska.

Scenic Route To Alaska.

The single is the first song off of their slated 2018 LP (as of yet untitled) and marks the first music released from the band since 2016’s Long Walk Home. Though it explores some personal experiences, its guitar driven indie pop vibe makes it an easy listen, with nods to the stylistic nature of Queens of the Stone Age and Weezer.

Having been a band since they were teenagers, and having three albums under their belt (with a fourth on the way), these guys seem to be getting a good grip on making music that's both interesting and accessible for big fans and casual listeners. Keep an ear out for their upcoming LP and keep an eye out for a possible forthcoming US tour 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.

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: On Repeat Experiment With Synth And Space Sounds On New Single "Pontoon"

By: Julia Talen

It’s been a couple of years since Blake Britton and Jake Lamos, the artistic duo behind the music group On Repeat, have announced new music aside from their single, “Minus,” released in early 2016. In October 2015, On Repeat issued their debut EP, The Mighty Unkind, and followed up their EP release with shows throughout the Denver area at venues like Larimer Lounge and the Seventh Circle Music Collective. Since February they have not played a live show and have been working away on their latest EP comprised of fresh songs including their recent release, “Pontoon.”

The artwork for On Repeat.

The artwork for On Repeat.

The track, “Pontoon,” shifts away from the grunge-y alternative overtones of their first EP, honing in on mixing and layering harmonies, instrumentals, and vocals interspersed with explorative electronic sounds. The intro of “Pontoon” draws you in slow, as the twangy guitar and subtle, easy bass treks along on an even melody. Soft symbols and steady drumbeats accompany the dynamic notes of a keyboard. The notes sound like the high keys on an electrified organ and begin to elevate the seemingly folksy tune, alluding to the forthcoming experimentation that On Repeat weaves into this track.

Listen to On Repeat's "Pontoon":

A Local Natives and Modest Mouse vibe consistently cradles the first half of the song as Jack and Blake’s vocals meld together swimmingly singing lyrics with the lines, “raised on a pontoon I was used to loneliness/tempted by the signs that I’d finally make it.” The poetic lyrics are vague, yet leave room for creating your own impressions as the song lulls back into a calm composition after the first refrain, thus mirroring the intro.

The single begins to build wondrously with the second refrain. On Repeat fuses together distinctive elements as they subtly thread in underlying vocals crooning, “only want it, ‘til you’ve got it/now you want it, you don’t got it” with experimental sounds like space noises and synthy intentional bits of feedback. The track finishes off with the low-key melody rescinding while blurred and blended sounds erupt and wrap up the song, leaving the listener almost on a cliffhanger, wanting more. I suppose we have more to look forward to when On Repeat releases their latest EP and perform this song and others live with The Ephinjis and Meeting House, Friday, September 29th, in Englewood at Moe’s Original BBQ!

-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: 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.
 

Review: Morning Bear Wrote His Newest Single During Iceland Airwaves Festival

By: Trevor Ryan

Hailing from Denver and releasing new music for the first time in two years is the fiery, folksy project Morning Bear (John Runnels), with his newest single “You’re Right.”

Morning Bear.

Morning Bear.

With hints of Bon Iver and City and Colour in the mix, Morning Bear’s new track is an emotional hitter. The amount of effort put into the instrumentals alone on “You’re Right” is pretty astounding, and when you add those soft, clear pipes from Runnels, it’s hard not to listen to the song on repeat a few times through once you hear it. Although the production is what most stands out with this track, there is still something to say about Runnels’ ability to write a catchy, articulate tune.

When asked about the inspiration behind the track, Runnels told us, “‘You’re Right’ was written in a tiny Airbnb in Iceland during Iceland Airwaves. [It’s] about being stubborn and fighting for something despite all odds, as well as accepting when it's time to give up. It's a song about the struggle between what you want and wish, and what must be.”

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Runnels will be performing “You’re Right” live, this Friday, September 8th at Denver’s The Walnut Room, along with many of his other tunes. He will be joined by a full string quintet, making for a stellar night of orchestral indie folk. Snag your tickets to the show here, and make sure to keep up with Morning Bear and more of Runnels’ new music on Facebook.

-Trevor

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.

Review: Montreal's Viral YouTube Cover Duo Chris Kelly & Nicole Gibson Release First Original Single

By: Trevor Ryan

YouTube is known for many, many things. Comedy channels, news broadcasting, and of course, rather controversially, music. One of the more popular types of artists with a large viewership on the ‘tube is the cover artist. This has been a longstanding trend for the YouTube community, and among these cover artists are Montreal’s Chris Kelly & Nicole Gibson.

Nicole Gibson & Chris Kelly. 

Nicole Gibson & Chris Kelly. 

After both being in separate alternative rock bands, Chris Kelly & Nicole Gibson joined up about a year ago to create ambient, alternative sounds. Starting out with a video cover of Linkin Park’s “Battle Symphony,” the pair gained an audience quickly when the video reached 28k views. With covers ranging from Sum 41 to The Chainsmokers, the duo have recently landed on their new original single “Ghost of You.”

This track has a really great blend of rock and ambition. Adapting many of the newer elements that popular rock uses today, like spikes in synth use and overall electronic influences, can sometimes, as we all know, get tricky. But “Ghost of You” showcases some of these sounds well. The track starts out very mellow, and builds with smooth vocals and synth. Reminiscent of Taylor Swift's ballad “Style,” Ghost of You has hard hitting bass lines, and that steady kick/synth combination that really fuels the chorus. The duo scene is coming back, and these two are doing a pretty great job of making their way to the front lines of Montreal’s pop rock scene with this release. They're currently working on their second single, "Battleborn," which will drop later this month.

Keep up with Chris Kelly & Nicole Gibson on Facebook, and catch up with their latest music on their YouTube and SoundCloud.

-Trevor

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.

Review: Legato's New Single "Tasty" Lives Up to Its Name

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Colorado’s funk aficionados Legato have released their new single “Tasty,” and it sure does live up to its name. But before we get into that, you might be wondering, who is Legato? Well, you may know them by their previous band name, Technicolor Tone Factory.

Legato. Photo Credit:   Miles Photography  .

Legato. Photo Credit: Miles Photography.

Since 2011, the four-piece group, comprised of Bryan LeFever (drums), Greg Kallfa (keys/ vocals), Cameron Canepa (guitar/vocals), and Karl Summers (bass/vocals) have swept the Denver-Boulder jam music scene. In their time, they’ve shared the stage with big acts such as: moe., Dopapod, Twiddle, and Tauk, just to name a few. Together, Legato brings a unique, colorful vibe to their music, tipping their hats to sounds ranging from jazz, to rock, to hip-hop and soul.

After a few lineup changes, TTF decided it was high time for a rebrand and thus changed their name to Legato, an Italian term meaning tied-together. Band member Karl Summers shared his thoughts on this new stylistic shift in sound:

“Our aim is to maintain the energetic musical prowess we've held onto over the years as well as enter a new chapter and direction in our careers.”

Legato’s newest single, “Tasty,” holds true to their new vibrant sound. The 8-minute-long tune is playful, high-energy, and danceable as all get-out. With an almost disco-like sound at times and Daft Punk-type robotic vocals repeating the mantra “this shit is reaaaal tasty,” the urge to move and groove is an unavoidable feeling for any listeners. “Tasty” is the first of two more yet-to-be-released, but highly anticipated singles from this crew.

To celebrate their new image, Legato will be supporting the electro-funk fusion group Kung Fu at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, April 15th. Peep the event page here for more details and tickets!

In the meantime, be sure to link up with Legato on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud for more insight into their releases and general whereabouts.

-Jura

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

Bo DePeña Drops New Country Tune "The Weed and the Wine"

By: Allan Tellis

Hailing from Laredo, TX, singer/songwriter Bo DePeña recently relocated to Denver, CO, though this is a musician who has arguably lived in many a music city. After having spent time in Austin, NYC, and San Antonio, the mountains called and DePeña found himself in Colorado. After the release of his record There’s No Way Out of Here last November, DePeña has been gigging hard throughout the region to showcase his Americana and folk country sounds. Most recently, he released his single and music video for his track “The Weed and The Wine.”

Watch DePeña’s music video for “The Weed and The Wine”:

With a very classic country twang, Bo DePeña describes an all too familiar feeling of love and intoxication in this tune. “The Weed and the Wine” is a laid back soundtrack for anyone who may have experienced strong emotions for a potential partner, but can’t quite make out the cause after a night out. The song describes that feeling of every moment and touch seeming perfect, though it may just be those Mile High vices blurring the lines between love and reality.

Bo DePeña.

Bo DePeña.

The song itself is warm and hazy, and conjures up tones of affection and confusion, which fit the lyrical content spectacularly. The video is equally charming, simple, and familiar, with Bo and a lady friend imbibing in a living room interspersed with shots of DePeña singing. This song is definitely worth checking out, and might hit even more of a sweet spot if you indulge in such “grown up” activities.

Make sure to give this playful tune a listen and keep up with Bo and his massive tour schedule here.

-Allan

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

Review: AMBIT's New Single "Guest House" Will Take You to a Low-Lit Dungeon of Your Choosing

By: Jura Daubenspeck

AMBIT is Denver’s oozy & bizarre garage house trio that is “a little Chicago & a little Detroit.”

AMBIT.

AMBIT.

The eclectic group has some new music for anyone looking to shed their skin a bit and get weird. With a palindromic approach to creating music focusing on loops and patterns, their sound is one you’ll likely find blasting in a late night warehouse party.

Members Jason Iselin (guitar/bass), Eli Mishkin (vocals/guitar/bass), and Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens (bass/modulations/drums) are no strangers to Colorado’s music scene, playing in other bands such as Hot IQs, george&caplin, Wentworth Kersey, and Morriconez. AMBIT then made their start performing at the Underground Music Showcase in 2015.

AMBIT’s minimalistic darkwave sound beckons listeners to unbuckle their brain and get on the dance floor. Their previous releases, including “heartbeat noise,” “townies,” and “night drive,” incorporate dark and wavy bass beats, melancholic vocals, and splashes of space-like synth. At times, AMBIT sounds a bit like The Faint’s Danse Macabre album, while other times, you could swear you have already heard their music featured in the neo-noir crime film Drive.

The band released new music last week; their single “Guest House” dropped, which you can listen to above. “Guest House” follows suit to AMBIT’s previous releases with march-like rhythms, repetitive vocal commands, and a very subtle buildup. So close your eyes while listening to this track, and let yourself be taken to a low-lit dance dungeon of your choosing.

If “Guest House” is indicative of what is to come for AMBIT, there’s much to look forward to. Keep tabs on the band via Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud for future releases.  

-Jura

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