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.
It’s officially July, which means there are only a couple of weeks left before Denver’s favorite summer music festival — The Underground Music Showcase — returns. While this year’s lineup features a few can’t-miss national acts, the real stars of the weekend will always be the local favorites that show up and show out for a weekend of downright debauchery. While we can’t fast-forward to UMS, we can help satiate your desire for local music with this month’s edition of new local music, which features beloved locals you won’t want to miss at UMS and rising acts that will continue to keep the local scene fresh even after UMS weekend comes to an end.
Five Up and Coming Local Acts
Annie Booth Sextet
Listen if you like Wildflower Trio
Following the 2017 release of a five-song EP, Annie Booth Sextet has been largely releasing singles. Until this year, which has already seen the local jazz group release three singles in support of their full-length album Aspenglow, released just last month. The album draws on the expertise of acclaimed trumpeter Greg Gisbert and alto sax player Anita Rush to combine with the talent and ability of a slew of other local jazz musicians, as Annie Booth leads the sextet with her piano through eight jazzy instrumentals.
Listen if you like Donovan Woods
Transplants from Michigan, the duo behind Hollow Head recently introduced themselves to not just the Denver music scene, but the music world at large with the release of their debut album A Spark of Madness. The genre-blending album finds its sound firmly rooted in the sounds of alternative and folk, while rock elements and indie sentiments find their home in the harmonies and invite listeners to sink deeper into the album.
Listen if you like Erykah Badu
While Lauren Frihauf just released her fourth single last month, she’s already captured the attention of not just the local music scene but national TV audiences. A contestant on Season 19 of NBC’s hit show “The Voice,” the Colorado native gained praise from Blake Shelton before her prime-time experience came to a close. While Frihauf’s discography may be small, it will grow considerably with the release of an EP later this month — and from there, the sky is the limit for Frihauf.
Listen if you like Mt. Joy
Local singer-songwriter Luke Klifman began quietly releasing singles last year — and he and his band haven’t slowed down since they started. Klifman’s music blends Americana and folk with outlaw country guitar notes and soft indie vocals, creating a sound that is ultimately comforting and familiar without sounding boring or outdated.
2nd Brightest Object
Listen if you like Mazzy Star
2nd Brightest Object is a one-girl project from right here in the Mile High. The multi-instrumentalist blends lo-fi rhythms with down-tuned beats and layers her ethereal vocals over the top of it all, creating something entirely unique.
Five New Local Songs
Isadora Eden – “Lost Cause”
Listen if you like Emma Ruth Rundle
Isadora Eden has been quietly collaborating with a variety of artists, like “Cut Your Hair,” which saw Eden performing alongside a fellow local act, Bellhoss. But her latest single, “Lost Cause,” sees her collaborate with a still-to-be-discovered Dean Rogers. On the single, Eden’s melancholy lyrics amplify their impact with ethereal and haunting shoegaze instrumentals.
Adiel Mitchell – “Pink Lemonade”
Listen if you like Jaden
Adiel Mitchell is no stranger to Denver’s music scene. Far from it. He’s spent the last decade performing at venues all over town, sharing stages with major national names and fellow local acts alike. And last month, the R&B singer-songwriter added another accolade to his resume with the release of his studio debut, Pink Lemonade, paired with a sold-out release show at Lost Lake.
Johnny Day – “Every Beer Every Bar”
Listen if you like Jon Pardi
Born in Northern Colorado, and sometimes still a resident where he works in the oil field, Johnny Day gives a lesson in popular modern country with his single, “Every Beer Every Bar” which is the latest off of his upcoming debut album. The song sees Day carefully set the scene, a bar — or really, “every bar” — while he drawls over guitar-driven instrumentals that lead the song forward.
Gestalt – “Faster!”
Listen if you like Remo Drive
There’s something special about Denver-based Gestalt. But that’s been apparent for quite some time. The four-piece has talent in spades, but that isn’t what differentiates them from other indie and alt groups in the local scene. Gestalt has a distinctive voice with familiar genre roots. And while their sound has evolved over time, their latest release, RIGHT ON TIME, proves they’ve never lost the essence of their sound. Tracks like “Caffeine,” demonstrate a familiar and comfortable indie groove while tracks like “Faster!” capture the fun and frenzied energy of their live stage presence.
The Barlow – “Bad ‘Ol Days”
Listen if you like Kip Moore
With the release of their third album, New Year, Old Me, The Barlow has come into their own. The twang of guitar leads the album forward while the four-piece country outfit weaves together tales about life and growing older without compromising who you are.
Five New Local Music Videos
The Dangerous Summer – “Coming Home”
Listen if you like This Wild Life
The Dangerous Summer has been relatively quiet since they joined the local music scene two years ago. But that changed this year, with the band announcing that they’ve signed with Rude Records, quickly followed by two new single releases. One of those releases is “Coming Home,” accompanied by a music video that finds The Dangerous Summer rocking in the wilderness while clouds roll overhead.
i.O. Underground – “Once In a Lifetime”
Listen if you like X Ambassadors
A video for the most recently released single off i.O. Underground‘s upcoming sophomore EP Once In a Lifetime finds the alternative rockers jamming under soft lighting. Easing into the song with vocal harmonies, the Denver-based trio descends effortlessly into the first verse before the chorus picks up and propels the song into its next verse.
Dougie Rew – “Rocketship”
Listen if you like KYLE
Dougie Rew has been churning out music in Fort Collins for the last two years though he has gone largely unnoticed by the larger Colorado music scene. But with an impressive discography for a relatively new local act and powerfully impactful music videos like the one recently released for “Rocketship,” Dougie Rew likely won’t fly under the radar for long.
Bleak Mystique – “Let’s Pretend”
Listen if you like The Frights
Bleak Mystique revisits childhood in their latest music video, which finds two kids playing throughout the house while the band performs in a dark room amidst colored blocks. The song opens with a bright scene matched by an equally bright and happy beat, and while the song may take brief departures from its fast tempos and peppy beats, they’re only briefly replaced by rock-driven guitar riffs before the tone changes back once again.
Bolonium – “Happy Go Lucky Me”
Listen if you like Devo
“Whatever happened to happy-go-lucky me?” vocalist and accordionist Richard Taylor questions on Bolonium’s latest single. And while the question echoes a sentiment that many of us may be feeling amidst yet another summer of social and political unrest, thankfully, bands like Bolonium are still finding ways to put smiles on the faces of local music fans. Questioning a general loss of joy and stability in their latest music video, the duo that makes up Bolonium bob and groove as they perform with their cardboard instruments.