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.
When COVID-19 first arrived in the U.S., many locals found themselves with an abundance of free time that they chose to fill with new hobbies. For some, those hobbies turned into passions for music that ultimately led to the formation of new bands and diversification of sound from bands that were already well known within the local music scene. Now, more than a year after Denver’s first quarantine went into effect, our monthly roundup of new music features a wide array of music from rising artists along with a few new songs from familiar favorites.
Five Up and Coming Local Acts
Listen if you like Mark Knopfler
Evoking the same feeling as a relaxing summer night in Colorado, Jr. Adams is right at home in the local music scene. Easily flowing through the acoustic melodies, its the th0ughtful lyricism and catchy hooks that make Jr. Adams a memorable rising act.
Listen if you like Luke Combs
Inspired both by his own life and the lives of the people he meets, frontman Shea Boyton’s lyrics authentically highlight the stories of everyday Americans. The Barlow accompanies those narrative lyrics with classic country guitar licks for a robust Red Dirt, Americana sound.
Listen if you like Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Erupting onto the scene earlier this year with the release of her debut single in January, Arily Michele has already released another single and a full-length album. Drawing inspiration from classic literature, the solo artist combines dark themes with dreamy pop melodies and upbeat electronic beats to create something altogether unique.
Listen if you like Kendrick Lamar
Raised in a house full of family in Charleston, South Carolina, Devin Tremell started performing as a hip-hop and r&b artist while attending the University of Northern Colorado. Setting himself apart from other local artists in the scene by using music to help organize and participate in protests over the summer, Tremell is a powerful force in the local community both inside and outside of the local music scene.
Listen if you like Slowdive
Though DespAIR Jordan may be a new name in the local scene, the four men who comprise the band are no strangers to the Denver music community. Weaving various influences together, the post-rock quartet draws heavily on shoegaze, which provides the music with a beautiful and somber tone that perfectly mirrors the lyrical themes of each track.
Five New Local Songs
Zachary Booth – “Bliss”
Listen if you like Rex Orange County
Filled with emotion, “Bliss” is an honest new single from rising pop artist Zachary Booth. Grappling with the reality of not being able to be the person other people expect him to be, the single leaves one definitive answer for Booth – regardless of who he is expected to be, he remains a talented pop artist.
Zoe Berman – “Lilac Hour”
Listen if you like
Conceptualized and written while on a bike ride through the Colorado foothills, “Lilac Hour” is a striking new single from solo artist Zoe Berman. The electro-pop track remains an authentic release from Berman while exploring new tones and sounds that take the song in an exciting new direction.
Amanda Munro – “Clean Slate”
Listen if you like Kelsea Ballerini
Amanda Munro finds herself breaking out of an unhealthy relationship and starting over on “Clean Slate,” serving as a perfect introduction to an EP that’s all about love, loss and starting fresh. With an upbeat melody and soaring soprano vocals from Munro, the opening track of the EP is a surprisingly feel-good song about grappling with heartbreak.
Random Temple – “100mg Caffeine”
Listen if you like Swans
Snugly placed as the fourth track on Random Temple’s latest EP, “100mg Caffeine” bubbles and bounces through space and time, seeming to defy any genre classification at all. However, despite the appearance of chaos, the track remains polished as it walks the fine line between musical genius and madness.
The Keeps – “Midnight Feel”
Listen if you like
Electrifying their sound with an infusion of funk, The Keeps’ latest single “Midnight Feel” is an upbeat track that you won’t be able to help but dance to.
Five New Local Music Videos
Foevabeats – “Bazooka”
Listen if you like
Collaborating with Lazy Shotta, the music video for Foevabeatz’s “Bazooka” is two incendiary minutes of rap and explosive imagery. Amassing more than 20,000 views in just a few short weeks, the video has received overwhelmingly positive support from fans online, pointing to a promising trajectory for the Denver-based producer.
Magic Beans – “Sweet Thang”
Listen if you like Snarky Puppy
A single off their upcoming album, “Sweet Thang” and its accompanying music video are packed with funky beats and ’70s nostalgia. Opening with a light-hearted homage to “That ’70s Show” before the drum kicks in, the video is just as fun as the single itself, leaving us anxiously awaiting the release of the full album.
A Paper Corner – “I Don’t Know”
Listen if you like Toro Y Moi
Singing about an indefinite future, “I Don’t Know” and its accompanying video feel all too familiar after a year in which many of us have spent the majority of our time at home with little social interaction. Set inside his own home, A Paper Corner’s latest music video is charming in its simplicity.
Isabelle Fries – “Shine Through The Rain”
Listen if you like Aldous Harding
Displaying a refined elegance, Isabelle Fries’ latest single is a thoughtful and polished release from the young local artist. Finding more comfortability with her own voice on every new release, Fries responds confidently to every obstacle on “Shine Through The Rain.”
D.C. Myer – “Dear Departed”
Listen if you like Depeche Mode
Dark and entrancing, D.C. Myers’ monochromatic video is captivating. Mixing synth melodies with drum machines and vocal harmonies, “Dear Departed” is an amalgamation of everything there is to love about synth-pop.