Were you strumming along to bands like the String Cheese Incident prior to them hitting it huge? Were you hip to the Motet before they were jiving down Red Rocks every summer? Do you remember when snagging a Pretty Lights ticket wasn’t on the same competitive field as getting an Uber on New Years Eve?

If not, it is lucky that you wandered onto 303 Magazine today, because 2017 is your time to shine with knowledge of Denver’s imploding underground. We have concocted a list of band run downs and interviews for you of all of the acts in Denver that we know are going to explode onto the scene.


 

SoDown

SoDown

Photo courtesy of SoDown

Bass hasn’t been the same in the last few years, and that can be chalked up to artists like SoDown. Since 2013 Ehren Wright has been burning down the house with his trance beats, eclectic drops and dreamy sax, and he has not gone unnoticed. Having shared the stage all over our beautiful state with local heavyweights this year, SoDown is looking to close out the year as a supporting act to the ever-raging STS9 show at the Fillmore. We were lucky enough to nab some thoughts from the brain of this wonder-jammer. See what we were able to get out of him here:

303 Magazine: What do you love about being in Denver’s music scene? 

Ehren Wright: I love how inclusive and diverse it is. There are so many genres of music that flourish here, and it’s because all the fans have an open mind, especially within the electronic music scene. I can play a set of many different genres and people relate to it every time, it’s a great feeling.

303: What is your favorite show that you have played in Denver? 

EW: It would have to be the Bluebird on October 27, 2016. We sold out a couple days in advance and the crowd was just so live. The Bluebird is also such an amazing venue so it was an honor to play it. I’m also looking forward to supporting STS9 at the Fillmore Auditorium on NYE.

303: What do you hope to see more of -show wise- in Denver in 2017? 

EW: I’m really liking the fusion of instrumentation and electronic music that has been on the come up. Im looking forward to seeing the live shows continue to evolve and progress along side the music.

Lucid Vision

Lucid Vision

Photo courtesy of Lucid Vision

Denver’s home to many an EDM fan, and no act is as exciting to these fans as Lucid Vision. In the last few years, this one man journey of livetronica has taken the 303 by storm, playing all over the area alongside consistent fire lineups and excellent fan turnouts. Having cited successful local influences like Sunsquabi, Bass Physics and Illenium, you can get a feel of where his creations stem from if you have not already taken the jump into his sound. “When you see an act build it from the ground up, it reconfirms in your mind that it’s all possible. Plus, so much great multi-genre music!”

If you’re smart, you’ll gear up to see this guy, (real name Dalton Kieta,) in action in 2017. Right as you venture back from your holiday break, he will be melting the walls at the Bluebird, headlining a seemingly never ending lineup on January 6. You can find tickets here. If you will be avoiding the snow until further notice, Kieta is looking forward to releasing an EP this coming year, as well as making a name for himself in the festival circuit. He played this past summer at ARISE fest, stating it as one of his favorite performances to date. He also recently played a benefit to Standing Rock, and he will be donating 10% of the proceeds from the upcoming Bluebird event to charity, proving that jamming Lucid Vision isn’t just good for your ears, it’s good for humanity. “I’ve always believed in the power of music, and if we focus that energy, we can do great things,” says Kieta.

You can also donate ahead of the show to a choice of three charities here.

The Kinky Fingers

Kinky Fingers

Photo courtesy of Kinky Fingers

The Kinky Fingers are a surf and soul rock group who has made waves of their own on and off in the Denver area for years. The band is looking to sauce up the waters of 2017, and with recent release WORST OF, they do not appear to be joking around. We got an opportunity to chat with vocalist Tayler Doyle; tune in for his quirky anecdotes below.

303: What do you love about being in Denver’s music scene?

Taylor Doyle: Denver has a lot of good things going on. The bands obviously, but also the countless people behind the scenes that turn the gears on this machine. There are a few new labels to add to the Denver roster, and the ‘scene’ is always growing, so that’s cool. Also, going to a show in subzero temperatures makes you man, and it makes you a woman.

303: What do you have up your sleeve for 2017? 

TD: Well it wouldn’t be magic if we spilled the beans, but we have a WORST OF album we are releasing in affiliation with HOBO-radio at the beginning of the year and we’re sitting on some recordings we did in Rochester, NY last summer that we are hoping to release at some point.

303: What is your favorite venue/neighborhood to play?

TD: Hi-Dive and really digging Syntax Physic Opera. Curtis Club is nice too.

Atomga

ATOMGA

Photo courtesy of ATOMGA

With the colossal rise to a massive funk following in Denver, it is no surprise that we feel insatiable when it comes to the afro beat. Luckily, we have local booty-shaking group ATOMGA to keep the tweaking to a minimum. Leah Concialdi, the multi-talented player of the baritone, saxophone and flute for the band, appreciates Denver for its constant emerging talent and local camaraderie between fellow bands. “We’ve been around for awhile and it still seems like every week we run into some incredible musicians we still haven’t met,” says Concialdi.

If, for whatever reason, the sweet, entrancing sounds of ATOMGA have slipped by your ear waves unnoticed, you will not have to squeak by on the same tunes for much longer. Concialdi confirms they have fresh new licks coming early next year, which will debut on January 21 at Cervantes’ – nab tickets here – along with some hard work on a third album. The group is hoping to get more festivals under their belts, which doesn’t seem to be anywhere out of the question. In the words of Concialdi, “onwards and upwards in 2017!”

Boogie Mammoth

Boogie Mammoth

Photo courtesy of Boogie Mammoth

From a funky disco party with a hint of soul comes Boogie Mammoth, a local hit factory funkifying the Denver scene just as hard as any other group. They are, however, rocking with a secret weapon of epic proportions — Rachel Hollingsworth’s gift of a voice. The voice of an Earth Angel to make an unforgettable sound for the ages. Hollingsworth found time in her schedule to offer 303 Magazine some insight into her favorites parts of Denver music, read it below.

303 Magazine: What do you love about being in Denver’s music scene?

Rachel Hollingsworth: The Denver scene is getting bigger every day, plus it’s a haven for funk and soul music, which is what we love to play. It’s given us the opportunity to play alongside some of the best musicians in the genre — and in the country for that matter. There’s nothing better than getting a crowd revved up, then getting to see some of your favorite musicians take to the stage and get to know them afterward.

303: What is your favorite show that you have played in Denver? What is your favorite venue to play?

RH: Opening for Joey Porter’s Shady Business at Cervantes was a definite highlight. Cervantes is no doubt one of our favorite venues to play; the energy in both of the rooms there is always incredible. Another highlight for us in 2016 was our show at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox with Cycles. The sound and ambiance in that room are unlike anything else in Denver.

303: What do you hope to see more of -show wise- in Denver in 2017?

RH: That’s a tough question – we’ve seen a lot of great shows this year! We hope to catch Turkuaz and Lettuce again at some point as they were both amazing. We’re also pumped to see Vulfpeck at the Ogden in May. As for the band, we have our eyes set on playing venues like The Ogden and Bluebird. We hope to see you out at a show soon!

Greener Grounds

Greener Grounds

Photo courtesy of Greener Grounds

Jamtronica has been fizzling out lately in the Denver region…just kidding, the scene has been flourishing with mega-talented artists in the last few years making it a prime time to be alive. One of the most dedicated acts to the cause of this phenomenon is Greener Grounds. Consisting of guitar, keys, synth, bass and drums, the group has performed all over the state at prime events like Sonic Bloom, ARISE and more. Even though the band is channeling a heavily populated genre, they appreciate the community that Denver has to offer musicians. “It’s great being able to go to a show that I’m not playing on any given night and run into musicians that I call friends. I think that’s really special.”

A band that loves to play Cervantes’, you can plan to see much of this group in 2017. Around springtime they will be jumping into the festival rounds along with their new keyboardist. They have arms open wide to new fans coming out, so be sure to like their Facebook so you can see when their tour revs up again. Be sure to bring a homie or five, as the band told 303 Magazine, “I love it when our fans tell a friend about the band, and bring them to a show. I get to see their reactions happening right in front of me, which is priceless.”

Coal Town Reunion 

Coal Town reunion

Photo courtesy of Coal Town Reunion

It is not a mystery that roots/folk bands do well in Colorado, and there is always room for more. Having come to fruition in 2014, this band has plenty to give in the future and we at 303 are excited to hear it. Consisting of an acoustic and electric guitar, drums, fiddle and bass, the group gets their sound by piecing together their talents and smoothing it all out with lullaby-style lyrics yet a danceable tempo. We chatted with bassist and vocalist Jeff Montoya about what he favors in the area and how we can all get excited for what is to come. Check it out:

303 Magazine: What do you love about being in Denver’s music scene?

Jeff Montoya: Denver has had a tight knit, yet welcoming community of really good artists for a long time and it has always been supported by a community of people who are just as welcoming and are eager to listen.  They’ve been feeding off one another and it’s really starting to explode. The amount of Denver bands that are buzzing nationally is a testament to that. You get to play with some amazing musicians and become fans of one another.

303: What do you have up your sleeve for 2017?

JM: We put out our first EP in 2016 and are going to record our first full-length album with the folks at Playing For Change in 2017. They are doing great things and putting out some great music,and we are excited to be a part of it. We haven’t ventured far outside of Denver, so we’d like to get on some festivals and do a mountain tour this year.

303: What is your favorite venue/neighborhood to play?  

JM: We love the Walnut Room. Mile High Spirits and Ophelia’s are awesome too. Last summer, we played on the rooftop of Battery 621 in the Art District and you can’t beat the having the Denver skyline right there. But lets be honest, Denver is home to THE venue. We want to play there.

Khemmis

Khemmis

Photo courtesy of Khemmis

We didn’t forget about you rock fans, and with Khemmis on the the scene, it was easy to remember. Turn ’em up loud because that’s how they like it. If you have not tuned into these doom rock and rollers, you are missing out, and we are not the first to tell you. However, since we are telling you now, we went as far to get words straight from the source. Our chat with Ben of Khemmis is below.

303 Magazine: What do you love about being in Denver’s music scene? 

Ben Hutcherson: The heavy music scene in town is incredibly supportive. Bands want to see other bands succeed because there’s an understanding that an increase in visibility for our scene is good all around. You’ll see folks in death metal bands at doom or hardcore shows (and vice versa) because they not only like the music, but genuinely like contributing to the music scene.

303: What do you have up your sleeve for 2017? 

BH: We’re starting things off with a show at Larimer Lounge on January 7 with Abrams and Pueblo Escobar. Then we’ll be on the road a bit, including some exciting one-off dates throughout the year: January 13 at Reggies in Chicago, January 14 at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, April 23 at the Decibel Metal and Beer Fest in Philadelphia, and August 18-20 for Psycho Las Vegas (alongside Neurosis, Swans, Carcass, the Melvins and a ton more). We have some other dates and some new music releases coming up as well, but we can’t share the specifics of those quite yet.

303: What do you hope to see more of -show wise- in Denver in 2017? 

BH: More of what Denver is already doing — diverse lineups, shows supporting great causes (for example, there’s an excellent fundraiser show at Hi-Dive in January for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and Urban Peak), anything and everything that continues to prove why Denver kicks ass.

There you have it. Those of you who suffered in 2016 as the ones always running two steps behind the hot acts can finally stand tall in 2017 as a musical know-it-all. Use this list wisely.

3 Responses

  1. Paul

    Screw that, how about Havok? Releasing their 4th album this spring. The guys along with Evile who are credited with the Thrash Metal revival, a band many have referred to as the modern day Slayer. A band that has the reputation of having one of the craziest mosh pits in all of metal

    Reply
  2. Chad

    Check the Filthy Heathens for some original blues-inspired/infused rock. Damn good shows always get the floor packed!

    Reply
  3. Ken Walters

    You want to see some great bands that are about to take off?
    Go hang out at 7th Circle.

    Reply

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