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 Logan.Sasser@303Magazine.com for consideration.
Though the month has been gloomy in its early days, June is here and the sun is just around the corner. Thankfully, there’s so much thunderous new music hitting the Front Range while the rain passes. It’s a wonderful time for introspection as you figure out what these coming months will hold.
Let Kiltro take you to places within that you haven’t visited before. Drunken Hearts can tell you stories of long roads and strange characters. YUGS may help you dream a little softer while Andy Frasco and the U.N. can help you learn to love yourself if you need it. There’s also some new Maddy O’Neal for you to blast out into the summer sunset with your closest people once the gloomy days pass. Colorado artists are true beacons of light this month and 303 Magazine can’t wait for you to hear.
Five Up & Coming Local Acts
Listen if you like Jade Cicada
VEIL’s brand of dark, monstrous EDM seeks to disorient and transport listeners to another dimension. It feels like reality slipping beyond your grasp no matter how hard you try to hold on, pouring through your fingers like water as everything you once knew disappears in the rubble.
Listen if you like Leftover Salmon
A long-held and poorly kept local secret, Drunken Hearts have been building their name along the Front Range for the past 10 years. It’s storytelling music with a wry, beer-soaked sense of humor and a willingness to look at life’s deepest truths with a smile. Their songs are meant for open roads, clouds of dust kicking up behind you as you drive towards whatever stories the future holds for you.
Listen if you like The Cactus Blossoms
Rodney Rice’s music evokes an old bar somewhere on the outskirts of town, the kind of place that doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s music for rooms filled with smoke and lonely hearts, the light creeping in through dirty windows casting shadows in the corner. It’s also strangely optimistic, filled with stories of the down and out finding the strength to keep moving forward.
Listen if you like Smoke Trees
Rich and vibey as hell with a distinctly Latin flair, Yugs’ work ranges from steep soundscapes to lofi hip-hop beats to ethereal drum and bass. Listening to it makes you look at the world a little closer to see the magic that exists all around us.
Listen if you like The Dandy Warhols
Bleak Mystique’s poppy indie rock recalls bands from earlier in the century. They’d be right at home in early-2000’s New York with its grimy ballrooms and meetings held in venue bathrooms. Yet, they are distinctly Colorado, the mountains whispering in the background as their music travels between abrasive moments of grunginess and bright psychedelia.
Five New Local Songs
Dreambay & Spirit Motel — The Nights
Listen if you like Monsune
With “The Nights (Don’t Wanna Lose You), Dreambay and Spirit Motel have recreated the feeling of watching a meteor shower. It makes the listener feel electric, like witnessing something they may never see again, a phenomenon that will only be shared by the passing words of those that shared that special, fleeting moment.
The Mañanas — Lightheaded Ways
Listen if you like The Growlers
The Mananas have a remarkable sense of dichotomy. Their music is down and dirty, but also luminously bright. It melds melancholy with optimism and sounds determined, if at times a little shaky, like knowing exactly what you want but having no idea how to get it. “Lightheaded Ways” exemplifies these feelings as it starts rather simply but soon evolves into an exercise in uncertainty and yearning, reaching for something just a little too far away.
Shae District — Lost in My Head
Listen if you like ODESZA
Shae District’s “Lost In My Head” begins as sentimental introspection, an ode to introversion, lamenting darker thoughts and the lack of sunshine. It then sweeps the listener away, taking them outside themselves and pushing them out into the ether to make the universe whatever they wish it to be.
Maddy O’Neal — Here’s To You
Listen if you like Manic Focus
Maddy O’Neal’s “Here’s to You —” which also features Underlux and Rodrick Malone — is a funky and confident banger that acts as a toast to her fans, her gratitude seemingly growing as rapidly as her following. It’s a song built to fill stadiums that sees O’Neal simultaneously thanking her fans while rewarding them with a little something dirty to get down to.
Kiltro — All the Time in the World
Listen if you like Radiohead
Kiltro’s “All the Time in the World” is a meandering meditation on the solace creation can provide. A lot of Kiltro’s music has a feeling of almost being home, that sense of anticipation when you know your home is right around the corner, but you haven’t quite reached it yet. “All the Time in the World” suggests that Kiltro has built their home out of music and creation and is always just about to turn that corner.
Five New Local Music Videos
Neoma — Nublado
Listen if you like SZA
Neoma’s “Nublado” video is simple, stripped down with exuding confidence. It mostly features the Ecuadorian singer posing in monochrome rooms, occasionally migrating to show her driving or riding on the back of a motorcycle. It also shows her watching herself on a tiny, outdated TV. The whole thing reflects her sound, simple but glamorous, effortlessly sultry and completely in her control.
Sponsored Content — Off The Grid (Live Session)
Listen if you like Geese
Sponsored Content’s “Off the Grid” live session video — which features Rafael Nava of fellow Denver band, shadow work — shows the band getting comfortable. Each member of the band wears a robe on what looks to be a stage on which someone’s built a living room. A masseuse works on her client in the middle of the room as the band really rocks those knots out.
HRZN — Death Row
Listen if you like Bring Me the Horizon
HRZN’s new video for “Death Row” matches the post-punk band’s infectious, frenetic energy. As the song moves from a mathy intro to a midi-pad-assisted verse to a huge chorus featuring bright vocals backed up by deep growls, the video flashes neon as the band plays their broken hearts out.
Andy Frasco & the U.N. — You Do You
Listen if you like Rainbow Kitten Surprise
The latest from Colorado’s resident party general is a bit gentler than some of Frasco’s more recent releases. The song is an inclusive anthem, a celebration of what makes us different and the ties that bind us all together. This is reflected in the video as Frasco has a night out while dressed in full, fabulous drag.