We’re less than a week away from the Underground Music Showcase (UMS) taking over South Broadway with reckless abandon. In commemoration of the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of all of the acts we’re most excited about this year. With over 200 names to choose from, picking can be tough and doesn’t represent all of the up-and-coming musicians that Denver has to offer, but to make it a bit easier on the planning, sweat and tears and constant music streaming you’ve had to do in preparation for the big weekend, we’ve come up with a list of 42 staff-picked acts you just can’t miss.

For a list of the festival schedule as well as other time slots that some of our artists are also working on, check out the UMS website.

READ: The Green Room is UMS’ Exclusive Underground Bar and Dance Floor

Friday, July 26

Marshall Poole

Photo Courtesy of Marshall Pooles Facebook

When: 4:20 – 5 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage

The Lowdown: There’s something old school about Marshall Poole. Maybe it’s the distorted guitar riffs or the simplified, smooth lyrics, but it’s easy to think this talented group of musicians belonged in the late ’60s or ’70s opening for the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The combination of different instruments makes for a harmonic melody of a–sometimes grittier, southern, psychedelic rock to sway to. Additionally, they have the ability to diversify their lyrical execution if need be, thanks to having both a male and female singer in the group. Whereas a large majority of bands choose one or the other, Marshall Poole knows what they’re about and are not shy about showing it off. – Andrew Venegas 

LVDY

Photo by Brandon Johnson

READ: Q&A – The Future is Female with Denver’s LVDY

When: 5:20 – 6 p.m.

Where: Knockout Stage 

The Lowdown: LVDY has undeniable magnetism. Because in a very short amount of time, the local pair have gone from busking on the street to garnering 100,000 Spotify streams and an honest to god fan club called the “LVDY mob.” Amidst their adoring fans, UMS will be the perfect time to witness the distinctly feminine allure of Aubrey Mable and Kathleen Hooper’s folksy yet soulful sound. Maybe you’ll also fall under their wave of influence taking over Denver, one venue at a time. — Brittany Werges

Corsicana

Photo by Amanda Piela / Mutiny Cafe

When: 6 – 6:40 p.m.

Where: Skylark Lounge

The Lowdown: Denver native Ben Pisano spent the majority of his high school years finding his way into the music scene. He played in various high school bands as well as experimenting as a solo act. His current project, called Corsicana, is a venture into the realm of indie shoegaze — and we’re excited to see that after a couple of years testing the waters he’s finally found his groove. Corsicana has been on the fringes of everyone’s radar, since the release of his album Perennial earlier this year — making his set at UMS one you won’t want to miss. – Mariah Hansen 

Dream Feed

Photo by Amanda Piela

When: 7 – 7:40 p.m.

Where: The Irish Rover

The Lowdown: While UMS typically sheds light on up-and-coming bands, the lead singer of Dream Feed is no stranger to the spotlight. Lead vocalist Miguel Dakota was a season 9 finalist on America’s Got Talent — and for a good reason. His powerhouse vocals match the electric energy of the alternative rock band Dream Feed. Dream Feed’s style ranges from heart-wrenching love ballads to classic shredding for a multifaceted performance sure to keep attendees on their feet. – Ellie Herring 

Still Woozy

Courtesy of Still Woozy’s Facebook

When: 7:20 – 8 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage 

The Lowdown: Sven Gamsky only released his first EP at the beginning of May, but he’s been cultivating his signature hard-to-pin-down, electro-dreamy R&B sound since 2017. Gamsky found himself as Still Woozy after his math-rock band – Feed Me Jack – broke up, seeking a musical style that would be a vessel for the intimacy he felt was missing in the music he was previously making. It’s fair to say he’s found success in going solo, his popularity only bolstered by the power of the internet and increases by the day. Don’t miss out on his set – his music is guaranteed to be a groovy trip. – Tiara Stephan

Heavy Diamond Ring

Photo courtesy of Heavy Diamond Rings Facebook

When: 7:20 – 8 p.m. 

Where: Knockout Stage 

The Lowdown: Heavy Diamond Ring is a new band, created from the remnants of what was Paper Bird — a  local folk favorite that was everyone was sure was going to make it out of the local music realm. When they split, it seemed like the project was lost forever, but founders Sarah Anderson and Paul DeHaven thought differently. In comes Heavy Diamond Ring, a brand of folk-rock that feels and sounds as good as the reunion of such talented musicians should. The excitement for this band goes beyond the story of their inception. They’re really good at what they do, and taking the UMS stage is one of the first steps in solidifying their title as local heavyweights once again. – Camila Biddulph

Trayce Chapman

Photo courtesy of Trayce Chapman on Facebook.

READ: Local Listen – “Exotic Birds” by Trayce Chapman 

When: 7 – 7:40 p.m.

Where: Blue Ice 

The Lowdown: Colorado-native Trayce Chapman can swing with the heavy-weights — he’s opened for A$AP Ferg and YG, among others — and he’s got the chops to prove it. Chapman’s 2018 album Exotic Birds offers nothing less than the creative professionalism you’d expect from a hip-hop/rap artist in the game for a decade and the evolving sound he’s made his own here in Denver. – Jessica Rendall

Claire Heywood

Photo by Giacomo DiFranco

READ: Local Listen – Claire Heywood Bares Her Gypsy Soul 

When: 8 – 8:40 p.m.
Where: South Broadway Christian Church 
The Lowdown: Smoky vocals and expressive lyrics are what makes Claire Heywood’s music so captivating. Heywood just released her record – The Wind, It Howls – and despite songwriting only being a pursuit of hers for only a few years now, you would never guess it. Her music only encourages listeners to sit back, unwind and let her lead you through the nostalgia she invokes through the stories she tells so eloquently through her songs. – Tiara Stephan 

Leikeli47

Photo by Sebastian Dion on Facebook

When: 8:30 – 10 p.m.

Where: Odyssey Stage

The Lowdown: The balaclava-wearing Leikeli47 may become your newest obsession at this year’s festival. Cut from a similar cloth as the likes of Lizzo and Azealia Banks, the shrouded Brooklyn based rapper and singer is a raucous bar dropping phenom who is edging a breakthrough into the mainstream. Honing in on themes of beauty, empowerment and identity, Leikeli47 etches out bangers with substance. Look no further than the vogue-ready “Attitude,” where you’ll find Leikeli47 poised over her mirror spitting the most badass pep-talk you’ve ever heard set to music. – Kori Hazel 

Black Mountain

Photo Courtesy of Black Mountain on Facebook

When: 8:30- 10 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage

The Lowdown: Canadian group Black Mountain is slow, creepy and everything psychedelic rock should be. Their song “Space to Bakersfield” is reminiscent to the acidic tones of David Bowie, and is a promise from Black Mountain that they’re sure to give an experience at UMS, not a performance. The group is diverse, bluesy, enigmatic and sure to either enthrall you or freak you out.  – Jessica Rendall 

Motion Trap

Motion Trap

Photo by Kennedy Cottrell

When: 10 – 10:40 p.m.

Where: Denver Drumz & Music

The Lowdown: Motion Trap plays a smart hand, releasing new music that is finely tailored and mastered to the best of their abilities, and trust me — their best is worth noticing. Their single, “N2U,” spiraled its way to the national musical realms, landing a spot on ThisSongIsSick last month. Motion Trap has evolved as a duo, adding in visuals to their show and donning light-up jackets on stage. Their set is sure to entertain, both through the things you see, but ultimately ending up resonating through the production you hear. – Camila Biddulph

ENZI

Photo by Amanda Piela / Hi-Dive

When: 10 – 10:40 p.m.
Where: The Hornet 
The Lowdown: Kenzie Culver is ENZI, the singer/songwriter whose signature alt-pop sound, powerful vocals and high-energy live shows only back up her increasingly high-profile presence in the Denver music scene. The musician has opened up for bands like Blue October and Parachute and only continues to gain popularity. Most recently, her single “I’m Sorry That I” earned her the opening spot for this winter’s Not So Silent Night. If you’re looking to hear empowering pop music with an aggressive edge, look for it with ENZI. You won’t be disappointed. – Tiara Stephan

Silver & Gold

Photo Courtesy of Silver and Gold on Facebook

When: 12 – 12:40 a.m.

Where: Skylark Lounge 

The Lowdown: Since Silver & Gold formed in 2013 they’ve expanded their fan base from their hometown of Greeley to the rest of the northern part of the state, and developed quite a following here in Denver. They released their debut full-length album last year, and another EP earlier this year — giving fans, even more, to love from the local alt-rockers. They’ve been praised for their complex music and melodies as well as their stage presence and will be one to watch this year at UMS. – Mariah Hansen 

Slow Caves

Photo by Brandon Johnson

When: 12 – 12:40 a.m.

Where: 3 Kings Tavern 

The Lowdown: With hundreds of performances under their belt and appearances at festivals like South by Southwest, Treefort Music Fest and Velorama, Fort Collins’ own Slow Caves has developed a reputation as one of the most consistent and hard-working musical acts in Colorado. Beginning their musical journey with a surf-rock vibe, 2019 saw the release of their debut LP Falling — showcasing the band’s shift to more of a ’90s grunge and brit-pop influence. Their natural stage presence draws the audience in before hooking them with catchy riffs and clever lyrics. Mark it on your calendar because Slow Caves’ set will surely be a highlight of the weekend. – Chloe Dore

Andy Immerman

Photo by Bridget Burnett

READ: Hello, Denver My Name is Andy Immerman 

When: 12:00 – 1:40 am

Where: Punch Bowl Social 

The Lowdown: A UMS veteran, multifaceted DJ and producer Andy Immerman returns to the festival to deliver what is sure to be a set filled with good vibes and even better beats. Immerman’s dynamic blend of house and techno influenced melodic electronic music will provide a welcome change of pace from the stacked indie rock lineup. Music is in Immerman’s blood and his expertise in all aspects of the process is apparent — he helped engineer Bon Iver’s Grammy Award-winning self-titled album before finishing college. Prior to hitting up UMS this year, Immerman shared the stage with electronic heavyweights Green Velvet and Shiba San at Denver’s own Global Dance Festival. – Chloe Dore 


Saturday, July 27

Falcon Punch

GRiZ, 303 Magazine, Red Rocks, Alden Bonecutter, Tyler Harvey, Emily McCarter, 303 Music, Denver

Photo by Alden Bonecutter

When: 1 – 1:40 p.m.

Where: Blue Ice 

The Lowdown: Don’t let the early set time fool you, Falcon Punch is worth getting out to UMS early. With a smooth house vibe that transcends Denver and jet sets to more exotic locales, Falcon Punch makes music that hits right where the sun shines. Collaborations with Big Gigantic and Poolside, and opening gigs for none other than GRiZ speak volumes to his talents and his originals like “Antigua” and “Cream” place you squarely on cloud nine. With a sound he renders, “dark island funk,” he’ll be creating an oasis when he descends on UMS. – Kori Hazel 

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye Daisy

Photo by Kyle Cooper

READ: Exclusive – Oxeye Daisy Scorch the Earth on “They Say You’re A Demon”

When: 2 – 2:40 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage 

The Lowdown: Oxeye Daisy was the breakout band of 2018 as far as anyone’s concerned. After this newly minted crown was placed upon the bands head, they decided to release an EP that brought them further into the spotlight. They Say You’re A Demon cemented Oxeye Daisy’s name into Denver concrete, making them a must-see, must-know, must-listen for anyone who wishes to get a grasp on the local music scene. Beyond their incredible sound, lead singer Lela Roy is a force to be reckoned with on-stage. The magnetism is self-evolving and you want to be in the eye of that storm when it hits. – Camila Biddulph

Jenny Lajoye

Photo by Amanda Piela

When: 4 – 4:40 p.m.

Where: South Broadway Christian Church 

The Lowdown: Although Jenny Lajoye has produced music with relative speed in the last couple of years, the singer-songwriter has yet to really make a splash in the Denver music scene. However, her newest album Altars proves she knows how to build a solid pop song that sticks. She’s still a little rough around the edges, but her raw potential is thrilling. Couple that with the boundary testing nature of UMS — we’re sure her set will remind us what the annual showcase is all about. — Brittany Werges

DRAMA

Photo Courtesy of DRAMA’s Facebook

When: 6:20 – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage 

The Lowdown: DRAMA is all about a subtle catharsis. Their sleek R&B, electro-pop beats — once described as the lies you tell yourself to get over an ex — were specifically made to help you dance your way through a breakup. But unlike the thousands of musicians that base their careers on heartache, it’s the push and pull of Via Rosa’s pain laden lyrics and the upbeat sway of producer Na’el Shehade’s sound that truly mimics the tumultuous emotions of love lost. Fueled by an uneasy optimism, DRAMA will melt your worries away — even if only for a short while. — Brittany Werges.

Funk Hunk

Photo Courtesy of Funk Hunks Facebook

When: 7 – 7:40 p.m., 12:30 a.m -1:30 a.m

Where: 3 Kings Tavern, “The Green Room” (respectively)

The Lowdown: The name says it all — Funk Hunk is out to catch the funkiest jams for you to enjoy at UMS this year.  Funk Hunk is a blast from the past, mixing disco influences with modern-day party music for an ‘80s inspired dance-a-thon you’ll never want to end. Dust off your bell bottoms, neon joggers and afro picks — this is a seriously funky session that requires the full force of the audience to find the funkiest jams in the world. With Rob as your handsomely hunky time-traveling guide, he’s sure to land you safely in the world of perpetual groove. – Ellie Herring 

Yves Tumor

Photo Courtesy of Yves Tumor’s Facebook

When: 7:20 – 8 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage 

The Lowdown: Yves Tumor is a sonic anomaly coming off one of 2018’s best albums, Safe In the Hands of Love. With a sound that blatantly blurs the line between soul, punk and new age, Yves Tumor’s music is everything UMS stands for — a melting pot of elements that creates something brand new in its mixture. Whether he arrives with a full band or just solo, it’s the artistry at the core of Yves Tumor that makes him a must-see at this year’s festival. – Kori Hazel 

déCollage

Photo Courtesy of deCollage’s Facebook

READ: First Look – The Making of deCollage’s Psychedelic New Music Video 

When: 8 – 8:40 p.m.

Where: Denver Drumz & Music 

The Lowdown: Avant-pop band DéCollage, in all their dazzling colors, transports listeners through a neon speedway into a textured, trippy, surrealist landscape. Décollage crafts whimsical sound collages with vocal effects and synth patches that sound as though they were lifted from various arcade games. Bright percussions are coupled with glitching chops and dripping samples to create mesmerizing and invigorating experimental pop. The band’s website also features a virtual reality tour of kaleidoscopic art that, when paired with listening to their music, feels like an absurdist waking dream. It comes as no surprise that this local band has shared the stage with acts such as of Montreal, Dan Deacon, Animal Collective, and Deerhoof, and their upcoming performance at UMS will surely be an otherworldly experience. – Padideh Aghanoury 

Lief Sjostrom

Photo Courtesy of Lief Sjorstrom’s Facebook

When: 8 – 8:40 p.m.

Where: Denver Distillery 

The Lowdown: Rewind to Ophelia’s a couple of weeks ago and you’ll find a room packed with a reverent audience as Lief Sjorstrom hits the stage. The classical musician plays his cello amongst a series of looped sounds of his own production and the results are awe-inspiring. Sometimes classical music can deter when it should definitely be explored, so Sjorstrom has made it easy for the traditionalists and novice listeners alike by blending the emotion of a solo cello with the complex layering of electronic influences. This sonic harmony is not something you want to skip out on. You might find yourself appreciating an artform that often goes overlooked. – Camila Biddulph

Overslept

Bridget Burnett, Overslept

Photo by Bridget Burnett

READ: Q&A – Overslept’s New Album Proves that Emo Isn’t A Phase 

When: 11 – 11:40 p.m.

Where: The Hornet 

The Lowdown: For anyone wishing they hadn’t outgrown their early 2000’s emo phase, Overslept is exactly what happens to emos who grow up. Their emotionally-charged music is upbeat and accessible, but still heavy enough to keep them firmly cemented in alternative and indie rock scenes. Their high-energy shows often turn into an opportunity for the band to try and outdo each other for most enthusiastic stage presence, making their UMS set one you’ll want to see. – Mariah Hansen 

Zach Maxwell

Photo by Amanda Piela / Mutiny Cafe

READ: Exclusive – Zach Maxwell Makes Sadness Sweet with “Candyman With the Blues” 

When: 11 – 11:40 p.m.

Where: 3 Kings Tavern 

The Lowdown: Arriving in Denver from New York City four years ago, Zach Maxwell seemingly brought the soul of the city to Denver. A producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Zach Maxwell truly thrives out of his sheer self-sufficiency. Pop-R&B tracks like the Prince-tinged “Candyman With The Blues” feel like effortless odes to the heydays of the ‘80s, particularly when you connect the dots that Maxwell executed the song from start to finish singlehandedly. It would seem too that Maxwell is one of Denver’s music unique and talented voices to emerge amidst the scene in recent years. – Kori Hazel 

Coastal Wives

Courtesy of Coastal Wives’ Facebook

When: 12 – 12:40 a.m.
Where: The Irish Rover Pub 
The Lowdown: Most bands fall into one sort of genre or another, but after you listen to Coastal Wives, there’s uncertainty that they can be categorized. From their first self-titled album, each song carries a different tone to it. At first song, you’d be certain that they’re a band that keeps ties close to southern rock, with fun and upbeat plucking of a sharp electric guitar along with simple drum beats to tap your foot to and find a barn to dance in. They meet a variety of different genres and that’s what makes them so interesting to listen to. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting with each new song and in a live performance, that can be quite exciting. – Andrew Venegas

Retrofette

Photo by Heather Fairchild

When: 1 – 1:40 a.m.

Where: 3 Kings Tavern 

The Lowdown: Where do we begin with Retrofette? They’ve crashed into the local music stratosphere with reckless abandon and we’re all in for the ride. The four-piece band consists of three synths and a drum kit, making their sound inexplicable until experienced live. With lead singer, Sean Culliton’s baritone range and the bands aesthetic of white turtlenecks and deadpan expressions, their sound mixes in LCD Soundsystem with the Talking Heads for a whole lot of fun and just the right touch of strange. Highlights include the brain-prison that is “Lover in Japan” (don’t get me started on how often I hum the melody of this song) and “Skeletons,” although that’s just a glimpse at their discography. As the band rises through the ranks, their music keeps on getting better, and we suggest you catch them before they’re off somewhere else showing the world what a three synth set-up can do. – Camila Biddulph 


Sunday, July 28

Whitacre

Photo courtesy of Whitacre

When: 1:20 -2 p.m.

Where: Knockout Stage 

The Lowdown: Whitacre is Colorado folk-rock at it’s finest. Since the band’s inception just over two years ago, they’ve racked up more than 400,000 listens on Spotify and won the hearts of fans through their high energy performances and uplifting lyrics. Next weekend, Whitacre will return for their second year playing UMS. With an EP under their belt and a full-length album in the near future, Whitacre’s quick rise in Denver’s music scene is just a sneak peek of the bright future they have ahead. – Chloe Dore 

Vic ’N’ the Narwhals

Photo by Jorge Luis Courtesy of Facebook

When: 1:20 – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage 

The Lowdown: Known colloquially amongst locals as Los Narwhals, the surf-soaked, pysch-rock quartet incorporate elements of Latin tonalities, choral harmonies, and ’70s-style organs to create a whirling, rollicking sound. Each song is complex and multi-varied in tempo, style and texture — yet they never fail to bring all working elements together in a glorious and powerful union of genres, instrumentation and cultural influences. Most of their lyrics are sung in Spanish, a refreshing splash of variety in a rock scene that can feel a little too whitewashed at times. Deducing judgement from the band’s sound alone, it comes as no suprise they’ve opened for big name acts such as the surf-punk ensemble Guantanamo Baywatch. Vic N’ The Narwhals’ debut album Lagrimas de Agave — released earlier this year, in February — has been the perfect soundtrack to this wet, hot summer. – Padideh Aghanoury

YaSi

Photo by Meg O’Neill.

When: 2:20 – 3 p.m.

Where: Odyssey Stage 

The Lowdown: This Persian R&B singer is one badass you just don’t want to mess with. YaSi has worked on several collaborative projects, ultimately flying solo after 2016. After making that shift, the sky was the limit. She releases a series of singles including the sultry “Lie” and changed the game with her ability to showcase her identity in all of the forms she celebrates and revels in. You’ll want to too once you see her take the stage. The talented vocalist has taken the Denver scene by the reigns and it’s her world to maneuver. – Camila Biddulph

Levi Double U

Photo Courtesy of Levi Double U Facebook

When: 5:00 – 5:40 p.m.

Where: The Irish Rover Pub

The Lowdown: Levi Double U is the perfect Sunday antidote to the jampacked weekend. A healthy dose of humor mixed with a whole lot of disco — Levi Double U’s style will perfectly match the insanity of day three of UMS. He’ll bring the house music — you bring the dance moves. Levi Double U’s vibe is the perfect summer party starter, with crowd favorites ranging from the laidback “Summer Vibes” to the Pulp Fiction ode, “Say What.” Don’t expect to kick back and relax at this Sunday show, Levi Double U is for UMS goers who want to end the weekend with a bang. – Ellie Herring 

Adiel Mitchell

Photo by Caroline Miller

READ: Local Listen – Adiel Mitchell Calls our Bluff With Jungle EP

When: 6:00 – 6:40 p.m.

Where: The Irish Rover Pub 

The Lowdown: Adiel Mitchell is a relative newcomer to Denver’s music scene, but that hasn’t stopped him from making one hell of a first impression. From the onset of his voice on last year’s debut EP, About Last Night and this year’s Jungle, you can immediately see the makings of an R&B star. Coming to the table with a polished look and sound is half the battle, but Mitchell moves the dial full circle with a dynamic live presence to boot. If Adiel Mitchell isn’t on your radar, he certainly will be when UMS is all said and done. – Kori Hazel 

Princess Dewclaw

Photo Courtesy of Princess Dewclaws Facebook

When: 7:00 – 7:40 p.m.

Where: Denver Drumz & Music 

The Lowdown: Prime your claws, kitties, because look what the cat dragged in — the drone-punk sounds, laden with reverb and plenty of feedback, of Princess Dewclaw. Off of Denver’s very own noisy, glitter-punk record label Glasss Records, Princess Dewclaw bridges campy vibes with gothic overtones. Self-described as a “5-piece, no-wave, suburban trash pop band,” the band excels at vacillating between fast, almost poppy rock and head-nodding, groovy post-punk, guaranteeing an engaging performance from start to finish. – Padideh Aghanoury 

Porlolo

Courtesy of Porlolo’s Facebook page.

When: 8 – 8:40 p.m.

Where: Hi-Dive

The Lowdown: If you’ve been paying any attention to Denver’s indie scene in the last decade then you know of Porlolo — or at least one of their band members. The supergroup — helmed by Erin Roberts and currently backed by Ben DeSoto on drums and Anna Morsett (of The Still Tide) on bass — is always a familiar and welcomed sight at UMS. But despite their comfortable status at the annual showcase, this year is going to be different. For the first time in over a decade, the band has a new full-length album on the horizon. Their latest single “I Quit” combines their distinctly grungy folk-pop with an added punch of restless angst —  signaling the seasoned band is nowhere near its end. — Brittany Werges

EARTHGANG

Photo courtesy of EARTHGANG on Facebook

When: 7:55 – 8:45 p.m.

Where: Odyssey Stage

The Lowdown: The Atlanta-based hip-hop duo has made quite a name for themselves since their 2013 inception. They’ve toured with modern stars like Mac Miller, Billie Eilish and J. Cole, playing hundreds of shows across the country and abroad. They two high-school friends use their music as a way to express their views of the world – views that are surprisingly optimistic despite lyrical themes that discuss problems within modern society. They’ve spent the last six years developing a dedicated fan base and will release their debut album later this year. The duo is on track to dominate the hip-hop scene, making their UMS appearance potentially Denver’s last chance to see them on a smaller stage. – Mariah Hansen

Boss Eagle

Photo by Amanda Piela / Hi-Dive

When: 8 – 8:40 p.m.

Where: Blue Ice 

The Lowdown: Although not originally from Colorado, Boss Eagle saw the love for hip-hop in our city and now represents Colorado like it is his own. He took big risks in The Firebird Album and proved he could get any crowd hyped moving to his spiritually-motivated-meets-old-school-appreciative tracks. UMS is known for its heavy roots in rock, but every festival needs a break to provide some lyrically heavy entertainment, and Boss Eagle will be providing such at 2019’s UMS. Let him be the one to offer you something different. – Denby Gardiner

Ghost Tapes

Photo courtesy of Ghost Tapes on Facebook.

When: 8 – 8:40 p.m.

Where: Skylark Lounge

The Lowdown: Ghost Tapes sounds like a clean dip into rainbow-colored wax. In other words, like that sultry, tight and colorful sound of “modern soul” the group humbly describes themselves as. The Denver-based group released their debut album in 2017 — the self-titled Ghost Tapes — and UMS has caught them on the precipice of their breakthrough. You’ll dig Ghost Tapes if you like the White Stripes, or appreciate music that’s smart, eerie and pretty all at once. – Jessica Rendall 

Tuxedo

Photo Courtesy of Tuxedo’s Facebook

When: 8:15 – 9:45 p.m.

Where: Showcase Stage 

The Lowdown: While Tuxedo may close out UMS as the last main stage act, it’s likely you’ll want to keep the party going long after they’re done. Known for bringing “straight-up funk magic,” the sharp dressers combine a menagerie of influences — from Snoop Dogg to Barry White. But if something about them seems familiar, it might have less to do with their inspirations and more to do with the duo’s individual careers. Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One have eight Grammy nominations between them — with the former having four solo records under his belt and the other known for producing music for everyone from Drake to The Weeknd. But once the pair don their obligatory formal wear they have only one job — to make you move. —  Brittany Werges

Hello, Mountain

Photo by Thomas Bernal

READ: Local Listen – Hello, Mountain’s Transcend Delivers A Fresh, New Sound 

When: 9 – 9:40 p.m.

Where: Irish Rover Pub

The Lowdown: Hello, Mountain’s album Transcend dropped at the beginning of January and is still a standout moment in local Denver music. Stephen Pamas, Jack Falk and Patrick Smith make up the outfit, creating an indie-rock blend that’s moving and nostalgic enough to propel them into the forefront of UMS’ must-sees. Hello, Mountain has been around for a bit, but what makes them such a standout performance is their evolution through the process. The growth is hopeful and the songs just the right amount of sad to take hold of your heart. The band may seem a bit sleepy for a festival fueled by distorted guitar riffs and Broadway’s off-color vibe, but everyone needs a moment to unwind, and their set is sure to supply much-appreciated oxygen to the mix.  – Camila Biddulph 

Church Fire

Photo by Will Sheehan

When: 10 – 10:40 p.m.

Where: Denver Drumz & Music 

The Lowdown: Church Fire is a band that has been gifting Denver music for quite some time now – eight years to be exact – and their dreamy synth-pop approach has become expected at Denver events such as UMS. The morphosis to a threesome from a duo only took their vision to a harder-hitting experience with the addition of their drummer, and now their genre-bending show extends even further. Throw their 2018 release, Summer Camp Doom Diary, in your ears and get to their set early to reserve room to dance. – Denby Gardiner 

CITRA

Mark Tepsic, CITRA, 303 Magazine, Jenna Beutler

Photo by Mark Tepsic

When: 10 – 10:40 p.m.

Where: Hi-Dive

The Lowdown: The name CITRA might remind newcomers of fruit, but anyone who has seen them live will think of colorful lights and chaos wrapped around a beautiful melody. The Denver-based rock group has been lifting the energy in Denver since their debut in 2016 and they have put their stamp on any performance they have played since. It would be a crime to miss their gritty-indie showcase, so catch up on their discography and don’t miss out. – Denby Gardiner

Ivory Circle

Photo by Heather Fairchild

When: 10 – 10:40 p.m.
Where: The Irish Rover Pub
The Lowdown: Returning to the UMS this year, the heart-wrenching vocals of singer/songwriter Connie Hong make for a live show you’re sure not to forget from Ivory Circle. Producer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Beeble and drummer/percussionist Rob Spradling round out the group that’s been compared to artists like Florence + the Machine and Regina Spektor. In 2018, the band completed the third EP in their trilogy series focused on exploring different relationships in Hong’s life. The group also caught the attention of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest judges with a submission that made a list of their favorite entries. Having been a part of the Denver music scene for years now, their lush, intricate sound is sure to captivate you and keep you coming back for more. – Tiara Stephan

 

NEVER MISS OUT