Review: The Fremonts' 'We Don't Live There' Is A Fresh Take On Classic Americana Sounds

By: Trevor Ryan

Americana blues rock band The Fremonts dropped their first full-length album We Don't Live There last Friday, June 9th. I recently had the pleasure of giving it a listen and I’m here to tell yah: it’s a fresh take on the classic Colorado Americana folk/blues sound. Because let’s be honest- the Colorado music scene has welcomed a number of Americana folk performers to its various stages over the years, and continues to do so, even in the popular music realm. So what sets The Fremonts apart? This definitely isn't a short answer, so buckle up:

The band, founded in New York City, relocated to Boulder just a couple of years ago to find their niche, which some would argue they did find instrumentally in folk-heavy Colorado. But they (Stephanie Dodd and Justin Badger) did so pretty organically, and with more than just their instrumentation. What really sets this husband and wife duo apart is their storytelling and the inspiration behind their stories. On We Don’t Live There, The Fremonts combine what sometimes feel like ghost stories of old with what they say is “the heartache of leaving our past in a distant skyline and walking into fresh, open spaces with hope for the future.” You'll hear what I mean in the ballad track “Olivia.” It’s a tune with a progressive interlude (which you don’t always find in classic Americana) that also beckons the roots of the genre in an original way with a story that leaves you a bit haunted.

Listen to The Fremonts' We Don't Live There:

There are a lot of emotions that surround this album, and they show in the songwriting and composition of the record. Starting with the whimsical, somewhat mellow opening and title track “We Don't Live There,” the record then levels out with classic, upbeat Americana tracks such as “Back To The Mountain,” “Holding Place,” and “Tell My Mother.” It also offers a darker, more emotionally haunting feel with “Tillman's Wall,” and with the violin in “Joanne.” “Tillman’s Wall” is such a treat that I can say I’d love to see more of the darker, grittier production on this tune in more of The Fremonts’ future recordings.

The Fremonts.

The Fremonts.

My only real criticism of this record is that though both Dodd and Badger front the project strong vocally, and each have notable leading tunes throughout the record, their harmonies can sometimes feel as though they’re battling for that lead sound. Other than that, I really find this record a refreshing take on classic sounds that you should definitely listen to. 

When it comes to We Don’t Live There, The Fremonts have a new take on the Americana sound that I’ve been told is even more of a fun ride live. So be sure to catch them while they're still in Colorado at Denver's Squire Lounge on June 16th. And if you're traveling this summer, crash a couple of shows on their summer tour, or support them on the road with their tour Kickstarter campaign. Get their full list of dates on the road here

-Trevor

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

This Party Was For Dancing: All Chiefs' EP Release Show at The Squire Lounge

By: Mirna Tufekcic

All Chiefs want you to dance all night. At least, that’s what happened at their EP release party at The Squire Lounge in Denver last Friday. Oh, and they want you to drink. But we’ll come back to that. First, let’s start with the dancing.

The party started with Already Sweaty, a local DJ spinning 70s and 80s pop songs who has been known to open many an All Chiefs’ show. And I can see why. This guy sure knows how to kick off a party! Already Sweaty had people slowly starting to gather for the main show while it was still light outside. I was definitely feeling his grooves as I smoked my cigarette on the patio looking in. The early crowd even formed a dance circle, busting moves before the sun went down.

BOX.

BOX.

BOX, a Denver-based folky blues rock band took the stage next for some tunes. A few songs in, the band played “Wasted”, and it went like this: “We’re all on our way to wasted/tomorrow’s hangover will come too soon”. I was starting to see the pattern here: drinking with dancing to follow. Halfway through their set, BOX put actual cardboard boxes over their heads, and closed with a couple of harder sounds. The crowd looked pleased. It was time for the main event.

All Chiefs.

All Chiefs.

When All Chiefs started to set up onstage, the patio became packed. The night was finally in full swing. Every corner around the bar inside was lined with thirsty, chatty folk, eager to hear the five-piece’s set. Drummer Ben Batchelor’s words from earlier in the evening echoed in my mind, and I laughed thinking about how he said the band intentionally start their sets at the “critical mass of drunkenness.” That’s when the first song started, the track “Collecting Dust” from their brand-spanking new EP Fashion Forward. As I made my way toward the front of the stage, All Chiefs then started in on their cover of Ace of Base’s “The Sign”. And being a 90’s kid, that had me hooked.

All Chiefs' Set List + Illicits.

All Chiefs' Set List + Illicits.

Beyond the booze and all the moves, it’s worth mentioning that Mic Carroll, lead vocalist of the band, has an amazing voice. I knew this guy a few years back from karaoke Wednesdays at the now defunct Catacombs in Boulder, where he ran the gig. I stood back, remembering how Carroll would grab the mic to do a cover, and it instantly became clear to everyone present that he wasn’t just your regular karaoke fan. Way to let your soul outchy’er mouth, Mic!

A few more songs from Fashion Forward followed, and the floor was hot! In fact, Carroll prefaced one track by saying, “This song is about dancing. Just think of it like an alien invasion, except instead of them taking over, they just want you to dance!” Did the crowd and I boogie? Yes; yes we did.

Watch All Chiefs' music video for their single, "Pusher":

The crowd cheered when the band called the end of the show, and an encore chant began. All Chiefs closed with a bangin’ cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean”, a track that just couldn’t have been a more perfect ending to their captivating show.

All Chiefs are so worth seeing live, and their next show is July 14th at Mile High SpiritsThey’re a fun, dancey rock band whose songs easily stick with you. Their music is heartfelt, and that’s evidenced best when you get to watch them bop and groove onstage, instruments in hand. As Justen Howard, guitarist/vocals for the band said, “We’re having so much fun and we want everyone who comes to see us to have fun too!” So go have fun with these guys soon, and in the meantime, listen to their great new release Fashion Forward.  

-Mirna

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 06/24, 06/25, & 06/26

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We're soo glad it’s the weekend. Here’s where you ought to be:

Today (Friday 06/24):

Coastal Wives with Holy White Hounds and Modern Suspects at Marquis Theater in Denver 7PM-Close

We first threw Coastal Wives your way after the release of their EP, Traditions. We thought the Denver-based four-piece were a perfect mix of indie and blues, and apparently, so did a lot of you. The group has picked up notable steam, and are throwing down tonight at The Marquis with rock’n’roll band Holy White Hounds and “popternative” outfit Modern Suspects. Killer.

PS: If you miss this gig, make sure to catch Coastal Wives’ UMS show next month!

Peep Coastal Wives’ Traditions:

All Chiefs Fashion Forward EP Release Show at Squire Lounge in Denver 9PM-Close

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All Chiefs are throwing a sweet EP release party at The Squire in Denver tonight for their latest, Fashion Forward. Just last month, the band debuted their single from the album, “Pusher”, and we totally dig it. Tonight’s show is sure to be an outrageous time too, so go get down! We’ll have a full recap of it for you on Monday!

Watch All Chiefs at Coupe Studios, recording their new EP:

Intuit at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Not long ago, we had an awesome chat with Intuit frontwoman Chloe Watkins. The band has kept busy this summer with a number of shows and festivals, but if you haven’t caught them yet, tonight’s your chance! If there's one thing we've learned about the band, it's that at an Intuit show, it’s ok to drink the holy water! Come out and see what we mean…

Listen to an Intuit original:

Sun Jr. at Bohemian Biergarten in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Boulder’s Sun Jr., a tasty mix of lap steel and blues/rock goodness, are hitting the Biergarten stage tomorrow evening. They’ve got a slight Western blend to get your toes tappin’, and they’ll keep you movin’ with their rockin’ grooves. So go check out this newer Boulder band, and let’s keep the weekend goin’ right!

Listen to Sun Jr.’s “Bag of Bones”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 06/25):

Electric 6 with In The Whale and Bad Licks at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

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Detroit’s rock four-piece Electric 6 are headlining a show at the Lost Lake tomorrow night as part of their recent summer tour. Denver favorite In The Whale are playing middle slot for this show, with alt-rock four-piece Viretta as the opener. It’s gonna be a party! Tickets here.

Watch Electric 6’s video for “Danger! High Voltage”:

The Next Day (Sunday 06/26)

BBQ Series at Larimer Lounge in Denver 2PM-Close

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Spend Sunday-funday right this weekend with some delicious BBQ and seven killer bands. The Larimer Lounge has a seriously sick lineup planned, featuring Dragondeer, Von Stomper, Toi et Moi, Evan Holm, Last Of The Easy Riders, Richie Allen & The Bad Ideas, and Mark's Midnight Carnival Show. YES. We can’t think of a better way to close out the weekend, so we’ll see you there! Tickets here.

Watch Dragondeer’s live video of “Broadway Avenue”:

See you around, Colorado.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.