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Meet October's picks:
Latest Release: Crimes Against Gratitude, self-released, Aug. 23, 2019
Next Show: October 26 at Lulu's Downstairs
About: Big Dopes channels the loose, lighthearted feel of 90s alternative and indie like Built to Spill, with a conversational vocal style inspired by Lou Reed, Paul Simon, and Leonard Cohen. Lead songwriter Eddie Schmid (also of Denver dream-pop band Oxeye Daisy) uses a warm baritone voice to sing through neuroses about long-distance relationships, being a house guest, and wasting money on busted headphones. Veteran drummer Ricky Brewer lends subtle rhythmic textures and harmonies, Justin Catanzaro plays energetic, melodic bass lines, and Paul Simmons (also of Denver band Turvy Organ) layers on colorful violin, synth, and guitar, adding up to a sound that is at once intimate and inviting. Their debut album Crimes Against Gratitude features contributions from Lela Roy of Oxeye Daisy, Ilya Litoshik of Turvy Organ, Erica Bisbey of Cool Accent, and Andrés Diaz and Josh Fuson of Montropo.
Band Website: big-dopes.com
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram
Hometown: Los Angeles via Denver
Latest Release: Secrets of Life, New Kid Records, July 24, 2019
About: Inner Oceans is the alias of frontman Griff Snyder. Started in Denver, Griff relocated to Los Angeles in 2017 where he has continued to produce his left of center indie pop. His songs have been described as “Stadium ready giants” (DIY Mag) and “affecting and adventurous” (Queen City Sounds). New releases early 2020.
Get Social: Instagram.com
Latest Release: Cathedrals via Instant Empire, LLC, June 14, 2019
Next Show: Nov. 2 in Fort Collins at CSU's Stadium Sessions (before their home football game with UNLV)
About: Instant Empire's music often focuses on humanity in the modern world. Many of the songs paint pictures and read like short stories, while others scan more like fractured, impressionistic poetry. Cathedrals, the band's third LP, expands upon the sound and tone the band has meticulously refined over the last decade. The majority of the LP was written in 2018 as part of IE’s 12x12 project where the band wrote, recorded and released a new song every month for the entire year. The search for human connection is the central theme that permeates throughout Cathedrals - an album full of the richest characters the band has ever created. Instant Empire as a band often defies easy categorization, sometimes oscillating dramatically from melodic indie pop to aggressive indie punk (often within the same song). The songs that comprise Cathedrals are a refuge of solace and, hopefully, a place where listeners can go to feel connection to something - anything - that is bigger than the world they've created.
Band Website: InstantEmpireBand.com
Get Social: instagram, Facebook, Twitter
Latest Release: Feelings featuring Skeleton Ocean (single), Staycation Records, Aug. 16, 2019
About: Kingsly is a hip-hop project led by co-writers and producers Jeff Cormack and Joseph Hoskins. They write the songs and enlist artists/vocalists on every track. The duo emerged when Cormack was working in Los Angeles with Timbaland’s production team.
Latest Release: "N2U," self-released, May 31, 2019
About: Motion Trap has been creating synthesized soundscapes, electronic explorations and sexy hooks for over six years now. In 2017 the duo released Heavenly Bodies, an EP packed to the brim with utterly addictive pop songs, each one holding their own as indie hits. Their new single “N2U” is a taste of more to come as Motion Trap continue to solidify themselves as front-runners in the indie synth-pop genre.
Band Website: Motiontrapofficial.com
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram
Hometown: Denver via Cuenca, Ecuador
Latest Single Release: "Young" self-release on June 12, 2019
Catch Her Live: Lion's Lair on Oct. 13
About: Neoma has captivated music lovers all over the world with her dreamy yet energetic "Lunar Pop" hits. In 2017, Neoma hit the top of the Ecuadorian charts with her infectious single "Real." Since then, she’s played concerts to thousands of fans throughout South America. Hundreds of thousands of fans have enjoyed Neoma’s music videos and have streamed her songs on digital platforms. Recently relocating with her producer, Danny Pauta, from Cuenca, Ecuador to Denver, Neoma hopes to spread the joy of her music to the wonderful people of the United States.
Band Website: neomamusic.com
Get Social: Instagram
Latest Release: Shark Dreams LP, self-release, Nov. 1, 2019
About: Shark Dreams is ethereal indie rock that will put you in a daze then shake you awake.
Get Social: Instagram
Latest Release: Hang-Ups, self-release, July 6, 2019
About: Short Shorts is an alt-rock tender punk group based in Denver. The ever evolving music project consists of Charli Rose Alexander (guitar/vocals), Andrea Davis (drummer), Mo Ellis (bassist), and Raury Cruse (lead guitar). With a firm belief that storytelling is built from the rhythm up, Charli and Dre create the skeleton of each song before bringing them to Short Shorts resident zaddies, Mo and Raury. Together, they create songs that span from Charli’s personal journey in recovery to the fleeting moments of first flirtations and back again. No matter where you come from or where you’re heading, Short Shorts meets you where you are and holds a space for you on the dance floor with sincerity and unassuming charm. A Short Shorts live show always packs a powerful one-two punch of playful irreverence and fierce vulnerability. Their stage presence is a force to behold, fueled by resilient joy, 90s witch films, everyday intimacies, and a surprisingly fashionable combo of dad hats and overalls.
Band Website: www.shortshortsmusic.com
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook.
South of France
Latest Release: Remember That Cool Thing We Did, Staycation Records, Late Fall 2019
About: South Of France is an indie-pop band that was initially started by multi-instrumentalist songwriter/producer Jeff Cormack in 2011. Inspired by his love for retro guitar-pop, South Of France began as a spare-time, lo-fi, garage rock project until the indie music and film world noticed his unique ability to create dynamic, melody and guitar-driven indie-pop that is centered around his intertwining vocal parts with layers of reverb-soaked harmonies. Their independently released, debut full-length album "Another Boring Sunrise" was featured on several major music blog's "Most Anticipated Albums of 2012" lists, and was released on Sept. 18, 2012. This album landed them print features in Under The Radar magazine, Filter Magazine and has earned several excellent reviews from numerous influential music critics around the world. In 2014 South Of France was listed as one of the top ten reasons to visit Denver by Refinery29 Magazine. They are currently working closely with their team at Dualtone Records and Staycation Records. For their latest release Jeff has collaborated with producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Cults, Sleigh Bells etc.) where he has spent time mixing finishing the album at Rostam’s studio in Silverlake.
Band Website: http://www.southoffrancemusic.com/
Get Social: Instagram
Hometown: Colorado Springs
Latest Release: Esoteria, self-release, July 19, 2019
About: Spirettes (Kate Perdoni [guitar/vocals], Kellie Palmblad [guitar/vocals], Emily Gould [drums/vocals], Lisa Show [cello/vocals], and Rachael Michaels [bass/vocals]) formed and have evolved in Colorado Springs since Spring 2017. The ethereal guitar-driven rock, supported by pop structures and sprinkled with ghostly female vocals, launched a unique sound, style, and expressive collaboration for these songwriters and friends.
Band Website: Spirettes.com
Get Social: Instagram
The Still Tide
Latest Release: “On The Line” (single), Mod y Vi records, Oct. 4, 2019 and Between Skies EP released on Mod y Vi in January 2020
About: Anna Morsett has never been in one place for too long. Whether traveling in her mind or in actual transit, she has always been searching for the steadiness that her band name implies: The Still Tide. While Morsett’s project has gone through several iterations, hometowns and releases the one constant has always been her honest, intentional and luminous brand of indie rock. Influenced as much by growing up in the Pacific Northwest as by her experiences traveling the globe as a guitar tech for artists such as The Tallest Man on Earth and Kaki King, The Still Tide is Morsett’s true and heartfelt landing place for her confessional lyrics and intricate guitar work.
Formed: November 2018
Latest release: Mezcal (single), self-release, July 22, 2019 and Warm Bodies (single), self-release, Oct. 18, 2019.
About: xOxford (pronounced Oxford) makes dreamy, synth drenched indie pop and is the result of a collaboration between RHIMMS & Eric Lake. Both Rhimms & Eric have previously released solo music primarily in the realm of dance music, but connected over their love for new wave, indie rock, and dream pop and decided to write and record together after meeting through Denver's own TheHundred Presents: STEAM Wednesdays parties. xOxford is currently recording their first string of singles & debut EP and premiered their act at Denver's Underground Music Showcase in 2019.
Band URL: xOxford.com
Social Handles: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter