Welcome to our monthly series on new Colorado music. Every month we highlight five local musicians, five local music videos and five local songs. Go here to check out previous entries to the series. Are you a Denver artist with fresh music you would like us to check out? Send to Mariah.Hansen@303Magazine.com for consideration.
Amidst a slew of concert cancellations and tour postponements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard not to be at least a little concerned about the future of the music industry. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options for fans to support the local music community. Whether you choose to buy music from your favorite local artists Bandcamp or sport your favorite merch and shout them out on social media, it’s easier than you might think to contribute to the Colorado music community. This month’s roundup features new tunes from a variety of genres that you might want to add to your quarantine playlist – you might even find your new favorite local band to support!
Five New Up and Coming Local Acts
Listen if you like The National
Far from being a newcomer to the local scene, Augustus first garnered attention when they performed at SXSW in 2017. Since then, they’ve toured across the West Coast and begun to make a name for themselves here in Denver. With a handful of EP’s in their discography and an album on the way, the Boulder-based quartet should high on your list of ones to watch.
Listen if you like Beach House
Though they’ve only released one song so far, Viewfinders already has a distinct indie-pop sound that combines dreamy instrumentals and upbeat tempos. Their first single, “Cheerwine,” precedes an EP that is set to be released in May.
Listen if you like Red House Painters
Midwife, a project started by multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston, is dreamy, existential and at times dark. Born out of the now-defunct Rhinoceropolis, Johnston explores dark topics through her light and ethereal music.
Listen if you like Imperial Teen
Drawing on classic rock influences, The Lollygags’ music has a timeless sound. The lyrics are filled with lighthearted humor and is driven forward by guitar riffs. Flying under the radar for the early years of their career, The Lollygags have evolved their sound and are ready to make Denver smile with their music.
If I Fail
Listen if you like Fall Out Boy
Leaning into the classic sounds of pop-punk, If I Fail is quickly rising to the top of the local scene. Grappling with dark subject matters with their lyrics, the Denver five-piece is both an outlet for those with nowhere to turn and a positive light at the end of the tunnel.
Five New Local Songs
Esmé Patterson – “All Mine”
Listen if you like Lucy Dacus
A noteworthy single off of Esmé Patterson’s latest album, “All Mine” is a deeply personal song that details the Patterson’s struggles with loneliness. Exploring the feelings that Patterson had while living in a motel, the song delves into the depths of depression where Patterson found the inner strength to combat her demons and become all the stronger for it.
OptycNerd ft. Retrofette – “L.M.B.Y.R.”
Listen if you like Chromeo
The first track on an EP full of remixes, this version of “L.M.B.Y.R.” is a highlight of all the talent the Denver music scene has to offer. Remixed by Denver synth-pop powerhouse Retrofette, the remixed version of “L.M.B.Y.R.” showcases the synth sounds that Retrofette fans love without compromising any of OptycNerd’s artistic vision for the original version of the song.
VYNYL – “Who Could U Be (Levi Double U Remix)”
Listen if you like Bleachers
Denver pop group VYNYL has recently set itself apart from the rest of the artists in the local scene with their distinct pop sound. After winning 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays with their single “Who Could U Be”, they’ve made it clear that they’re a pop force to be reckoned with. The remix, mixed by Levi Double U, speeds up the pace of the track and adds extra layers of complexity to the single making it even more danceable than it was to begin with.
Modern Leisure – “Good Intention Blues”
Listen if you like Connor Oberst
“Good Intention Blues” holds true to everything fans love about Modern Leisure. The mellow pop carries Casey Banker’s vocals, creating a sonic experience that feels perfect for lazy summer daydreaming. Detailing the battle to fight and overcome obstacles, the lyrics are perfect for staying optimistic during a time when the future often feels bleak.
Remain and Sustain – “Limbo (A Stagnant Bloom)”
Listen if you like Orthodox
Clocking in at just over three minutes, “Limbo (A Stagnant Bloom)” is filled with the chaotic power of hardcore. The first song on Remain and Sustains’ most recent album, “Limbo” sets the pace for the rest of the album, promising heavy guitar and menacing vocals throughout the album (spoiler: the album, Flesh Bound, delivers on that promise).
Five New Local Music Videos
LVDY – “Gold”
Listen if you like Trevor Hall
Filmed as a submission for NPR’s Tiny Desk sessions, LVDY’s video for “Gold” is intimate and cozy, highlighting the female singer-songwriter duo in an environment that feels like home. Opening with a personal and optimistic introduction to the song, LYDY focuses on the positives before launching into a song that highlights the beauty in all of us as individuals.
Kayla Marque – “Copyrights”
Listen if you like Ella Mai
Kayla Marque’s most recent video release is an animated journey through the mind of Marque. Following a caricature of Marque as she deals with lost love and explores the galaxy in search of a way to come to terms with her pain.
Pat Anthony – “Dear Anxiety”
Listen if you like Tyler Carter
A poignant ode to mental health awareness, Pat Anthony’s video for “Dear Anxiety” is beautiful in its simplicity. Anthony carefully tells the story of the battle against mental illness, illuminated in soft blue and red lights illustrating through color the high and low ends of the spectrum that many experience as a result of mental illness. The video serves not only as an expression of Anthony’s own personal experience but also as an opportunity to support those facing a similar situation.
Beauty Queen – “Sweet Memory”
Listen if you like Tennis
“Sweet Memory,” a single produced by Tennis, draws heavily on the Denver duo’s influence. The video is driven forward by the synths and emotional lyrics creating something that is ultimately charming. Filled with romance and drama, the music video captures the nostalgia of a bygone era.
Smirk – “Earl Grey”
Listen if you like D’Angelo
Denver trio Smirk’s relaxed instrumentals carry over scenes of the band as they play, illuminated by a soft pink light. Starting off simply, the instrumentals build layer-over-layer into an intricate melody.