The Local 303: Colorado Artists We’re Featuring January 2020

· Jan. 3, 2020, 1:54 pm

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We play Colorado music every hour and The Local 303 spotlights the best from emerging and beloved artists in our scene. 

Meet January's picks:

Andrew Van Orsdale

Hometown: Denver
Formed: 2017 
Latest Release: Stickler, Phone It In Records, Aug. 21, 2019
A native of California, Colorado, Texas, and Maine, Andrew didn’t start writing songs until he was 24.  When he was 30 he went into a studio for the first time, and he didn’t release his first album until he was 32.  We’ll see how far he gets getting such a late start.
Band Website:
Get Social: Twitter, Instagram


Hometown: Aurora, Colo.
Formed: 2018
Latest Release: Soul Set on the Afterglow, self-released, Nov. 16, 2019
About:  "cottonwood" is an indie/pop project that started in early 2019, who released their first single in August. Their sound is one that blends elements from synthpop, funk, rock, soul, and hip-hop. When producer/instrumentalist Adrian Bryant and vocalist/lyricist Morgan Cruz first met in 2016 joining the same band, they didn’t realize this was the journey they would embark upon. By the time 2018 rolled around, they made a decision to branch out and try making music of their own. Since publishing music as cottonwood, the two teens have successfully created an EP, Soul Set on the Afterglow. Consisting of 6 songs primarily about love, it captivates listeners to go on a funk-esque, gritty, and emotional journey.
Get Social: InstagramTwitter  


Ben Ward/Courtesy of the ArtistCourtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Fort Collins, Colo.
Formed: 2018
Latest Release: Taipei Rock City, self-released, Jan. 17, 2019
About: DEBR4H is a synth pop/new wave project made up by Jed Murphy, Kayna Hobbs, and Zach Visconti. Previously known as futurebabes, Jed gigged for six years throughout Colorado refining his live set and exploring his love for synth pop and classic electronic music. He began making synth music after being inspired by electronic artists such as The Presets, Justice, The Killers, Washed Out, and M83. Through these bands he discovered early synth music and began exploring bands like The Human League, Kate Bush, Prince, and David Bowie. In 2018 he met Kayna Hobbs and she joined on keys and vocals. Later that year, Jed returned to the studio ready to make a change. He recruited Oliver Mueller of Slow Caves to produce the album and the two of them hid away in Jed and Kayna's cold and ancient house in Fort Collins and emerged with Taipei Rock City, five tracks of steamy synth pop with a touch of that polished rock goodness that makes Slow Caves so special. The music needed to stand on its own and Jed was ready to retire the futurebabes name, and so DEBR4H was born.
Catch Them Live: Blast N Scrap in Fort Collins (Jan. 5, 2020), Larimer Lounge (Jan. 8, 2020), and Lion's Lair (Jan. 31, 2020)
Band Website:
Get Social: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook


Courtesy of the ArtistCourtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Denver
Formed: 2011
Latest Release: "Still Friends," self-released, Dec. 13. 2019
About: Self-proclaimed "psychedelic dream rock super pop soundgasm that will grip your eyes and ears and leave you trembling with a sense of wonder and want."
Band Website:
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Glass Cases

Courtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Formed in Fort Collins, Colo. now in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Formed: 2017
Latest Release: "In Between" (single), self-released, July 27, 2019
About: Upon the release of their debut single “Addiction” in April 2018, the alternative trio has been making their presence heard in their native state of Colorado. They have since released their debut EP (October 2018), and an additional three singles from their forthcoming album “In Between," set for release in March 2020. Combining influences from Twenty One Pilots, half•alive, and AJR, the group creates a sound that is all their own. 
Catch Them Live: Opening for Venture Still at Magic Rat (Jan. 24, 2020) and Glass Cases Album Release Party for Local Set Series at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Mar. 21, 2020)
Band Website:
Get Social: InstagramFacebookTwitter


Miguel Aguilar/Courtesy of the ArtistCourtesy of the Artist
Hometown: Denver
Formed: 2005
Latest Release: Casa de Papel, RETI, May 11, 2019
About: iZCALLi makes the kind of music you leave home to: melancholy folk phrases lashed to driving beats that pin the pedal to the floor — that Molotov of nostalgia and exhilaration, the immigrant song. It’s a feeling iZCALLi — named for the Mexican birthplace of member-siblings Miguel (lead guitar/vocals) and Brenda Avina (bass) and the Nahuatl word for rebirth — knows well. Born on both sides of the border (drummer Luiggy Ramirez hails from Colorado) and formed in Denver 15 years ago, iZCALLi has, over the course of five LPs and thousands of shows, swigged its evolving sound from both wells of tradition, from Latin-tinged echoes to punching rock to filthy blues, in English and in Español. The result is iZCALLi: the music of the melting pot, which is deeply American and knows no frontiers, making waves and building bridges along the way through exhilarating live shows that celebrate tradition and kin, creating music that unites what you find with what you left behind, and opens the heart, so you know you are home.
Band Website:
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

Joel Ansett

Courtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Denver via Spokane, Wash.
Formed: 2012
Latest Release: "A Place I Knew Before," self-released, Aug. 22, 2019 
About: Songs from Joel Ansett's debut full-length album, "The Nature of Us," went on to win national songwriting awards and prompted The Huffington Post to name him a songwriter to watch. His songs combine folk and R&B to great effect; and beyond the genre of the music, Artist Review wrote: “This music is soul therapy.” With a loyal fanbase in his corner, Ansett and his fans recently crowdfunded the creation of a second full-length album titled "A Place I Knew Before." The album was produced by Jon Joseph and released on Aug. 22, 2019. Marquee Mag writes, "Striking a careful balance that only comes with great intention, 'A Place I Knew Before' blends sonic experimentation with strong songwriting, but more deeply places grief and hope side by side." The release is being followed up by a nationwide house show/small venue tour. 
Catch Him Live: Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Sugar Britches (Feb. 2, 2020)
Band Website:,
Get Social: InstagramFacebookTwitter 

Kid Astronaut

Visionality/Courtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Born in a star cluster in Outerspace known as the Pleiades but crash landed in Denver, so officially, Denver is home. 
Formed: 2015 
Latest Release: Alchemy EP, self-released, Nov. 15, 2019
About: Kid Astronaut is a visionary, a musician and a creator. He was recently a featured artist at TedxBoulder, and his music was featured on 303 Music Volume 2, a compilation album from 303 Magazine. He’s played stages from music festivals to venues in London, England. He’s also from the future. One day, while touring with his band (a crew of time-travelers, scientists and musicians) their spaceship hit a portal - sending them hurtling into an alternate past dimension set back in the year 2015.
Their futuristic tech destroyed, the band decided they needed to assimilate to the past as well as blend into their new reality, keeping the truth about their time travels...and themselves a secret. Until now. Kid Astronaut's latest project is Alchemy, a three-song EP about love, spirituality and growth. 
Band Website:
Get Social: InstagramTwitter

Lena Marie

Jennifer Risdon/Courtesy of the ArtistCourtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Denver
Formed: 2019
Latest Release: Closing Doors, self-released, Dec. 20, 2019
About: Lena Marie was always writing and singing while growing up. Born and raised in Denver, Lena Marie first realized she had a real desire to perform her music when she spontaneously played for a small crowd waiting outside an Ed Sheeran concert when she was 13. Now matured and always growing her musical tastes, Lena still sticks to the simplicity of songwriting, just writing to an idea to see where it takes her. Lena Marie found her own sound while taking influence from artists like John Mayer, Julien Baker, and acoustic folk artists Ben Howard and Gregory Alan Isakov. Combining catchy guitar riffs and soft ambient melodies, Lena Marie takes her emotionally driven songs about her feelings and beliefs and shares them with the world with her debut EP, “Closing Doors” this winter.
Band Website:
Get Social: InstagramFacebookTwitter

Nina de Freitas

Courtesy of the ArtistCourtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Formed: 2017
Latest Release: "Keeps Me Coming Back," self-released, Dec. 6, 2019
After forming as Nina and The Hold Tight in 2017, Nina de Freitas currently records as a solo artist. As The Hold Tight their submission to the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest resulted in a feature on the All Songs Considered blog. Following that, they performed including a critically-hailed main stage set at Denver’s 2018 Underground Music Showcase. Alex Kramer of 303 Magazine wrote of the band’s live set, “Through music, The Hold Tight supplies an inexplicable excitement and devotion that carries itself through your whole being.” As a solo artist de Freitas continues writing and performing energetic and emotional songs, with the intention to elevate her listeners to a new level of feeling with every passionate note she plays.
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Rob Drabkin

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the ArtistCourtesy of the Artist
Hometown: Denver
Latest Release:
"Two Left Feet (The Way You Move),” A Small Indie, Dec. 9, 2019
Although his musical talents make it easy to believe he’s always been a full-time musician, Rob Drabkin studied Biochemistry with the intention of becoming a doctor. His focus quickly changed after a trip to New York City where he  dropped science and dedicated himself to becoming a singer. On Rob’s upcoming album, "Two Left Feet," he says, "It’s about joy, lots of damn joy! The title makes me laugh and that’s exactly the point. It’s an album about being unapologetically yourself and embracing your flaws. It’s about finding movement, beauty, activism, and love. It’s about releasing your inhibitions as you come home to yourself." 
Band Website:
Get Social:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

The Still Tide

Anthony Isaac/Courtesy of the Artist

Hometown: Denver
Formed: 2013
Latest Release: "Between Skies" EP, Mod y Vi, Jan. 17, 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.
Catch Them Live: "Between Skies" EP Album Release at Hi-Dive (Jan. 17, 2020)
Band Website:
Get Social: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

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