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 [email protected] for consideration.
With venues throughout the Denver area now back at full capacity, there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in the local music scene. Whether you’re a fan of bluegrass, pop, metal or anything in between, you’ll certainly find something to love within the local scene. To help you find the local acts that you’ll enjoy the most, this month’s music roundup features bands from a variety of genres, including rising bands and old favorites.
Five Up and Coming Local Acts
Listen if you like Phoebe Bridgers
Local folk singer Ellsworth started 2021 off right with the release of her debut album. Filled with dreamy vocals and deeply personal lyricism, her self-titled debut is a deep dive into the lives of today’s youth that grapples with tough topics like mental health, polarizing politics and the fight to save the planet.
Neon the Bishop
Listen if you like Young the Giant
Though they’ve only released three singles to date, local indie group Neon the Bishop has already made their mark as a distinctly unique voice in the local scene. Telling the story of a fallen clergyman, Neon the Bishop has taken on the life of their fictional clergyman and, with each release, their music weaves a more intricate and nuanced story for the character.
Listen if you like Tipper
Inspired by music from all over the world, Denver-based violinist Contra Scandal creates otherworldly soundscapes unlike anything else in the local scene. Melding his own instrumentation with electronic beats and the occasional verse, Contra Scanda sets himself apart from others with his unique perspective and infectious music.
Listen if you like The Fratellis
Formerly making music as Cherry Blossom, the trio behind the band has returned under a new name, Bleak Mystique, and they’re better than ever. With a single release earlier this year, followed by the release of an EP just last month, Bleak Mystique made their re-introduction to the Denver scene memorable, and with plans to perform live throughout the summer, they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
Listen if you like Glass Animals
Formed in 2018, local rock outfit Elektric Animals have been slowly making a name for themselves, with their music being featured in popular TV shows such as The Good Doctor and Shameless. Combining blues, garage rock and grunge influences among others, Elektric Animals has a bold and unforgettable sound.
Five New Local Songs
Adiel Mitchell – “Comfortable”
Listen if you like Mario
Inspired by a break-up, Adiel Mitchell’s recent single “Comfortable” was originally written in 2019. After a year of revisiting the song during the pandemic, the track was released just a few days ago and explores the experience of being in a relationship that you realize is toxic, and the inner transformation necessary to escape it.
Zealot – “The Seeing Place”
Listen if you like Toadies
Following the release of their debut album The Book of Ramifications, local band Zealot has remained relatively quiet. Fortunately for their fans, the long wait for new music ended earlier this year with the release of “The Seeing Place,” which serves as an exciting teaser for the local indie band’s next album which is set to be released this Winter.
The Bannetones – “Agnostic’s Anthem”
Listen if you like The Mars Volta
The first single to be released off The Bannetones’ upcoming album and the third ever release from the band, “Agnostic’s Anthem” is a slow and groovy track that explores religious themes. The song pushes back against stereotypical ideas of salvation, instead of seeing the beauty in the world as it currently stands independent of an afterlife.
Morsel – “High Water”
Listen if you like The Infamous Stringdusters
The second release off of Morsel’s upcoming album, “High Water” is an upbeat song perfect for warm summer evenings. Similar to the first release off of the album, “Orbit,” the single was produced by Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters.
Tenth Mountain Division – “Got Too Excited”
Listen if you like Leftover Salmon
A track off Tenth Mountain Division’s latest album, “Got Too Excited” features local horn players, contributing to a full-bodied sound driven by soul grooves. Starting slow and building to a danceable crescendo, the track is an ode to Memphis soul.
Five New Local Music Videos
Fox Lake – “Born 2 Lose”
Listen if you like Mugshot
Capturing the energy of a basement hardcore show, Fox Lake’s latest music video showcases the band alongside scenes from throughout the city of Denver. Capturing the seedier side of city life, the music video is a visual representation of the song, which focuses on the underdogs of the world that some may say are born to lose.
Isabelle Fries – “Fight for Me”
Listen if you like Maggie Rodgers
Featuring stunning artwork from Angela Chiarelli, the latest lyric video from local singer-songwriter Isabelle Fries is beautiful in its simplicity. Illustrations of flowers blooming on vines accompany the lyrics, which reveal an intimate but resilient side of the artist.
Canyon City – “Paris”
Listen if you like The Tallest Man On Earth
Performing in front of an empty auditorium, the scene quickly changes in Canyon City’s video for “Paris,” quickly transforming into an intimate bedroom setting. Filled with as much heart as the music itself, the video is the perfect accompaniment to the song, which features introspective and emotional lyrics.
Arily Michele – “Ophelia”
Listen if you like Tei Shi
Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare, Arily Michele empowers one of the playwright’s most tragic characters in her music video for “Ophelia.” Rather than succumbing to her own naivete, in Michele’s version, Ophelia learns to take care of herself.
Lady Denim – “Old & New”
Listen if you like Bad Suns
Backed by the otherworldly landscape of Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, Fort Collins-based band Lady Denim experiences the surreal in their latest music video. After their quick rise to local notoriety, the release of “Old & New” is an exciting teaser for the band’s upcoming EP that is sure to delight fans.