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.
Welcome to March — the month daylight savings finally returns (and hopefully for good this time). There will surely be more snow before the spring flowers come out to play, and what better way to spend a few final snow days than listening to the best new music Colorado has to offer? Whether you’re looking for a soundtrack for the slopes or something to brighten up your morning routine, we’ve got you covered. From raw hip-hop artists like Fo Chief and Chris Cart3r to Down Time’s shimmering beach rock, and even electronic bangers from Dabin and Disco lines, these tunes will make your March much better. We promise.
Be sure to check out their playlist below and don’t forget to follow 303 Magazine and like our New Colorado Music playlist on Spotify.
Five Up & Coming Local Acts
Listen if you like J Cole
Fo Chief is as underground as it gets. Despite his catalog dating back to 2018, his presence in Denver’s rap community has been strangely quiet in recent years. Thankfully, his new tape, Dark Matter, makes him impossible to ignore. Check out some intricate bars and killer hooks all across the board.
Listen if you like Don Toliver
Chris Cart3r is explosive. He’s all about the punchlines, which hit straight away on last year’s Forever Lost EP. From iconic sports bars (“They makin’ moves to block my shine/I feel like Kyrie Irving” and “Remember I was scraping up Pennies/I took the harder way” are just two examples), to sentimental tails of love and loss on “2056,” Chris Cart3r really does have it all.
Listen if you like SIDEPIECE
Shae District is a deep house duo that’s been making a serious splash in the Colorado club scene through the past year, and for good reason. Their music is dynamic, easy to listen to and nocturnal — the perfect recipe for club-ready house bangers. That’s exactly what their recent EP, Grid Lines, represents.
Listen if you like Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Although Down Time recently moved to LA to pursue their musical aspirations, their lofi psych-rock style is quickly making them a force to be reckoned with out West, and they’ve brought the spirit of Denver with them. It’s beach rock at its core, but the indie-psych elements shine through with fuzzy production and glimmering guitar riffs that, at times, resemble their Denver contemporaries, The Mañanas. At other times, they go full Bedabadoobe mode. Whatever sound they’re attempting, they always nail it.
Listen if you like 100 Gecs
Destino is the latest hyper-pop artists out of Denver, with a striking innocence that leaks through each autotuned melody and delicate drum lines saturated in industrial aesthetics, trapped in an echo chamber. It’s slightly chaotic, but isn’t all the best hyper-pop?
Five New Local Songs
The Keeps — Sunshine Bloom
Listen if you like Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Keeps’ new single, “Sunshine Bloom,” is as bright as the title suggests. It’s a new take on the funky rock sound ushered in by post-Mother’s Milk Red Hot Chili Peppers. The track even features a proper Frusciante-inspired guitar solo, which rips the back half of “Sunshine Bloom” to shreds. Well done, The Keeps. Well done.
Dabin — Hollow
Listen if you like Porter Robinson and Sulivan King
Dabin’s new track, “Hollow” exists at the intersection of 2000s punk rock and modern melodic EDM, with a pretty abrupt metal twist and sharp transition to explosive dubstep reminiscent of Sulivan King and Excision. It’s a striking juxtaposition that, for whatever reason, works perfectly. See for yourself.
Nunca Nunca — La Máquina Camaleón & Neoma
Listen if you like Beadabadoobee
“Nunca Nunca” is the latest track featuring Denver’s favorite Ecuadorian hyper-pop star, Neoma. It’s a slight deviation from Neoma’s most recent Hyperreal album, most notably in its quiet delivery and minimalist pop aesthetics. The vocals have plenty of space to shine here and make for a pleasant listening experience meant to be shared with a warm cup of coffee on a sunny spring day.
Duke Justice — Radio Silence
Listen if you like Hootie & the Blowfish
Duke Justice’s “Radio Silence” is soft rock at its finest — an emotional tale of neglect told against a backdrop of noisy guitar riffs and groovy drums that call back to the glory days of Hootie & the Blowfish and Daughtry. It’s a melodramatic cut that gets straight to the point without wasting any time.
Disco Lines — Another Chance
Listen if you like Wax Motif
Disco Lines is what happens when great music meets charisma and a knack for transforming classic pop tunes into a cheeky dance house banger. “Another Chance” is Disco Lines’ most melodic track off his recent short-but-sweet LOVELAND EP features easy-going dance grooves from beginning to end. If you’re looking to scratch that house music itch, this is for you.
Five New Local Music Videos
Bleak Mystique — Only ‘Cause I Wanted To
Listen if you like Mac Demarco
Bleak Mystique’s “Only ‘Cause I Wanted To” captures the innocence of a youthful night spent in the diner, drinking milkshakes (or in Bleak Mystique’s case, just milk) while your peer group may otherwise be under the flashing strobe lights at Temple, spending $14 on a shitty vodka drink. It’s a picture of friendly comradery and a worry-free lifestyle, away from the nightlife that can take control over you if you’re not carfeful.
People Like Me — Lifesaver
Listen if you like Olivia Rodrigo
People Like Me’s “Life Saver” music video is an exaggerated homage to 1960s-style sitcoms — complete with slightly miscalculated voice dubs and over-the-top characters who are just trying to pass the time while they work at a standard fast food joint. Except this spot serves… a whole rotisserie chicken? Sign me up.
Bolonium — Stay in the Gray
Listen if you like Halloween-themed music?
This one is… weird. Bolonium’s “Stay in the Gray” is a left-field, spooky synth-wave track that borderlines on parody. In a way, it’s sort of endearing. The music video matches the quirky vibe perfectly, though, featuring some traditional black and white Disney halloween specials starring Micky Mouse and the gang. There’s also a pretty decent breakdown in the middle of the track that’s worth noting. This one is unique, we’ll at least give it that.
ILLENIUM – Luv Me A Little
Listen if you like Seven Lions
“Luv Me A Little” is a classic EDM-pop tune that’s hard not to like. Melodramatic vocals. Thumping drums. Some piano for good measure. Three necessary elements for the sort of EDM music you’d hear at a Colorado coffee shop or King Soopers. There’s a reason this music appeals to so many people — it’s overtly inoffensive, for better or for worse. The music video, which features some Final Fantasy-style characters standing alone in the desert, is equally as digestible as the track itself.
Schama Noel — King Midas
Listen if you like Kevin Abstract
Schama Noel‘s “King Midas” is a sneaky banger. Not because the beat doesn’t jump out of the speakers (it absolutely does), but because the first minute of the song would have you believe “King Midas” is a slow burn with minimalist production. Then, the beat switch comes. There’s little-to-no transition here, which works as a sharp surprise, making the bouncy horns and lighthearted party lyrics even more explosive.