“I didn’t plan to start a new project. Furthermore, looking back on it, it was an extremely un-ideal time to make a record, as I was on a world tour with fun. Yet I felt extremely compelled to do it. Many times when I should have been asleep, or resting, or eating, I would go to the studio. In Stockholm, Malaysia, in my room recording all day in Australia, literally all over the place. When I’d have two weeks off, I’d head into the studio in New York or L.A. and sift through everything I had done overseas and figure out what was interesting and what was garbage.
Then one day I realized I had an entire album and that I had made it all over the world. My experience making albums before this was that you lock yourself in the studio for two weeks, make the album, and it’s a documentation of the art in that moment. This could not have been more the opposite. I had, in the most literal sense, a wide perspective. I would work on something in South Korea, then I’d come home and be like, “this sounds like someone recorded it in South Korea at 4 a.m. and they’re jet-lagged. But this one vocal part is really cool. Let’s build on that.”
It took me a second to find the rhythm of the album. I became fascinated with that time in culture when John Hughes was making his classic movies. The music was so incredible — all these epic, unapologetic pop songs with incredible forward thinking production. I wanted to hearken back to a time when the hippest shit was also the biggest shit. It made me mourn the happy teen years I never had. I grew up in New Jersey and went to public high school and was tortured for being gay, and I’m not gay. But that’s how things were then. I felt really disconnected in that formative time. I think we all freeze at a moment in high school in some way. Hopefully you freeze in a moment were you feel like a piece of trash who needs to prove something and be better, not in a moment where everyone thinks you’re a blast. It’s where the name Bleachers comes from. It conjures feelings of that time for me in a non literal sense. I don’t know why, it just does.
Let’s face it: this is Blondie’s world and we just live in it. For the last four decades, Blondie has become and still remains a true national treasure; a punk band from New York City whose influence both shaped and continues to inform the worlds of music, fashion and art. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have kept their ears to the ground, creating trends, never following them. They helped push punk onto the dance floor at the dawn of the new wave era and introduced a wider audience to hip-hop sounds, all the while building a catalog of enduring pop hits along the way.
Their instincts, attitude and style are just as sharp today. To celebrate its 40th Anniversary, Blondie is not merely looking back but continuing to move forward, with a new two-disc package of music. Blondie 4(0) Ever, which includes a greatest hits album and a brand new album, is set for release in May 2013. The band salutes its storied past with an album of their timeless classics. On the brand new Ghosts Of Download, the group brings their journey right up to date with 12 incredible brand-new tracks. Blondie will perform months of concerts around the world in support of Blondie 4(0) Ever.
Ghosts Of Download, Blondie’s 10th studio album, was recorded over the last two years, almost immediately following the completion of its acclaimed 2011 album, Panic Of Girls. It’s an exhilarating mix of dance-floor-ready sounds, with more than a little pop radio flavor stirred into it and a few surprises along the way. The first single, “A Rose By Any Name,” is a cool electronic pulse of a duet for Harry and Beth Ditto of the Gossip, who trade verses before joining together on the free-spirited, whatever-gender-suits-you chorus. It’s a genius meeting of the minds, and the generations, a through-line of punk attitude and outré style from the late seventies to this very moment. And it’s indicative of the overall collaborative sensibility of this album, which features a number of special guests — including downtown New York City club fixture Miss Guy (on “Rave”), Columbian Cumbia/hip hop/R&B group Systema Solar (“Sugar on the Side”) and Oakland–based Panamanian rappers Los Rakas (“I Screwed up”) – even if its foundation was built from the imaginations, and laptops, of Stein and Harry.
Among the tracks they revisit on the greatest hits disc are the groundbreaking rock-disco hybrid “Heart of Glass,” the equally influential hip-hop fantasia “Rapture,” the stalker-love song “One Way Or Another” and the lilting calypso “The Tide Is High,” all part of a catalog that has generated sales of more than 40 million records worldwide and led to the group’s 2006 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Front-woman and songwriter Harry and guitarist/conceptual mastermind Stein have been with Blondie since the beginning, as has drummer Clem Burke, whose powerhouse playing has always distinguished Blondie’s sound. Joining them on tour and in the studio are Leigh Fox (bass) Tommy Kessler (guitar) and Matt Katz-Bohen (keyboardist and songwriter on Blondie’s last two discs).
As they approach their twentieth anniversary, CAKE’s adherence to their original guiding principles has only grown stronger. Formed during the nineties as a somewhat antagonistic answer to grunge, CAKE’s democratic processes, defiant self-reliance, and lucid yet ever-inventive music has made them a nation-state unto themselves, with no obvious peers, belonging to no school. In addition to writing, arranging, producing, and performing their own music, they have taught themselves to engineer their recording projects in their own solar-powered studio, which actually generates more power than is needed to run it, causing the building’s electrical meter to run in reverse. CAKE’s most recent album, Showroom of Compassion, was released on their own Upbeat Records label and debuted on the US Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at #1 — making the album as pure an extension of the DIY aesthetic as ever attempted by an established act. The band is currently in the recording studio working on their ninth album due for release in 2017.
Ten years have come and gone since Cold War Kids first took to the stage in their homegrown Southern California scene. Time is typically unkind to indie rock bands. So how is that Cold War Kids are still here in 2014, selling out tours and releasing their fifth album in a decade amidst these 40 seasons of torrential fate winds, while so many of their peers have vanished?
“We worked really fucking hard, that’s the answer,” says Nathan Willett. “We worked really hard and we were successful, which is freakishly impossible, and we should embrace it. That’s our story.”
From his post at the front, Willett—along with the band’s bassist and visual director Matt Maust—has led Cold War Kids through the tricky 21st century rock and roll landscape, soaring over the peaks and facing the valleys head-on while carving out a place of the band’s own. Reaping sky-high praise from a mid-2000s blogosphere then growing wings as a live show juggernaut, they stand now with their fifth studio album Hold My Home as both a different animal and an unaltered beast all at once.
The band wrote and recorded the album in their own San Pedro studio, with guitarist Dann Gallucci and Dear Miss Lonelyhearts collaborator Lars Stalfors at the production helm. It is at the same time a more pure and also more bombastic album than anything they have ever made, utilizing their environment, experience, energy and cohesion while still driving home the familiar Cold War Kids sound that has been honed and perfected over this past decade. “This record is a testament to some of my strengths—loving words and stories—but also getting out the other side and creating a fun song that is in the spirit of the band,” says Willett. “This fifth record is probably the most simple, in a way, since the first one.”
Cold War Kids began as a four-piece of college friends but has undergone a couple of lineup changes in the past few years, from the fulltime addition of guitarist/producer Gallucci (Modest Mouse, Murder City Devils) to the departure of two original members, including most recently drummer Matt Aveiro. Replacing Aveiro on the album and on tour is seasoned veteran Joe Plummer (The Shins, Modest Mouse, Mister Heavenly), and also onboard is touring keyboardist/vocalist Matthew Schwartz. Willett admits the alterations, while not easy, have been for the best. “For a band getting past that several-year hump, everyone figures out their role or contributions and are either content or not. The idea of what we’re doing evolved. It was the right kind of work for Maust and for me. We’re on the same tip that way; we want to live this artistic life.”
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is a 10-piece musical ensemble founded in 2007 during the yearlong recording of their first album, Up From Below. Disillusionment with his major label experience with Ima Robot drove founding singer-songwriter Alex Ebert to maintain a DIY recording ethos. “Un-professionalizing professionalism is my profession,” he recently quipped at a show. Considered pioneers of the folk-pop revival, the band’s self‐produced albums have experienced some popular success (plus one platinum song, “Home”).
It is the band’s live shows, however, that have seen them celebrated by fans and critics alike. Often likened to “a religious experience,” many of their live shows have taken place in unusual venues (cathedrals, circus tents, underground train depots – even off of trains themselves, as seen in their Grammy‐winning documentary Big Easy Express). Their shows are performed without set lists and their songs usually undergo spontaneous improvisation, with Ebert spending a portion of the show singing amongst the crowd. “Our shows give us a chance to break the barriers between ourselves – to ‘break the glass ceiling’ as we say.”
Since its founding, the band has undergone several iterations. Most notably, singer Jade Castrinos left the band in 2014. According to lead singer Ebert, this marked a transformation in the band’s music. “We had long been a social experiment first, musicians second. Over time, though, we were emerging, by virtue of hours spent, into a group of musicians who could really play together. When Jade left, that confirmed our new fate – music first.”
The shift is tangible in the band’s 4th studio album (set for release in the spring of 2016). Recording the music almost entirely in one room together in New Orleans, their approach was a far cry from their ramshackle, come-one-come‐all production audible on recordings of their previous albums. “We seem to be done for now with distractions from the music itself, the bones of it,” says Ebert. This album also marks the first time that the band has jointly collaborated on a majority of the songwriting.
The band’s members are Mark Noseworthy, Orpheo McCord, Josh Collazo, Christian Letts, Nico Aglietti, Seth Ford‐Young, Mitchell Yoshida, Christopher Richard, Stewart Cole, and Alex Ebert.
“Helios,” the fourth album from critically acclaimed foursome The Fray, will be released February 25, 2014, on Epic Records. Of the new music, produced by Stuart Price (The Killers, Madonna, Keane), Isaac Slade (piano, vocals) notes, “Working with Stuart was the best of both worlds. We brought our organic instruments, and he brought his arsenal of electronic antiques. This record is all about running to the front lines of what we’ve done and pushing our borders even farther. Electronic instruments, drum samples, enormous backing vocals, opening up our writing to folks outside our camp.”
The band premiered the lead single “Love Don’t Die,” produced by Ryan Tedder (Adele, One Republic), on the “Today Show.” A flurry of TV performances followed the release as the band performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” rang in the New Year as part the global TV celebration “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2014,” and recently performed on the outdoor stage at “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
Most recently, the band performed alongside Pussy Riot as part of Amnesty International’s Bring Human Rights Home show at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. Guitarist Joe King explained the importance of the evening, “To me, [Pussy Riot] made me realize how apathetic I can get as an American,” King said. “You can get real critical or not do anything about what you think should change and just let things happen. They’re doing the opposite. They’re going public… It’s inspiring to see that. I think that, if anything, it motivates. It should motivate people to do something.”
The Fray is Slade, Joe King (guitar, vocals), Dave Welsh (guitar), and Ben Wysocki (drums). The Denver-based group formed in 2002 after high school friends Slade and King bumped into each other at a local guitar shop. The Fray achieved national success with their 2005 debut, featuring the hit singles “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and “How to Save a Life,” which went double-platinum. The band also earned a 2010 Grammy nomination for their self-titled release.
Certainly, he’s a Grammy Award winning, gold-selling rapper, an in-demand producer, songwriter, acclaimed actor, a leader of the urban alternative movement and an “artist” in the truest sense of the word.
Cudi’s ready to unveil his latest masterpiece, his epic third solo album—Indicud [Republic Records]. Over the course of the album, Cudi expands his hip hop galaxy through ethereal production, iridescent soundscapes, and airtight rhyming. Born in a nexus somewhere between Dr. Dre’s 2001 and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Indicud is a trip all its own…
It’s been quite the ride for Cudi since he landed into our collective consciousness with the now legendary 2008 mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi. The Ohio native, born Scott Mescudi, moved up to New York City after high school teaming up with 10.Deep to drop the inaugural mixtape as a free download, and the internet was suddenly buzzing.
Backpackers and bloggers immediately jumped on the bandwagon as Kanye West proclaimed fandom online. West signed Cudi to G.O.O.D. Music and enlisted him for songwriting on “Heartless” and “Paranoid” from 808s & Heartbreak and a cameo on “Welcome to Heartbreak”. However, everything changed with the official release of his official debut single “Day ‘n’ Nite”.
The track would go on to surpass sales of two million digital downloads, and its spacey sonic fireworks cemented Cudi and producer Dot Da Genius as hip hop trailblazers. “The lonely stoner” created an anthem that resounded with the entire modern alternative nation stuck in a haze of boredom and searching for embers of truth on Twitter—something like a 21st century rap “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
“Day ‘n’ Nite” also laid the groundwork for his major label debut, the gold-selling Man on the Moon: The End of Day, to take flight in late 2009. Hitting #4 on the Billboard Top 200 upon its release, the record moved over 104k copies in the first-week.TV shows ranging from the Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live! played host to Cudi, while he adorned the covers of Complex and URB. He also found time to make cameos on records from Jay-Z, The Blueprint III, and Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, to name a few.
“Formed in late 2009, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is the off-kilter title under which Detroit-area natives Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott record, release and perform music.
Initially beginning as an exercise in collaboration undertaken with very little intention of ever being publicly consumed, the band’s trajectory has been as unexpected as it has been unlikely. In just a few short years, fans have seen the project grow from basement recording project–to media curiosity–to an international touring ensemble widely recognized for their joy-fueled live offerings.
While Epstein and Zott have no ties to popular NASCAR circuit driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. nor his late father, the band’s peculiar name was initially suggested to the duo on a lark. The pair assert that the strange moniker has been kept in tact due to the freedom they came to realize such a title gave them to explore whatever musical endeavors they could think up. “The idea being”, Epstein says, “that if one can accept a band being named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., then you’ve already opened yourself up to listening to anything that band can come up with. You’ve already decided to leave expectations behind”.
From that mantra, the foundation of their partnership was built. Each having spent a good deal of time in various recording and performance environments prior to working with one another, Epstein & Zott set out to explore the many intricacies of cross-genre songwriting and production together with a willingness to borrow as much from the Beach Boys as the Geto Boys if it meant a more dynamic form of pop music. An organic vs. synthesized perspective which by necessity lacked a specified audience or desired outcome, outside of challenging oneself.”
Miike Snow is – are – in a playful mood. The second, somewhat orchatronic, album by the three-headed-band with the one-man-name and mysterious Jackalope symbol is called Happy To You. Why?
“It’s a sign in the studio,” shrugs tattooed Swedish producer Christian Karlsson. “An old mis-spelt phrase postcard from Thailand. Nothing to do with any of the songs…but it sort of stuck.”
The band that should never have worked have turned a new corner, and turned myriad new tricks. Miike Snow’s second album is a triumph of tunes, set to burn up airwaves and dancefloors and festival-fields through 20 12 and beyond.
“Before this album, we were an idea,” reflects Pontus Winnberg. “This time we were a band. And this time, we had paid our dues – we’d toured in 27 countries for 18 months. When we came in to make Happy To You, we came in as a unit, and emotionally for us that makes a huge difference. And hopefully you can hear it.”
“Miike Snow is kinda like this playground,” says long-haired American singer-songwriter Andrew Wyatt. “I don’t think Miike Snow functions inside of a genre. A few people wanted us to be more properly in the dance world, but I don’t think this record is. Even our ‘dance’ songs aren’t really clubby…”
So how do they define the follow-up to 2009’s 200,000-selling self-titled debut?
“Fun-da-mental,” suggests Wyatt with an arched eyebrow. “ ‘Cause it’s da mental.” (Not pictured: hip hop hand gesture.)
Breaking from a secret session designing the new live show, band member, producer and keys player Pontus Winnberg commented… “It’s like much of our stuff – we don’t really wanna tell people what the titles are about, or the lyrics, or what our thoughts are about. We’d prefer them to put them in their head and their lives and make their own interpretation. It’s nice to keep a little bit of mystery.”
Go back to the beginning of Passion Pit, because we have never left that time. Rewind. Musicians are tuning up in the orchestra pit at the Met. This is too close to now, but this sound is important. Rewind further back. A group of kindergarteners run and shout on a playground. We have gone too far in the past, but this sound is also important. These are sounds that will percolate through Michael Angelakos’ pop project.
Now it is 2007, Boston. This is it. The right then. Michael sits with a laptop in his apartment. He is in college and 19, lled with excitement and frustration, happiness and dread. Like we all are then and now. He is making pop songs. Pop with two capital
Ps and a big O. Pop songs for his friends to dance and party to. He pours these feelings into these songs. This is Passion Pit. From the very beginning, this is the purpose of Passion Pit, to make his friends feel good. Through the process, he inadvertently discovered something else. These feel-good songs were a strong and easy vessel for stashing his insecurities and emotions.
And this is the duality of Passion Pit.
Jump to 2014. Michael is bouncing around in a music studio.
The music he has made is blaring over the monitors, a looped sample of religious chanting, sped up into a swirl until it sounds like children in a schoolyard. Drums boom, like timpanis in the orchestra pit. He is singing over the top, as if on stage, pacing and jumping as if he were performing, making up melodies and lyrics on the y. Chris Zane and Alex Aldi, co-producers and engineers, watch in the control room, waiting for Michael to break through with the right melody. This is how Kindred is written. “Every other time you set out to make a masterpiece, you never do,” Michael says. “This time I just wanted to make a good record.”
Ask Michael and he will tell you that Passion Pit is a character, this 19-year-old him with his back against the wall, his life a blur. He slips back into this skin to deal with all the things that he wasn’t able to deal with then. He slips back to investigate the dark memories that he has never gotten over. “I keep going back to this,” he says. “Sometimes I don’t want to, but you have to for Passion Pit.”
This time, slipping back in, life was not so blurry.
The music that poured out of him became more simple and clear. He nally had fun making this record. It made him laugh, more than anything else in his life. He played with pop-song tropes he had previously found annoying—sing-along choruses, even Auto-Tune—to make them not-annoying by exaggerating them, inverting them, scrambling them in typical Passion Pit fashion. The new songs are direct and color saturated, like lms from the ‘50s. Songcraft was crucial. Just cut the bullshit and write a good song, he told himself. Though this being Passion Pit, nothing is ever so simple. This is complicated minimalism, meticulous construction built around unfettered vulnerability. In taking a shortcut, Michael inevitably ends up on the scenic route.
The lyrics bundle universal truths of everyday life, dressed up and performed like a musical. Michael’s falsetto machetes through the owers of keyboards, vines of loops, and thorns
of hooks to the front and center. There is a newfound, brazen sensuality that allows us to slip into his body with him.
“Pop is certainly an art form, but it’s also a really powerful platform,” he says. “Instead of going on Twitter or sharing everything on social media, I just make music.”
The timeline of Passion Pit is like zooming out on a pixelated image. Chunk of Change is a few basic shapes of bright primary colors. Zoom out to Gossamer. An overloaded impressionist eld of a thousand dots. Zoom out even further to Kindred.
The big picture has come into focus. We have been looking at a family portrait all along.
Kindred is an album about family. Not blood relations, but the community of friends we build for ourselves. This is our family. “I’ve gone through my entire damn life feeling like I can’t connect with a single person, but always wanting to so badly,” Michael says. You dive deeper and deeper, the world gets darker, then what you nally realize is everyone else is down there in the dark too. We are alone, but alone together.
For L.A.-based four-piece Saint Motel, every song holds the possibility for a spontaneous party. “That perfect moment in time where it feels like anything is possible. The kind of party where anyone is welcome but only a select few are invited,” says frontman A/J Jackson, whose bandmates include guitarist Aaron Sharp, bassist Dak Lerdamornpong, and drummer Greg Erwin. “It’s all kinds of people mixing together, and looking for these perfect, organic moments of beauty and danger.”
As heard on Saint Motel’s breakout single “My Type,” that thirst for joyful eclecticism gets channeled into a retro-futuristic brand of pop that’s big on bright melodies, shiny hooks, loungey rhythms, and clever yet candid lyrics. The title track from Saint Motel’s most recent EP (released in the US by Elektra earlier this year), “My Type” went top 10 at Alternative radio while Entertainment Weekly heralded it as a contender for “song of the summer.” And with its sly send-up of mod-world mystique—achieved thanks to the eye of Jackson, former film student who directs most of the band’s video output—the “My Type” video has now racked up more than 6.4 million views on YouTube.
The follow-up to Saint Motel’s 2012 full-length debut Voyeur, the My Type EP was made almost entirely in living rooms in and around the downtown L.A. area, with the band taking advantage of those decrepit art deco surroundings to explore new sounds and ultimately build their most lavishly textured work so far. For “My Type” (a horn-driven number whose caddish undertones surface in lyrics like “You’re just my type/You got a pulse and you are breathing”), that expanded sense of sonic freedom included amping up their percussion by banging on beer bottles—listen close, and you’ll hear Greg accidentally smashing a bottle mid-song. Saint Motel’s answer to the classic femme-fatale ode (“Don’t try lines and don’t try jokes/She eats up men like Hall and Oates”), the airy and atmospheric “Ace in the Hole” is shot through with slow-burning guitar tones and piano lines meant to mimic the dizzying jangle of a Vegas slot machine. With the covertly romantic “Cold Cold Man,” shimmery synth and sparkling piano riffs blend with the band’s big-hearted harmonies to a lovely effect. And on “Midnight Movies,” Saint Motel play against stomping piano rhythms by trading off gang vocals with the dreamy backup work of all-female group the Damselles.
AMZY is a fresh alternative rock/synth pop band from Denver, Colorado bringing unique sounds to life. AMZY front-man, Brennan Johnson, and guitarist, Sean Grant, have been collaborating and experimenting with music since 2005. Their passion for music and creativity fueled their early music experimentation into different music genres and eventually lead to the creation of AMZY. Drummer, Wes Barton and bassist, Nick Billings joined the band in 2014.
AMZY has shared the stage with Bastille, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Saint Motel, The Wombats, Cold War Kids, Atlas Genius, The Airborne Toxic Event, Robert Delong, MisterWives, Flume, and many others.
If the road can teach you anything, it is the difference between what you need and what you don’t. Born out of the midst of an 11,000 mile North American road trip, The Coteries bring you Acoustic Americana music steeped in their travels and the back roads of the American countryside. Just two summers ago the female-fronted trio found their footing behind the wheel of their old VW Bus, Trusty Rusty. Aside for some freezing August nights in the mountains of Wyoming and Montana, it was the best decision of their lives. With over 150 shows in their inaugural year, they’re continuing their momentum into 2016. Dawning acoustic guitars, a mandolin, harmonicas, and a stomp box, The Coteries are eagerly anticipating the release of their first full-length album this Spring
Enter a world of music where catchy dances with brilliance. Where “pop” isn’t a four-letter word. In this world a piano is a billboard, a ladder or a stomp box when not played backwards. Drums are meant to be torn apart and played by everyone. Enter the world of Foxfield Four.
Led by the classically trained pianist, David James, Foxfield Four is a pop-rock, piano-driven spectacle in the tradition of Ben Folds and Jerry Lee Lewis, whose energy and prowess on stage reminds their listeners that music can be both technical and inviting; honest and exciting. With his brother, Preston, and fellow Denverites, Wes Barton and Mike Albrecht, James takes the audience on a roller coaster of dynamic melodies, fun-loving harmonies, gripping rhythms and supernatural solos.
Their 2010 album, “Street Performer”, released under the moniker, The David James Band, garnered local praise for its catchy melodies and jazz-inspired style. The final track, “Alcohol.edu”, earned James the BMI John Lennon Scholarship. Musicians and non-musicians alike can appreciate the band’s ardent approach to writing and inspired live performances.
By 2012, Foxfield Four continues to propel forward, releasing their sophomore EP, “Weatherman”, in early 2013. With a guest appearance by American Idol’s Mathenee Treco on its title track, “Weatherman”. Consistent with their determination to throw caution to convention, this four-piece dazzles fans with an up-tempo and mature groove, sprinkled with a healthy dose of James’ acrobatic piano gymnastics – continuing their never-ending quest for “Pop Music Rehabilitation”.
an alt / indie rock trio featuring Grammy nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers)—is a dynamic acoustic trio from Colorado which has quickly emerged as a unique musical force. Edison’s liltingly melodic, emotionally resonant songs are filled with vivid storytelling and playful harmonies. Although they’ve only been a band since 2014, they’ve already built a substantial national fan base, thanks to the their high-energy live shows and tireless touring efforts. In addition to countless club gigs, they’ve earned attention at such music-industry conferences as SXSW, CMJ and Folk Alliance International. Edison also spent time on the road in 2015 opening for Iron & Wine, Nathanaiel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Martin Sexton, Hey Marseilles and Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot)
The Colorado spirit of Gasoline Lollipops combines the sincerity of dirt-floor folk with the rebelliousness of punk. It’s an all-new incarnation of alt-country that’s both high-energy and heartfelt, like the American highway’s soundtrack.
Gipsy Moon is a four-piece group of artists on an endless musical journey, sharing songs with the hopes of planting inspiration into the soul, starting a fire in the heart, and building community that invokes love in its wildest manifestations.
The four members Silas Herman (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Mackenzie Page (guitar, tenor banjo, vocals), Matt Cantor (bass, vocals), and Andrew Conley (Cello) reside in the mountains of Nederland Colorado where they write all original material about nature, sunsets, mountain rain, and love.
With soothing harmonies, soul-stirring poetry, and instrumentals that make the hips sway, Gipsy Moon is constantly reinventing their version of indie-folk to include celtic melodies, latin rhythms, jazzy vocals, bluegrass drive, and a gypsy swing that brings acoustic music into an exciting new dimension. A blending of genres that hippies and poets, lovers and dancers, freaks and families alike can all come together to sing and dance until the sun comes up.
If one should come upon Gipsy Moon, whether on the stage, on the road, or singing in the woods, they should be pleased at the prospect of kicking off their shoes, smiling at the heavens, and getting down and dirty.
Denver born and raised, singer/songwriter, Kayla Marque has blazed the stages of the city’s booming music scene for more than 5 years. She was recently nominated to Westword Music Showcase. Formerly the front woman of the band, Straight Nerdy Like a Cool Kid (SNALCK), she will be releasing her debut album, Live and Die Like This in Summer 16’.
Very few rock bands are capable of wowing people right out of the gate. It usually starts with a half recorded demo here, another half recorded demo there, empty bars, empty promises and then you finally get to the good stuff. In February 2011, four young men who were tired of such a pattern gathered in an empty church to discuss their dreams, aspirations and what they were going to do about it. The idea was to create the music they’ve always wanted, spend all the money they had and make the best music they’ve ever been apart of. The group enlisted producer Michael Rossback to help them craft the sounds that they were striving for and to help the songs come to life. “The whole thing was a big experiment. None of us had worked with a producer before and the biggest thing was, the band had yet to even play music together in a room.” says Aaron Wagner, the groups frontman, “when we got to Rossback we had only laid ideas down piece by piece in a computer, never anything more. Rossback would then make us play everything as a live band when we arrived at his house and that’s when things came to life. There was a chemistry and sense of trust between us all.” August rolled around and after months of working, Medic had finished their first EP. Five songs that had stolen the very breath away from all who would hear and with a developed sound that felt like they had been around for 10 years, the band started to play around the Denver area with the intent to stun the audience. They are succeeding. Bassist Drew Barnard explains: “We went in to this just wanting to make music with hope. Music that made people feel like they were understood and the shows feel like that; like we are reaching an understanding between us and the audience that hope is alive and well.”
“In the midst of the trials that we go through these days, I think we are just tired of the same old. Anyone can make art these days. It’s so accessible to make and promote and yet most of it is so negative. It was wearing on us. Medic is about something new, we are about creating a community of thinkers, dreamers and believers that aim for something positive. This world will continue to fall apart if we keep talking about how it’s falling apart. But what if we dare to be the people to figure out ways to put things back together? That’s our platform.That maybe our music can be apart of someones healing process and spread from there.” says Aaron.
So maybe it is time for something new. New songs to sing, new dreams to dream. Maybe Medic is formed out of four guys who might be what we call idealists. But maybe it’s time for us to leave the cynicism behind and begin to embrace hope. Maybe it’s time for a new beginning.
Music is the one viable vehicle for us to do something important with our lives” – that’s the realization Colorado’s Modern Suspects arrived at with the formation of the band. Says bassist Tyler Frees: “we started creating with the idea that music is an all or nothing venture.” Frustrated with the status quo, the trio began to navigate the give and take of pop sensibility and alternative flavoring. The result was a unique yet relatable sound affectionately referred to as “poptnernative.” Combining the best elements of modern technology without sacrificing timely catchiness, they sought transparency and hope through songwriting. The band seeks to inspire, connect, and unite with listeners through the journey of music. They released their latest single “Just Watch Me” on March 29th, 2016.
One Flew West is a folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado. With personality to spare, the six-piece band channels its love of music and having a good time into honest songs and a live show that forcefully captivates audiences across the Front Range. From busking on the Pearl Street Mall for passersby, to performing with national acts such as The Dirty Heads at sold out venues, the boys of One Flew West have become a force to be reckoned with. Through the musical inspirations of Frank Turner, Airborne Toxic Event, and Saints of Valory, the group has created a sound that received a Westword Music Award for Best Folk Band in 2015, and earned them a spot in the finals of Channel 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays in 2014.
In July of 2015, One Flew West recorded a five-track EP entitled “Selective Memory” at The Keep and The Blasting room. The EP was produced by Andy Rok Guerrero (Flobots, Bop Skizzum) and engineered by Jeff Kanan (No Doubt, Madonna, Kelly Clarkson), and Chris Beeble. “Selective Memory” is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
One Flew West has performed with many notable acts, including: The Dirty Heads, 3OH!3, The Devil Makes Three, Brick+Mortar, Joywave, The Unlikely Candidates, Saints of Valory, Barcelona, and the Spill Canvas.
In addition, One Flew West has performed at and headlined Colorado’s most popular concert venues including the Fox Theatre, The Aggie Theatre, The Marquis Theater, The Summit Music Hall, The Larimer Lounge, The Belly Up, and the Gothic Theatre.
ONE FLEW WEST IS:
Linden Jackson – Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
David DiSalvo – Lead Guitar
Jordan Gurrentz – Bass Guitar
Dillon Mount – Keyboards
Jonah Bartels – Drums and Percussion
Joe Pineda – Trumpet and Rhythm Guitar
Paper Lights is an alternative/pop band from Atlanta, GA. There is a large & unique cinematic soundscape found within their music. Paper Lights’ highly anticipated album named Caverns released in November 2013 and featured multiple percussive elements. Their single off the album, The Cave, gained worldwide attention which has included film and commercial placements including Coca-Cola, Boeing, MTV, ESPN, Chick-fil-a and Outdoor Magazine. Their third album, We Are Arrows, released in early 2015. While the band took some time off from the road, they have been hard at work in the studio once again, planning to release their first full-length album, Great Escapes, on March 15, 2016.
After a year of quiet collaboration to refine their vision, Denver based band, P O P F I L T E R, exploded into Colorado’s sonic radar with their debut song, ‘Empire’. A week upon the song’s release, the band was voted as a top 3 finalist for KTCL 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays contest and played their first ever show to a packed Summit Music Hall audience. Barely a month later, ‘Empire’ was featured on the homepage of Noisetrade as part of their New & Notable collection, and it appears as if the band has nowhere to go but up. With their dreams and aspirations aligned, P O P F I L T E R aims to create a brand of music that is honest, yet appealing to the masses. With only a handful of performances under their belt, the band continues to push the limits of their live experience to create an engaging and unique atmosphere for existing and new fans alike. P O P F I L T E R recently released their follow up single, ‘All The Colors,’ with plans to release three more songs throughout the year.
Denver, CO-based synth-pop band, Rumours Follow, just released their five-track EP, Cities of Love – now available on iTunes. The first compilation since their 2013 self-titled, debut EP that consists of seven high-energy, synth-laden tracks, the band has been releasing singles on a monthly basis until now. Cities of Love fuses elements of jazz, funk, alt-rock and pop together, while adding satirical and metaphorical lyrics that show their 90’s rock and 80’s pop influences.
Previously a 6-piece band for their first release, Rumours Follow has whittled their line-up down to key members Nicklas Sanders (vocals, guitar), Adam Swanson (synthesizers, vocals), and Dennis Hernandez (synthesizers) for this new release. Having shared the stage with Panic! At the Disco, Twenty One Pilots, American Authors, Walk The Moon, MS MR, Bad Suns, Brick + Mortar, Andy Grammer, The Royal Concept, The Spill Canvas, The Griswolds, Tokio Hotel and Parade of Lights, the synth-pop band are far from newcomers on the Colorado scene. The Howler says, “Rumours Follow, one of Denver’s finest alt-rock bands with a sweet tooth for synthesizers and charming piano kicks, have been broadening in popularity rapidly since winning the main stage on Channel 93.3’s Big Gig 2014.”
In an industry where innovation has become a survival tactic, SkyLaw is emerging with a futuristic style and one of a kind sound. Led by married lead vocalists Layne and Reve Kalell, the band’s line up also consists of Nema Sobhani (Guitar) and Erik Martin (Drums). Self-sufficient and eager to make some noise, you can feel their genuine energy in each song.
Fueled by the passion of four very talented musicians, SkyLaw represents a wide variety of genres. With a foundation of lyrical hip-hop and electro-pop, the band comes together to deliver an unforgettable experience of sound. With a mission to take the best elements of every style of music to form a fusion of universally appealing messages, their goal is to uplift and inspire. Through activism and community outreach, SkyLaw strives to make a positive change in the world.
Touring across the country with artists like G-Eazy, KYLE, Mike Stud, to performing with the likes of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2 Chainz, Logic, Skizzy Mars, Mike Posner among a bevvy of other heavy hitters; Splyt has become one of the most talked about Colorado hip-hop artists today. With the release of his first full-length original-production album “The S Project” looming, he only looks to expand on an already impressive body of recorded work.