Mawule Debuts "More than Music" Initiative Tonight at University of Denver

By: Jura Daubenspeck

 “Music is therapeutic. Music is healing.” -Mawule 

Last time we checked in with R&B artist Mawule, he had just released his striking music video for “Black is Beautiful (feat. Bianca Mikahn and ILL Se7en).” Since then, Mawule’s vision for creating powerful, meaningful music has continued to develop, with some exciting announcements on the horizon. Throughout the last few months, he has been working on his new More than Music initiative.

Mawule. Photo Credit:  Joel Rekiel

Mawule. Photo Credit: Joel Rekiel

More than Music brings music, storytelling, and intersectionality to college campuses nationwide. Using a similar formula to TED Talks, More than Music is grounded in the mission to create dialogue, specifically focusing on topics such as diversity, identity, and individuality.  

Photo Credit: Jairo East

Photo Credit: Jairo East

The inspiration for the More than Music movement came after Mawule released his album, Chosen, last year. After talking with producer Glenn Sawyer (The Spot Studios), the idea to incorporate meaningful stories into his performance sets blossomed, and has since taken off.

Photo Credit:   Joel Rekiel

Photo Credit: Joel Rekiel

When he is not writing, recording, or performing, Mawule works in higher education. Through his role as Resident Director at University of Denver, he comes face to face with so many incredible individuals with powerful, unique stories. Here’s a bit more of what Mawule had to say on the topic:  

“My life experiences are inherent in my music. I write music with one intention: to help people. I use my musical talent to let those who might be going through similar things know they are not alone. We all have stories to tell, and those stories are pivotal to our learning and development. Whether our stories are rooted in pain, joy, anger, happiness, or sadness, there is inspiration found in each and every one of them. It is our responsibility as authors to share these stories, because people need to hear them.”
Photo Credit: Jairo East

Photo Credit: Jairo East

More than Music is set to become a nationwide initiative, bringing awareness to social, societal, and personal issues to college campuses. It will be a tool to help students connect on an interpersonal level using music and storytelling.

More than Music debuts tonight at University of Denver’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts - Elizabeth Erikson Byron Theatre. This FREE event is open to all ages, and will take place from 7:30PM-8:45PM (doors at 6:45PM). The event page can be found here, and registration can be complete here.

Connect with Mawule on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Twitter.

-Jura

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

Get Your Weird On at Get Along's Single Release Show This Friday at Lost Lake

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Itching for some weirdness this weekend? Lusting for some tunes that will make you swoon? Lucky for you, this Friday, April 7th is shaping up to be a stellar one, as indie dance-punk duo Get Along are unveiling their single and music video for “Death of a Spirit Animal” at Lost Lake Lounge. They’ll be accompanied on the bill by church fire, Signs and Signals, and Specific Ocean.

Get Along. Photo Credit:  Joel Rekiel

Get Along. Photo Credit: Joel Rekiel

Get Along has been hard at work the last few months recording “Death of a Spirit Animal” at The Spot Studios, and shooting the accompanying music video. Known for their soulful and bizarre sound, as well as their explosively commanding stage presence, the band has taken it up another notch with their newest release.

Unlike Get Along’s other songs, such as “DNA,” “Karaoke,” and “YUKI,” “Death of a Spirit Animal” has a mellow quality that oozes with raw energy and introspection. The song takes risks with its sound and content: it has no clear verse or chorus bridge arrangement, but a mid-song climax that resembles a Shakespearean plotline. “Death of a Spirit Animal” touches upon the painful and chest-tightening moment of clarity that forces one to look at their life from a different perspective and ask, “Do I like the person I’ve become?”

church fire.

church fire.

Supporting acts church fire, Signs and Signals, and Specific Ocean all will bring their own tasty ingredients to the bubbling cauldron that is Friday’s show.

church fire has established themselves as the warlocks of darkwave noise-pop, wielding magic with their experimental electronica. No strangers to the strange, they are often seen donned in masks and mystical headwear, all while belting out screams in songs such as “every toss a tightening.”

Signs and Signals has been creating melodic, rhythmically-smooth alternative rock since 2014. Their catchy, vibrant sound, as heard in their hit song “Fight or Flight” has earned them acclaim, and their fine-tuned stage presence makes their music nearly impossible not to jump around to.

Specific Ocean.

Specific Ocean.

Indie newcomers Specific Ocean bring a young, playful energy to their music. The band all met while studying at Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and have been crafting comforting, dreamy tunes like “Strangers” ever since.

Listen to Specific Ocean's "Strangers": 

Come Friday, be ready to shake off your human skin and let your freak flag fly high for all to see. You’ll be welcomed with some equally killer, kooky beats to dance to.

For more details, check out the Facebook event page. Advance tickets are still on sale for $10 (plus there are some killer t-shirt + ticket combinations), so grab ‘em while they’re hot!

-Jura

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

Explore the Underground "Indie Garbage" That is The Hunger Artist

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The Hunger Artist (“H.a.”),who goes by his pseudonym Travis Moor, or ™, for short, is a bit of an anomaly. Constantly grappling between the need to create and the reluctance to unveil these creations to the public, he promenades through Denver’s underground music scene with his tribe and plays music for the hell of it.

It’s likely you have not heard H.a.’s music before, unless you’ve stumbled into one of their shows at The Deer Pile, or at a word-of-mouth house party. There’s nearly no music released online, which serves as a protective layer, as well as a call to action: if you’re going to judge their self-titled “indie garbage,” at least get up and dance to it in person first.

Since 2011, the band (Travis Moor, Hunter Fausnaugh, Collin Fausnaugh, and Stefan Short) have been creating music you can move your body to, but when examined further, their tunes also have a deeper meaning. Circulating throughout the themes of philosophy, love, and the overarching goal of self-actualization, H.a. teeters between a playfully punk attitude, pop-like beats, and a general quirkiness that does not fit any mold.

I had the opportunity to talk to Moor himself, which felt like a rare treat. Aside from discussing the general history of the band, their inability to fit into Denver’s exclusive music niches, and the hilarity of pigeons, what I found most fascinating about our conversation was the concept of creating for the sake of creativity, rather than for other people.

The rationale behind much of Moor’s creative decisions revolves around “inside jokes with himself,” and when prompted about what he wants people to know about him, Moor replied, “I’ve never really thought about it until I started thinking that people actually may want to know me. I want people to focus on what they’re doing and what they’re experiencing.” We discussed Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist,” which details the life of an archetypal artist, who, despite the declining appreciation of his craft, performs no matter if anyone is watching.

In the last few years, H.a. has been hitting it hard, finishing an album, recording music at The Spot Studios, and having enough music for a second and third album. And if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to hear some of it. The band just released their music video for “Gotta Live a Life” which adds a quirky spin to the concept of corrupted ideas and groupthink. The video was directed by Josh Mackey and stars the ever-bizarre punk musician Little Fyodor.

Watch H.a.’s “Gotta Live a Life” music video:

While the connection between artists and their fans is often highlighted, The Hunger Artist plays the devil’s advocate, and suggests that creativity should inevitably exist for the creator itself, because in the end, it’s your soul that rests in that piece of art.

Lucky for us, H.a. has an upcoming show with Stereoshifter, The Backseaters, Sliver, and Defying Mara at Moe’s BBQ on January 28th, and it’s bound to be a great time. Tickets can be purchased here.

-Jura

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

Alternative Punk Rock Group American Blackout Debut 'Yeah So What' EP

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The gifts just keep on coming this holiday season with today’s release of the newest 'Yeah So What' EP by alternative punk rock group American Blackout. Hailing from Fort Collins, CO, members Craig Miller (vocals/guitar), Damian Schoenecke (guitar), Ross Dougherty (bass) and Gus Mircos (drums) have been anticipating this release for almost a year. Needless to say, the band is excited for today’s debut, so we sat down with frontman Craig Miller to get the scoop on American Black’s new music and more. Here’s our chat:

The 'Yeah So What' EP is your third and final release of 2016. How long have you guys been working on this for?

For a while now. We released our first single “Pants on Fire” last January, and just released “Shots Fired” in September, so [the whole EP] has been about one year in the works. We recorded all five tracks at The Spot Studios, recording two at a time, then recording one last song to finish it up. Lately we’ve been getting it all packaged, mastered, and ready for release.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

There’s been quite a bit of hype leading up to this release, with little sneak previews, bundles, and free giveaways. How have people reacted so far?

Everyone seems pretty excited about it. We’ve received really good reviews on the singles. We just previewed our title track, “Yeah So What” yesterday, which is our favorite song to play live. It’s upbeat and high energy, which is perfect because we get down at our live shows.

What can fans expect from this new EP? What kinds of sounds and influences are embedded in it? Any themes?

What I like most about it is that it’s a little bit of a deviation from our last EP, Summer’s Gone. It’s a much more matured sound and a lot less “poppy.” The last EP focused a lot more on relationships, whereas Yeah So What is more raw and edgy, especially “Shots Fired.” Our lyrics have matured and our sound is a bit more gritty. As always, we’ve got a clean, crisply produced sound from working at The Spot Studios, but [this new release] just ended up being more energetic rock’n’roll versus pop. We like the direction it’s going in.

Listen to American Blackout's new Yeah So What EP:

Are there any special guest features on this release?

No guest features. One major difference is that this EP was recorded with our old drummer Jason LaBella. We have a new drummer now, Gus Mircos, who will be playing at the EP release show with us. We’re grateful to have worked with Jason, and are excited to have Gus with us now.

What was the creative process behind this release? Any particular reason why you’re aiming for an end of year release VS a new year release?

An end of the year release was just how it ended up happening with the availability and materials. Our last full-length release was in January 2015, so we are due for another one. Also, December is a great time to go out, given the holidays. Regarding our creative process, we’ve been writing a lot, and have been picky about what songs we wanted to record and what songs we wanted to included. We’ve been much more selective, starting with a basic idea, gathering new ideas, and continuing that effort until those ideas materialize into a song.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

Will there be a tour to accompany this release? Any holiday pit stops you plan to make?

Our EP Release Party is this Saturday, December 17th at Downtown Artery. Then we’ve got a series of shows in late January, including a show at The Moxi Theater. We plan to hit the road in March 2017, working our way through the Southwest, California, and Nevada.

Finally, as an alternative punk band in Colorado, where do you most find your niche?

We’ve been able to make a lot of friends in different genres of music. We love playing with Wiredogs, who will also be playing at our EP Release Party this Friday along with I Am The Owl. We like playing with those guys quite a bit. We met so many different bands through the SpokesBUZZ program and we have played with many other genres, like the Gasoline Lollipops, who are more bluegrass/folk. We like to mix it up and tailor our sets to the other bands’ styles. That’s what’s great about the Colorado music scene: everyone likes to work together, meet new people, and experience new styles of music.

Keep in touch with American Blackout via their Facebook, Instagram, and website. And be sure to grab your tickets to their EP Release Party this Saturday, December 17th!

-Jura

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

Bonne Finken Talks To Us About Her Grammy Consideration, SXSW, & More

By: Jura Daubenspeck

It’s no mystery that the ladies of Denver’s music scene are a force to be reckoned with. And when it comes to finding a place that not only satiates your musical thirst, but also your need for some downright tasty pizza, The Walnut Room is where it’s at.

Last Saturday, ladies took over the stage at The Walnut Room for a night of indie electronica flavor. Tana Victoria, Amy Kress, Bonne Finken with DJ/backup vocalist Christine Steeples, and Phee all kept it edgy, poetic, and even a bit dark at times. The lineup consisted of mostly Colorado locals, with the exception of Iowa native Bonne Finken, who lit up the room with her booming vocals and phantasmal projections.

Each performer wowed during their time on stage, but this week, we wanted to give special props to Bonne Finken, who, despite her strong Midwest following, made her Denver debut at the show. We sat down with Bonne prior to her set to ask her a few questions about what she’s been up to, including her upcoming album, her Grammy consideration, and her plans for SXSW 2017. Here’s what she had to say:

This is your first time playing in Denver. Welcome! How are you feeling?

I feel excited! We just got done with soundcheck, and I got to hear the other artists play a bit. It sounds like we’re all in the same genre, so that’s pretty cool.

Earlier this summer you released your single and video “Speak to Me.” What have you been up to in the meantime?

I’ve been working on the new album, which will be released in 2017. “Speak to Me” was just the first release from that album. We’ve been recording, which is why I’m in Denver now. Joel Rekiel, my publicist, lined this show up for me while I was in town. I’ve been working on the album; retooling the show. It’s gone really electronic now learning a bunch of technologies, and the band is relearning gear. So that’s what we’re working on now.

You’ve been recording at The Spot Studios. How long have you been working with them?

I just went there last spring to record “Speak to Me.” And then I just started again about a week ago. I’ll be returning next spring and will hopefully have it all done by June 2017.

Bonne Finken. 

Bonne Finken. 

So what’s the experience been like this past week?

Really awesome. They’re so great to work with, and they (Glenn Sawyer and Rich Veltrop) understand my sound more than anybody I’ve worked with before. So it feels super easy. Instead of me trying to translate my sound or fight on sounds, it feels very comfortable, and goes so fast. It’s incredible! It’s been fun, relaxing and exciting.

Last time we talked, we discussed how you put your heart and soul into your music. You take the time to learn everything about every aspect of your music, so it really becomes a piece of you. I’m curious about what that process has been like, and how much of your blood, sweat, and tears will be going into this next album.

Definitely more than ever before. It’s hard to explain. Literally they’re using my own sessions and my own sounds and it’s demoed to the point where if I want a certain harmony figured out, I better have it figured out when I bring it in. [On other records] we would bring in really sketched out ideas and flush them out in the studio, where as now we bring it in and execute whatever we have, so we have to be more prepared. Which is scary and good. It goes faster, but it means whatever my idea is in real time is what they execute. So that’s been a big difference on this album. And I’ve learned a lot about MIDI. You’re able to use electronic instruments of any kind, and write with them. So that’s been very freeing for me as a writer and as an artist. I love the freeness of MIDI.

Regarding your recorded work, what can your fans expect in the coming months?

I’ll probably have a couple more singles out and promote them like I did “Speak to Me.” “Speak to Me” was kind of a campaign to try to get on the Grammy ballot, which it did do, so that was cool that we released it in time. But I’ll probably release a couple of music videos almost quietly. Not necessarily to sell, but to test out some of the sounds on the album. You’ll be hearing what’s been in my brain for the last decade but has taken me a long time to understand how to articulate audibly. I’ve always had crazy ideas, but now I feel like I can really make it happen and show that off in my music.

How will those those crazy, cool ideas be manifested in your future performances?

When I write, I keep in mind my live shows, because that’s what I love most, maybe to the detriment of thinking, “Will this song work live?” It’s important for me to get [my work] across in my live shows. So if anything, my live shows will be stronger because I keep that in mind and am able to manipulate the recordings knowing that. I like going to shows and hearing artists sound like they do in the recording, rather than not being able to recognize the song because it’s been changed too much.

Steeples (left) & Finken (right). 

Steeples (left) & Finken (right). 

Do you have any upcoming shows, or tours around the country?

We’re actually coming down into recording mode. Most winters I hole up. I don’t like to travel in bad weather. So I’ve learned to call a spade a spade, and not push it. But we are going to SXSW so I’m super stoked for that. We might just go underground a bit [this winter], write some songs, work on the show, and let SXSW be our big reveal for some of these new songs.

We can’t wait to hear more! Keep up with Bonne Finken here.

-Jura

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

BLDGBLKS Artists Score Grammy Considerations

By: Jura Daubenspeck

A Grammy Award is no doubt the highest honor for recording artists. Each year, thousands of artists are entered for considerations. And while the heavy-hitting musicians we know and love often find their way onto the ballots, it’s also important to note the other hard-working up-and-comers who make their way onto the list.

This year BLDGBLKS artists Bonne Finken, Amy Kress, Mawule, R Michael Rhodes, and Interstate 10 have made the cut for the 2017 Awards considerations.

A membership with The Recording Academy is required in order to submit any music. Glenn Sawyer, producer at The Spot Studios, as well as a Voting Member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), has taken charge and submitted the following music for these BLDGBLKS artists:

Bonne Finken - “Speak to Me” - Best Pop Solo Performance

Amy Kress - “Fly” - Best Dance Album of the Year

Mawule - “Chosen” - Best R&B Album

R Michael Rhodes - “After All These Years” - Best Americana Album

Interstate 10 - “I’m Gonna Miss You” - Best Country Duo Performance

So what happens for these artists between now and the Awards? After the voting members submit their music for the consideration round, the expert Grammy committees come up with a final ballot of artists. Artists are generally taken from the top percentage of nominations, but many artists not on this top list still make their way onto the ballot. This part of the process can take about two weeks. After the final nominees are contacted and, once again, voted for, the results remain hidden until the fateful February evening of the Awards ceremony.

Until then, considered artists can connect with one another, and make a push to have their music heard. Artists such as Bonne Finken, R Michael Rhodes, and Mawule all plan on partaking in this lobbying process, sending out personalized letters and connecting with voting members.

No matter what degree of fame an artist holds, it is an immense honor to even be considered for the acclaimed Grammy Awards. And while many voters may already have their eyes and ears set on a sure-fire winner, it’s important to always honor the accomplished local talent, who will stop at nothing to get their voices heard.

-Jura

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

Stella Nova's Dominic Ellerbee: From Homelessness to Hope for a Debut Record

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Last July, we introduced you to Denver’s Stella Nova. After a series of lineup changes, the project is now a solo one, and the mastermind behind it is original founding member Dominic Ellerbee.

Dominic Ellerbee.

Dominic Ellerbee.

Ellerbee, who has battled living in poverty and homelessness most of his life, is a 19-year-old Denverite who has been featured on CPR, Ellen, and The Denver Post for his musical work. As a senior in high school, Ellerbee didn’t always know if he would have a roof over his head, but he knew he’d always have one thing: his music. His senior year of high school, Ellerbee wrote, directed, and choreographed his original musical, “So Many Fish In The Sea.” Following high school, Ellerbee was accepted into Boston’s Berklee College of Music. After one semester, Ellerbee didn’t have enough funds to continue on, and he was forced to move back to Denver. Though his dreams were dashed, Ellerbee didn’t give up. He started working and continued to make music through his project Stella Nova. But the hardships continued for Ellerbee, and he recently lost his job and his bandmates. Still, Ellerbee is pushing on, and recently released Stella Nova’s newest single, “Old School Radio.”

Listen to “Old School Radio”:

“Old School Radio” is an alt rock indie/pop jam on which Ellerbee played all instruments himself. It’s got punchy guitars that build into anthem-like choruses with a driving drum beat, and is lyrically about a long distance relationship in which a pair of lovers cope with their loneliness through songs they both hear on the radio.

Along with his newest music, Ellerbee has launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to try and record a full studio album at The Spot Studios, which is where he recorded “Old School Radio.” Ellerbee has already written the tracks, and you can read more about each of his original songs here. Ellerbee’s goal is just $3500 for his entire campaign, and he only has 17 days left to reach it.

Ellerbee of Stella Nova at The Spot Studios.

Ellerbee of Stella Nova at The Spot Studios.

Said Ellerbee, “I really am just trying to make it so my family and I can live a better life and we can all be happy.”

Give Ellerbee’s music a listen today, hop over to his Kickstarter, and consider making a pledge to his campaign. We’d like to see this talented individual continue making awesome music, locally and beyond.

-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.

How Harmony Drive Went From Metal to Melodies

By: Jura Daubenspeck

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

Harmony Drive.

Harmony Drive.

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

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

HD at The Spot Studios.

HD at The Spot Studios.

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Jura

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

R Michael Rhodes' EP Release Party to Feature New Music + Special Guest Amy Kress

By: Jura Daubenspeck

After being given a little taste of what’s to come with his release of his single, "The Only Song", Americana singer/songwriter R Michael Rhodes is about to release his debut EP After All These Years on September 2nd, and we couldn’t be more excited to hear it.

R Michael Rhodes.

R Michael Rhodes.

In celebration of this long-awaited release, there will be an EP release party at the gorgeous Meadows Golf Club in Littleton, CO. Mike will be joined on the bill with contemporary electronic pop artist Amy Kress, who will be gracing the stage with a special acoustic set. Amy also just released her sophomore album Fly in July and will be playing a mix of new and old hits.

Amy Kress.

Amy Kress.

This performance is sure to be a special one, as this will be Mike’s time to shine and show off the hard work he has put into After All These Years. After months of recording, producing, and mixing the EP at The Spot Studios, the finished product will be unveiled. Rhodes will also be playing with a newly formed four-piece band, which will complement the humble clarity of his music with an energetic variation. Check out the promo video for the release party here.

It’s an exciting time for both R Michael Rhodes and Amy Kress, and the unique pairing of their performances will no doubt make for an evening of great music. While their genres vary from Americana to electronic pop, both share lyrical prowess and a sincere vulnerability with their audience.

So help ring in Labor Day Weekend with some refreshing drinks, delicious food, majestic mountain views, and of course, some feel-good music! Doors open at 6PM, and the night will end around 10PM. Tickets are available for purchase now, with three options for prospective attendees to choose from. Depending on the ticket price ($10/$15/$30), there will be additional perks like drink tickets, snacks, physical copies of Mike’s EP, and awesome merchandise such as stickers and logo t-shirts.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist 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.

Interstate 10 Premiere's Their Summertime Smash Single & Music Video "Let's Ride"

By: Jura Daubenspeck

If you’re looking for your next feel-good sun-soaking antheM, look no further. After weeks of anticipation, the dynamic duo Interstate 10 has finally released their newest single and music video "Let’s Ride".

Unlike their previously released tribute song, "I’m Gonna Miss You", this newest single is a summertime smash that will leave you shaking the sand out of your hair for days. It’s a ballad to one of the finest things about the summer: kicking back and enjoying life with those you hold most dear. With an upbeat feel and an unmistakable message of fun, you can’t help but turn up the volume on this tune about summer love, delicious ice cold brews, and never-ending adventures.

The duo recorded their vocals for the tune at The Spot Studios prior to their recent deployment, and have been steadily releasing more of their music to their devoted fanbase. After the immense success of the release of "I’m Gonna Miss You," they partnered with Grammy award-winning producer Nathan Chapman. Chapman, who has worked with artists such as Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum, was incredibly excited to take on the endeavor of producing their upcoming release "Let’s Ride". They are also working with fellow Grammy nominated mix engineer/songwriter/producer Kevin Kadish as well, who produced Meghan Trainor’s hit song "All About That Bass".

The exciting news continues with Interstate 10, as a number of radio stations, including WUSY 101, Thunder 100.3, Conch Country 98.7, 107.3 Mountain Country, KXLO - KLCM 95.9, and Wild Country 99 will be premiering the single and music video on its official release date, Friday, August 5th. The Heartland TV Network will be premiering the song on August 4th, and will broadcast it all weekend long on a regular rotation, so make sure to tune in!

With the end of summer creeping ever-slowly around the corner, it’s no doubt we’ll all need a little Vitamin D-soaked pick-me-up to keep us going. It’s guaranteed that after listening to Interstate 10’s "Let’s Ride", you’ll be itching to hop into your car, drive to the nearest body of water, and unwind with a smile singing:

"And Let’s Ride
Come on baby, Let’s Ride
Leave it all behind tonight
Come on baby, Let’s Ride
Leave it all behind tonight."

With all the success Interstate 10 are experiencing, Justin and Andrew are remarkably charismatic and friendly guys who cherish every interaction on their page. Despite being overseas, they have been making appearances via Facebook LiveStream, and are excited to announce their upcoming endeavors with their fans. So get connected with them on Facebook and stay up to date on their latest moves!

-Jura

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

Mawule's "Black Is Beautiful" Is A Poetic Platform For Empowerment Through Dialogue

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Throughout these difficult times in our country, we all search for empowerment, for hope, and for something that will help us see the light in humanity, however dim that light may seem. We turn to political leaders, celebrities, and religious figures, in hopes that they will help us with the change that must occur. But in actuality, we must turn to each other, and ourselves, for this change.

Music is often a powerful platform for individuals to share their message, and Mawule is one of those individuals whose music creates a path for integration and dialogue to occur. His fascination with human relationships combined with his passion for building connections shines through not just his music, but also his work life as a Resident Director for college students. Mawule recently released his debut album, Chosen, and his subsequent release party was a wild success.

Bianca Mikahn.

Bianca Mikahn.

All nine songs on this album are noteworthy, but one that beckons particular attention is Black Is Beautiful”, which features hip hop maestros Bianca Mikahn and MC ILL Se7en. As usual, Mawule’s lyrics urge us to reflect on the human experience, and his beats are invitingly rhythmic. “Black Is Beautiful” was one of the final tracks added to the album, and is a personal tribute to the challenges that people of color face due to the systemic racism and oppression in our country.

Listen to Mawule's "Black Is Beautiful":

The lyrical and melodic combination of Mawule, Bianca Mikahn, and ILL Se7en is brilliant, as each artist brings their unique sound to the song. Mawule and ILL Se7en sing their truths and piece their rhymes like poetic puzzles, while Bianca powerfully takes hold of the chorus, repeating:

“Let’s make this useful/Our lives are fruitful/Change what we’re used to/Black Is Beautiful”

Above all else, “Black Is Beautiful” is a call to action. It emphasizes pride and empowers people of color who experience adversity every day. It encourages individuals who do not directly face the institutional discrimination to use their privilege to take in knowledge and create positive change, even if it induces discomfort.

Mawule.

Mawule.

We must think critically about the country we live in and the hateful actions we choose to accept, through ignorance or inaction. “Black Is Beautiful” urges us to stop authorizing overt racism, covert micro-aggressions, and comfort in privilege. For those who face this systemic injustice every day, the track encourages you to stay proud of who you are. Mawule reminds us of the significance behind Black Lives Matter and challenges us to recognize the injustices currently plaguing our country.

For an inside peek into the making of “Black Is Beautiful,” check out the 'Behind The Story' video, filmed at The Spot Studios. And get the inside scoop on the creative genius behind Mawule’s music through his personal blog. Chosen is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

-Jura

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

Skytown Invites You Into Their Nightmare With "Through Circles" Music Video

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Tulsa powerhouse group Skytown have had a busy summer, playing several highly-acclaimed shows throughout the region and performing at a few major music festivals. Today marks the official release date of their music video for their nightmarish track, "Through Circles", a song from their latest album Outshine the Sun (which was recorded at The Spot Studios).

A scene from Skytown's new music video for "Through Circles".

A scene from Skytown's new music video for "Through Circles".

Skytown is notorious for bringing the party to every show they play while simultaneously dabbling in the sinister. "Through Circles" lives up to this reputation, as a haunting and complex song that leaves much to be deciphered. Skytown once again invites us into their world, and we gladly accept the offer. They spread their metaphorical ashes over a number of topics, and through listening to their music, ask us to question everything we know. Whether it be a conspiracy beyond our comprehension, a post-apocalyptic prophecy, or the duality of beings that reside in all of us, that’s up to you to decide.

Watch Skytown's Official Music Video for "Through Circles":

The video is abstract in nature, without a clear-cut storyline. A woman dressed in white (Kash Clemishire) is seen practicing occultism on a magic circle in the floorboards, and a mysterious figure (Jake Maye) paces the grounds of a home. The figure is dressed in a traditional "plague doctor" uniform, famously known during the Medieval times as the "Doctors of Black Death". It seems as though the woman in white is fighting desperately against an impending doom by any means possible.

The "Doctor of Black Death" figure.

The "Doctor of Black Death" figure.

Again, there’s much to be interpreted from the video, but from what can be seen, Maye’s bird-beaked cloaked figure is not something you’d want appearing in front of you. Ever. The imagery in "Through Circles" is chilling, and while subtle, it still somehow manages to make your heart race.

The woman in white.

The woman in white.

On top of it all, this is one of my new personal favorite tunes from Skytown’s new music. Their lyricism is impressive to anyone who admires a good story, and their melodies haunt, even without words. It’s a song that we guarantee will be put on your repeat list for the summer.

Another eerie scene from the video.

Another eerie scene from the video.

The guys of Skytown believe that more is definitely merrier. The video for “Through Circles” was filmed in the band's hometown of Tulsa, and the band called upon their fans via Facebook and personal texts to be part of the video shoot and wrap party. Joel Rekiel from BLDGBLKS Music Company directed the video, and did a fantastic job of honoring the hard work the band put in at the studio recording the track.

Outshine the Sun can be accessed on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Stay in touch with Skytown on Facebook and their website, and if you find yourself in the Tulsa area, check out their next performance at The Venue Shrine on Friday, July 22nd.

-Jura

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

R Michael Rhodes Premieres "The Only Song" Music Video & Exclusive Presale Promotion

By: Jura Daubenspeck

It’s been a few months since we’ve checked in with Colorado singer/songwriter R Michael Rhodes, who is premiering his music video for “The Only Song” today. “The Only Song” is the first single to be released off his upcoming EP After All These Years, which will be available September 2016.

R Michael Rhodes.

R Michael Rhodes.

In April, Michael and the 7&CO Productions team traveled to the gorgeous mountain landscape of Fairplay, CO to craft the story and film the video. We brought you coverage on that awesome production in detail here. “The Only Song” is a symphonic ballad about longing, love lost, and grand gestures. Actress Laura Lee co-stars in the video with Michael, and helps bring the beauty of the song to life.

Watch R Michael Rhodes’ official music video for “The Only One”:

Fans of James Taylor, Garth Brooks, and John Denver are bound to be drawn to Michael’s music. It’s not about the flash, but rather the integrity of the words and the feeling put into the songs. “The Only Song” is no exception to this mantra, as Michael belts out:

“You’re the only song I couldn’t write
And you’re the only one who knows me at all
And my dreams fade in the night
I can still remember how you used to call
When you called my name”
Actress Laura Lee.

Actress Laura Lee.

“The Only Song” leaves much to look forward to, as Michael’s upcoming EP After All These Years reveals an intimate scrapbook of his life. The five-song EP, which was recorded at The Spot Studios, is honest and heartfelt, yet still carries an easy listening feel to it that is hard not to like. It has hints of rock’n’roll, country, and Americana all wrapped up into one package.

A scene of R Michael Rhodes from "The Only Song" music video.

A scene of R Michael Rhodes from "The Only Song" music video.

After All These Years will be available for purchase September 2016, but in the meantime, there is an exclusive presale promotion starting now. Fans who purchase the EP on iTunes can receive the single for “The Only Song” free! It’s a hard bargain to pass up, so go check it out now! For all updates on Michael’s upcoming releases, stay in touch with his Facebook and website.

-Jura

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

Watch Our Chat with Amy Kress About Her Upcoming Album, "Fly"

By: Jura Daubenspeck

On Sunday, we sat down with Amy Kress at The Spot Studios and discussed her upcoming album, Fly. Amy’s story is undeniably powerful, and she’s not shy about sharing her tale. While some may falter at the feat of countless chemotherapy treatments, Amy decided to pour herself into her music. Her words are a reflection of her resilience, strength, and passion. She has already released one single and music video from Fly titled, “Oh No”, where she belts it out and spills her soul for all to hear:

Overall, Fly is a testament to what it means to endure, but also to bounce back as a stronger being. You can expect heavier electronic influences in this album, so move the living room furniture aside and get ready to dance to some Amy Kress. The album is set to be released Friday, July 29th so stay tuned! Keep in touch with Amy on her blog to get the latest scoop on her upcoming performances and releases.

Watch our exclusive chat with Amy Kress about her upcoming release, "Fly": 

-Jura

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

Album Review: Race to Neptune's "Oh Contraire"

By: Jesse Sandoval

Imagine: The alarm clock goes off. You and your closest friends begin to stir. There is a faint light coming in through the curtains; a welcome reminder that today, you and your friends are about to set out on the summer road trip you’ve been planning for months. The sun will be up in less than an hour, and a quick glance at the sky confirms it’s likely to be an extra beautiful day. Everyone is ready. The last of your supplies are moved into the already packed car with a fervent haste. You get in the driver's seat as everyone is buckling up. Last minute checklist: Wallet? Phone? Keys? Check, check, and check. Clothes? Gear? Beer? Check, check, and check. Coffee? Double-check. And most importantly, an album to start the adventure off right?

Check:

Oh Contraire, is the 9-track debut LP from the Fort Collins-based rock band Race to Neptune. It is sonically pleasing, playful, and refreshing. It teems with lush guitar-wall effects, tasteful melodies, and head-bobbing beats. The Colorado four-piece, comprised of Brian Maier (vox/guitar), Vanessa Freese (drums), Ken Cavanaugh (bass, vox, guitar), and Zach Berger (guitar), have managed to squeeze as much luscious guitar tone as possible into some of these tracks. Nothing in the mix sounds too loud or too quiet. In fact, the whole album is evidence of some pretty nice production, which justifies a shout-out to the team at The Spot Studios, where it was recorded. The record is enjoyable to listen to, and has some genuine replayability. I caught myself grooving to RTN’s music each time I listened to it.

Race to Neptune.

Race to Neptune.

Most of the vocal melodies on the LP are fetching and evocative. The topics of the songs are fairly unrelated, but revolve around feelings of longing, fear, anger, and disgust; classic staples for this style of rock, which I would call shoegaze, dream-pop, indie/alt-rock. I tend to shy from labels; they usually say more about my experiences than what the band might actually sound like to you, but I gotta say something. In any case, I’m pretty sure that anyone with a solid appreciation of alternative rock music will enjoy Oh Contraire.

The opening track, “Wanderlilly”, is definitely my favorite track on the album. The succinct lyrics tell of a brief connection that is both sad and beautiful, and the song just rocks. Not far behind is the last track, “Waterspout”, which I love for its varied, yet balanced musicianship.

Listen to “Wanderlilly” for yourself:

Despite my endorsement, I do have one critique. The eighth track, “The Bayou Brew”, is a southern rock track that is too far a stylistic departure from the alt-rock sound of the rest of the record. Still, overall Oh Contraire is a strong debut.

In its entirety, Oh Contraire is a good rock album worth your listen. So whether it be for your next road trip, or whatever adventure you embark upon this summer, choose Race to Neptune’s Oh Contraire to come along for the ride. Keep up with the band on their Facebook and Reverbnation pages. Like you, I hope to catch them live soon.

Recommended If You Like: The CureSmashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana

-Jesse

The Jeffrey Dallet Band: Colorado's Folk Troubadours of Yesteryear

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The Jeffrey Dallet Band are old and new all at once.

It’s always a delicious treat to discover music that transports you to another time period; the type of music that carries the feel of a past life, yet keeps you grounded in the present happenings of one’s everyday existence. Colorado’s music scene provides an excellent array of such artists, who break barriers and forge on with their own unique sounds. Denver’s very own The Jeffrey Dallet Band follows suit, making a name for themselves as the "folk troubadours of yesteryear".

The Jeffrey Dallet Band at Larimer Lounge.

The Jeffrey Dallet Band at Larimer Lounge.

The group, who classify themselves as “folk‘n’roll”, are in their early stages of bandhood, having just nailed down their current member makeup last February. Guitarist and lead singer Jeffrey Dallet was originally focused on solo work, writing music and playing local gigs around Colorado. He then joined forces with longtime friend Brian Long, who also plays guitar for TJDB. Producer Glenn Sawyer, of The Spot Studios, then introduced the duo to members Caroline Browning and Caroline Wright. Browning slays on the bass and percussion, while Wright brings a fresh folk feel with violin. And that is where the killer quad that is The Jeffrey Dallet Band stands today.

Jeffrey Dallet.

Jeffrey Dallet.

You’ll find yourself having similar nostalgic feelings listening to The Jeffrey Dallet Band as you would listening to artists such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, or the late Steve Young. Their music speaks of distant memories, of heartbreak, urban decay, politics, gentrification, and about how, in the words of Bob Dylan, "the times, they are a changin’." The relatability of their music is a bonus, but the easy-listening, lyrical folk-rock vibe that this group has is enough to hold your attention by itself.

TJBD has recorded two songs with the creative minds at The Spot Studios recently. The first tune, "Gypsy Jewel", has a haunting melody that, like the song’s subject matter, casts a spell on you with its violin and percussion, swaying in the minor key. But just when you think you’ve nailed down the band’s sound, the four-piece switches it up. "My Old Record Store" brings up the group’s tempo and gets playful with their social commentary, lyrically interweaving song and artist titles to tell a story. After the success of these tracks, The Jeffrey Dallet Band are already back in the studio working on their highly anticipated EP, which will be released in the coming months. Until then, you can check out their SoundCloud page to get a taste of some of the sounds you might expect from these talented folks.

Listen to "Gypsy Jewel":

This group of wandering troubadours are playing various intimate gigs throughout Colorado this summer, including Denver’s Underground Music Showcase (July 28-31). This will be the band’s first time playing at the festival, but Jeffrey Dallet’s sixth time returning to the eclectic rock fest. So get in early on the action and buy your tickets for UMS here! We will announce TJDB’s exact set time and location as its announce by UMS. And be sure to stay in touch with The Jeffrey Dallet Band on their website and Facebook pages! They’re a great band to add to your soundtrack for summer.

-Jura

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

Mawule's "Chosen" Album Release Party Was The Perfect Sunday Funday Start to the Summer

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Mawule's release party for Chosen was thumpin'.

This past Sunday, the walls of Denver’s Lost Lake were bumping in celebration of Mawule’s release party for his album Chosen, which dropped on June 10th. The good vibes were palpable, and the music was paired perfectly with the “Sunday funday” feel of the crowd.  

Mawule.

Mawule.

Mawule was accompanied by some pretty stellar and diverse musical acts. Denver hip hop artist Jerney warmed up the crowd as it trickled in, prepared to round out the weekend with a bang. Singer/songwriter Amy Kress graced the stage afterward, and had what I believe to be one of her best performances yet. She moved gracefully around the stage, switching between strictly vocals and piano with vocals, sharing her story with the crowd. Amy truly shined under the red and blue lights of Lost Lake’s stage, and belted her heart out. Rapper/MC ILL Se7en followed, hyping the crowd with some killer lyrical flow and classic hip hop beats, thanks to the lovely Bianca Mikahn. Together, the two created a combination that was impossible not to move your muscles to. DJ Zenas was the last performer to kick up some dust before Mawule took the stage. It was a delight to watch him, as this was his very first performance as a rapper/singer. To say his set was just downright fun would be an understatement. Zenas’ confidence on stage and rapport with the crowd got everyone fired up right before Mawule, and he proved that he is just as talented of a performer as he is a DJ.

Bianca Mikahn and Mawule.

Bianca Mikahn and Mawule.

Mawule brought an entirely different vibe than his predecessors, rounding out the evening with some R&B/soul sounds and dance beats produced and co-written by Glenn Sawyer at The Spot Studios. When it comes to Mawule, the meaning behind the music is just as important as the music itself. His unveiling of Chosen felt incredibly personal, as he shared bits and pieces of his journey behind each song. It’s no mystery that he is passionate about the community, human relationships, and working to bridge the gap between the performer and the audience. Personal favorites from the night were “Chosen”, which featured local MC A Meazy, “Anything” featuring DJ Zenas, “It’s Not You”, “Get Your Name”, and of course, the soulful tribute “Black Is Beautiful”, featuring the vocal magic of Bianca Mikahn and ILL Se7en.

Listen to Mawule's Chosen for yourself:

It was incredible to see Mawule celebrate the hard work he’s put into Chosen, and also to see the talented musicians and friends he surrounds himself with. Everyone was supportive and enthused about what was being shared with them, and that, I believe, is what truly makes a show great. The walls of the Lost Lake were filled with eclectic poetry, funky beats, and friendly faces who did not seem to care that it was late on a Sunday night. It was personally awesome to revisit one of my favorite musical enclaves in Denver, and with summer just around the corner, I’d advise everyone to get to Lost Lake for a show in the near future.

Mawule and A Meazy.

Mawule and A Meazy.

Chosen can be found on Spotify and SoundCloud, and will be released later on iTunes, for your listening pleasure. Stay in touch with Mawule on Facebook to keep tabs on his upcoming performances and announcements.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.

Bury the Doubt Brings Electronic Punk To Oklahoma With Their New Single "Cast Away"

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Bury the Doubt is bringing electronic punk to their hometown and beyond.

Nestled in the small town of Newkirk, OK, you’ll find the band Bury the Doubt, who are determined to make a name for electronic punk in a town that is overgrown with country music.

Oklahoma's Bury the Doubt.

Oklahoma's Bury the Doubt.

It all started with a screamo band called River Parade, made up of Josh Layton and Cade Peterson. Then about a year ago, the two decided to focus more on an acoustically-oriented sound and change their name to Bury the Doubt. Now the six-piece band is made up of original members Josh Layton (vocals/songwriter/ukulele) and Cade Peterson (drums), along with longtime friend Shahannah Wilkie (piano), Matthew Colsen (guitar), Colby Burke (guitar), and Drayton Oldfield (DJ).

Buskin'.

Buskin'.

Like many up and coming bands, Bury the Doubt deal with the struggles of lack of rehearsal space and a tight budget, so they have had to get creative. They practice in living rooms and jam out in their cars on the open road, and when they recorded their first album Love Hate & Other Sins (2015), they had to make every minute count. The studio charged by the hour, so they got to work and even recorded the song "Lela" in one take.

Listen to Bury the Doubt's album Love Hate & Other Sins:

They group just recorded their latest single "Cast Away" at The Spot Studios in Lakewood, CO. The song itself sounds playful, but touches on some deeper feelings of rejection and longing. It speaks to those who have felt cast out and feel that being alone is sometimes easier than allowing yourself to be judged. It’s one of those songs that you find yourself isolating various sounds in it as you listen, and just when you think you’ve figured it all out, they manage to change it up again. The lyrical maturity also takes the song to a very vivid level:

Lift my skin and you might find
A sunken ship left behind
In hopes of treasure to finally save the free
Packed up in a wooden crate
Shipped away a day too late
To an island only the dead could ever see.

“Cast Away” is a single off Bury the Doubt’s upcoming album The Tale of Two Tragedies. They are launching their Kickstarter campaign this Saturday, May 14th, in order to raise funds to record the album. They will be offering exclusive reward packages for supporters, including: a signed copy of the album, Bury the Doubt logo beanies, band posters, VIP tickets to the album release show (or a show of the guest’s choosing), original artwork for select song titles, backstage passes, a chance to be a "Rockstar For A Day," and much more.

High-fives all around for new sounds.

High-fives all around for new sounds.

Once again, Bury the Doubt is looking to adapt their sound and form a new genre, incorporating electronica, punk, and the sounds of Gothic Transylvania into their odes for those who want to listen. So be on the look out for their musical makings, as they show you a side of them you haven’t seen before. Check out their Facebook for upcoming announcements.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.

Get Along's Back At It With Their Live Recording of "Karaoke"

By: Jura Daubenspeck

After a musical hiatus, Nicholas and Cara Yañez, of the Denver group Get Along, are back at it. They've made live appearances at The Moon Room, Summit Music Hall, and at Larimer Lounge, alongside Teal and Tangent, Amy Kress, and Oh, Be Clever respectively. And the duo don't seem to be stopping any time soon.

Watch Get Along’s live performance of “DNA”:

On top of their shows and raising their infant daughter, Laika, the pair just recorded two live performance sessions at The Spot Studios for their songs "DNA" and "Karaoke," both of which will be featured on their upcoming album.

Recording at The Spot Studios.

Recording at The Spot Studios.

"Karaoke", which was officially released today, harnesses Get Along’s gift for the odd, the visceral, and the vibrant. It definitely tips its hat to their soul, punk, and electronic musical style, and it carries its own unique message within it.

Cara in the studio.

Cara in the studio.

The song starts off with a low rhythmic synth beat, almost something you'd expect to hear in a cultish noir film like Blade Runner; the tempo builds until it's surprisingly met with Cara's ukulele-playing, which takes you to a sunny, beach-side paradise. With this unique pairing, your expectations for this song are already shaken, and your attention is held. Cara's vocals are solemn, powerful, and moving, and all the while Nick gradually incorporates his drum playing, until the song reaches a punk rock crescendo, with the two singing in unison.

Watch Get Along’s “Karaoke”:

Even with its upbeat, alternative sound, "Karaoke" touches on a deeper meaning. It reflects not just the group's disdain of the musical "art form" of karaoke, but also the value of originality over conformity. It preaches finding freedom in one's unique design rather than "karaoke-ing" one’s way through life; and through that original journey, finding peace and empowerment. The lyrics are not a jab at karaoke, but a poetic reflection of keeping true to your own creativity, whether it's generally accepted or not:

But the songs never seem to sound the same,
with the lyrics rolling down on the video screen.
So sing a song that makes them remiss;
brings them back to the lovers and friends who are gone.
If Karaoke is as easy as they say it is,
then why can't I sing it for shit?
If it's as easy as they say it is,
then why can't I sing?

If "Karaoke" is the delicious appetizer for what's to come from Get Along's upcoming releases, I am incredibly excited. Their ability to juggle family life with crafting a totally new sound for their music continues to impress me, and I cannot wait to see what's in store for these two. Connect with the creative duo on Facebook to see what else they're up to.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.