The Local 303: Colorado artists we’re featuring for May 2022
This month we bring you some of the newest and most exciting music being created across the state. Hear brand new music off of the debut record out this month from Fort Collins sister band Companion. The twin sisters also announced they will be touring with Tori Amos this spring. Longtime Longmont favorites One Flew West finally released their first ever full-length out on SmartPunk Records. Grand Junction brings us French-American indie pop singer Crêpe Girl. We also discovered Conrad Mata in the suburbs of Littleton who is a playful bedroom artist of funk and punk. Former Denver resident Fia Nyxx, who is currently based in Los Angeles, has gotten great reviews of her sophomore album Red Umbrella. Mile High City bands Suitable Miss, Horse Bitch, and Addie Tonic bring the rock while The White Moms please with their lively hip-hop. On the indie folk side of Denver, we are excited to play new tunes from Bear and the Beasts and Anthony Ruptak. Lastly, Denver's reigning king of indie pop, Jeff Cormack of South of France, will debut some new solo songs!
Come hang with us during the Local 303 Meetup on Monday May 23rd from 6:30-9:00p at Larimer Lounge! There will be a live performance and a chance for you to meet some of your favorite Colorado bands and radio hosts! Admission is free, so get ready to come out of your caves and mingle!
Are you a Colorado musician who wants to be featured in the Local 303? Send us your music.
Meet May's picks:
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: "Seether" (Veruca Salt Cover), Self-Released, Dec. 17, 2021
About: Addie Tonic is an alterna-rock band formed in Denver, Colorado featuring front woman Meghann5k (Vocals, Guitar) and Matt Youngblood (Lead Guitar, Vocals) with Dylan Tilton (Bass) and a revolving cast of drummers (if you think you can fill our throne, hit us up!). Their catchy songs are driven by pop-fueled lyrics and rock-inspired guitar licks, building garage/shoegaze-like walls of sound with a punk rock edge. The band released their debut EP, "Crashin' Cars & Fannin' Flames" in 2021 followed up by their second EP, "Don't Ya Know Me" in 2022.
Musicians That Inspire: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Courtney Barnett, Dressy Bessy, Mark Lanegan, Sonic Youth, Tom Petty, Minutemen, Dinosaur Jr.
What's next for the band in 2022: We are going to North Carolina in May to play Wampus Cat Music Fest with Everclear, a great opportunity given to us by Jeff Popka of Indie On Air Records. Locally, we will be playing the First Annual Denver Music Community Festival at Confluence Garage in Lafayette, CO on June 18th as well as Denver Art Society's first Friday on July 1st. We have been working on a batch of new songs set to record with Todd Divel of Silo Sound Recording Studio and we plan to have a new single out this summer.
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: Backrooms, Self-Release. Apr. 7, 2022
About: Anthony Ruptak is a Colorado-based musician who writes and performs his original work with a simple mission: to explore the effects of the human condition. His music ranges from vulnerable acoustic performances to raucous and maximalist multi-instrumental experiences, with his intricate lyrics always at the forefront. Ruptak has been performing in Denver for over 12 years.
Musicians That Inspire: Aimee Mann, Elliott Smith, Phoebe Bridgers, Modest Mouse, Fionn Regan
What's next for the band in 2022: Catch me live in Manitou Springs with Covenhoven on May 6th, The Ubisububi Room on May 28th, and The Underground Music Showcase July 29th-30th.
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook
Bear and the Beasts
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: "Bare Witness" (Single), The Salt Lick Records, Apr. 19, 2022
About: Bear and the Beasts create soul-tinged, mountain-psych music that has drawn comparisons to Black Pumas, Snarky Puppy, and the works of Bruce Springsteen. Like a story that grows richer and more nuanced with each retelling, Bear and the Beasts have created a deeply orchestrated kaleidoscope of sounds with enough raw emotion to pull the heartstrings right out of your chest.
Musicians That Inspire: Black Pumas, Snarky Puppy, My Morning Jacket
What's next for the band in 2022: With the release of 5 new songs in the past 6 months, the Beasts are headed back to the studio to record another set of 5 songs, which they hope to release later this year with The Salt Lick Records.
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram
Hometown: Norman, OK based in Fort Collins, CO
Latest Release: Second Day of Spring, out May 27, 2022
About: Companion has fought hard for happiness. At just 23-years-old, identical twin sisters Sophia and Jo had faced a decade of darkness. Then they built lighthouses.
Companion’s debut album, Second Day of Spring, is a towering beacon: a victorious indie-folk record that further introduces two brilliant songwriters who are also mesmerizing singers, using voices that feel light and weighted gazes that see clearly to offer the rest of us comfort in treacherous corners.
“A lot of this album is rooted in healing from familial hurt,” says Sophia. “There are songs about marriage and healing from mistrust. Family ties that have been broken.”
Hope cracks through early songs on the album, like grass growing in sidewalks, before sprawling out into lush meadows by the end of the record. Acoustic guitar is a constant companion for the twins’ natural harmonies, joined at turns by standout guests ranging from viola to organelle to trumpet to piano.
Sophia and Jo were homeschooled and raised on about nine farmland acres just outside of Norman, Oklahoma. Their lives changed abruptly at 13, when their father, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, took his own life. “I am not afraid of telling people that my dad killed himself,” explains Sophia, calmly.
“Mental health is such an undervalued issue that’s not talked about enough – so we talk about it through our writing.” The loss pushed the girls to write. “I started playing guitar at 14, and we started writing together at 14 or 15,” Jo says. “It came pretty naturally, but as siblings, there was friction.” The tension made the songs even better.
Get Social: Instagram
Hometown: Littleton, CO
Latest Release: "Nosferatu" (Single), Self-Released, Mar. 4, 2022
About: Conrad Mata lives at the intersection of funk and punk, with the sole purpose of boogie. He knows that we live in a dance-deficient world. Concerts, clubs, and bars with people half-dancing, phones out, never really letting loose. It isn't about having the perfect moves, but about being vulnerable enough to let the music move you. Conrad Mata is set out to help turn the tide; to get people grooving.
Musicians That Inspire: Childish Gambino, The Beatles, Frank Ocean, Nirvana, Steve Lacey, Daniel Caesar, Mac Miller, Billy Joel
What's next for the band in 2022: Conrad Mata's forthcoming sophomore album, Turtle's Run out June 30th, 2022!
Get Social: Instagram, Spotify, TikTok and the band I'm a part of megaGOLF's Instagram
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN now in Grand Junction, CO
Latest Release: “Someone, Someone Real” (feat. Nick Wagen), Self-Released, Apr. 15, 2022
About: Crêpe Girl is the alternative/indie project of 21 year old French-American Eliza Grégoire. Eliza writes and produces her music in Grand Junction, CO and has been doing so for about 2 years. Her first EP ‘Le Début’ released in the summer of 2021, right around the time when she formed a band to play her songs live. Since then, her and her live band have played some shows locally and in the Denver area, some including opening for two of her favorite artists/bands, Inner Wave and Del Water Gap.
Musicians That Inspire: Clairo, Snail Mail, Arlo Parks, Del Water Gap, and Omar Apollo
What’s Next for 2022: I plan to keep releasing some singles that will then lead to my second EP. I would also love to play some more shows!
Get Social: Instagram, YouTube
Hometown: From Denver, CO now living in Los Angeles, CA
Latest Release: "Don't Shame Me" (Single) and "My One Forever (feat. Jegasie)" (Single), Self-Release, Mar. 25, 2022
Pronouns: Fia Nyxx - she/her, Jegasie - he/him
About: …”Think somewhere in between Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton”...
Fia Nyxx embraces a theatrical approach to her music, embodying a brilliantly experimental clash of genres to transcend her once, ‘pop-artist’ image. This “first-rate,” old Hollywood glam-star, garnished with a rockstar twist, unleashes a masterful vision for storytelling and larger-than-life performances and continues to “break barriers with a WAVE of new listeners” following her latest release of sophomore album, Red Umbrella.
Red Umbrella connects the dots along a path less traveled, embracing strength through vulnerability, devine-femininity, spiritual awakening, sexual liberation and a love story to stand the test of time. Pulling back the veil birthed an evolved, honest body of work as authentic, daring, exhilarating and intimate as women themselves. Throughout the album, Nyxx’s “provocative and impassioned lyricism,” embodies “the craft of storytelling at its height."
Deemed “one of the greatest vocalists of our generation,” Fia recorded her first album, Everything Girl, at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. under the musical direction of Will McFarlane (Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Bobby "Blue" Bland), Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna) and features players from the iconic Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, 'The Swampers.' She has toured the U.S. and Asia, and has been featured on the back cover of Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone, CelebMix, Elicit Magazine, Prelude Press, Buzz Music, The Hype Magazine, Music and Fashion, We Write About Music, KIMU, Sinusoidal Music and many more.
Musicians That Inspire: Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Christina Aguilera, Jessie J, Queen, Prince
What's next for the band in 2022: Single release "Escape" - Fia Nyxx and Bobby Newberry May 13, LA Pride Mainstage, performances around the USA (Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Nashville).
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify
Latest Release: RIP Pistashio, Self-Release, Sep. 5, 2021
About: A lot of people died in space.
Musicians That Inspire: The Mountain Goats, Glen Campbell, Roger Miller, Modern Baseball, Pinegrove, Car Seat Headrest, Gary Stewart, Daniel Johnston, Gestalt
What's next for the band in 2022: We are touring the pacific northwest/west coast in August with Clementine was Right and releasing some new music.
Get Social: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: "Who Are We" (Single), Staycation Records, Apr. 29, 2022 and "Modern Love" (Single), Staycation Records, Feb. 25, 2022
About: "Who Are We" is the 2nd single from Jeff Cormack since his debut 2013 album, Thirteen013 Summerdreams and features plenty of his quintessential dreamy guitar-scapes and introspective lyrics. Recorded on whim, Thirteen013 Summerdreams brought unanticipated acclaim with the song "Run" landing on the Spotify Viral Top50 US & Global Chart for over two weeks, "Empty Glass" being featured in the penultimate season finale of Shameless (2021), and track "Sunshine's Gone" was featured in Hulu's Better Things and also global fashion campaigns for brands like Billabong and Ingersoll. This new single "Who Are We" is a sonic and lyrical evolution of Jeff Cormack’s first album that stays perfectly close to home.
Cormack is a multi-instrumental writer, producer, designer, creative director and founder of Staycation Records/Audiohook.io. He has collaborated with major labels, agencies, content creators, artists, film directors, and leading global brands to create award winning sound for film and TV, as well as exclusive fashion & streetwear collaborations and story-based editorial campaigns. He stays busy creating with Staycation label artists & his other passion project, South of France. Garnering premier features and exclusive performances for publications American Songwriter, NPR, Consequence of Sound, Rolling Stone, Noisey, and recently opening for bands Portugal. The Man, The Flaming Lips, and Michigander, it's easy to see why South of France was named one of the top ten reasons to visit Denver (Jeff's Hometown) by Refinery 29 Magazine.
Musicians That Inspire: Everyone and anyone who’s doing it. I really don’t discriminate and can usually find inspiration anywhere when it comes to music. The further I get into music the more I appreciate all of it, but I really do mainly listen to new music. We play old stuff, classics, soundtracks etc at home all day but I’m usually just getting blown away by new music on Spotify throughout the day while doing life things.
What’s Next for the band in 2022: Myself and the friends who I collaborate with are just feeling so lucky to be able to be doing music the way we are after the last few years. We’re so grateful that people are still listening and coming to shows, and wanting the music for film/tv. So ...really just planning on being thankful/grateful for a while! I’ve got an album finished and will continue rolling singles out ahead of the album release this fall. I’m scoring a couple of really cool films that 3 or 4 of these songs will appear in. So really just hoping to get these songs out, play some shows and connect with more people through the music and work.
Get Social: Instagram
One Flew West
Hometown: Longmont, CO
Latest Release: Our first ever LP "The Blur" was just released March 25, 2022 via SmartPunk Records. The album is being pressed onto vinyl-but the delivery date was delayed to early May 2022.
About: One Flew West’s no-bullshit approach to performing and songwriting has grabbed the attention of audiences across the country, and their music has been featured in several major Spotify playlists. These playlists include The Scene, New Punk Tracks, and Pop Punk’s Not Dead. In addition, they were an artist on the final Vans Warped Tour and were named a “Band to Watch” by CBS. The band stayed busy during COVID and in April 2021 the band signed a record deal with SmartPunk Records. On March 25, 2022 the band released their first ever LP, "The Blur", to great reviews from New Noise Magazine and XS Noize.
Musicians That Inspire: Descendents, The Story So Far, Menzingers, Trash Boat, Blink 182, Turnstile, Manchester Orchestra.
What's next for the band in 2022: We've got a couple shows coming up that we're really excited about. We're playing the SO WHAT!? Festival in Dallas over Memorial Day Weekend. On June 3rd we'll be at the Gothic with our friends Pandas and People, and Lady Denim- which will be such a good show! And then hopefully selling out our vinyl once it's in stores in May (Also on SmartPunk's website https://smartpunkshop.com/collections/smartpunk-exclusives/products/one-flew-west-the-blur-lp-only)!
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, Apple
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: Forever (feat. Joshua Roberts of Magnolia Park), self-release, 04.22.22
Pronouns: Sarah Perez, vocals (she/her), Andrew Elofson, guitar/production (he/him), Kelsey Gant, bass (she/her), Noah Sauls, guitar (they/them, he/him), Tom Hanson, drums (he/him)
About: Instigating high-energy and unabashedly catchy choruses, some say that Suitable Miss is best known for splashing their abundant pop-punk hooks with trap and metalcore influences. Formed in 2019 by cousin and best friend duo, Sarah Perez and Kelsey Gant, the lineup was completed throughout the year that followed with the addition of guitarists Andrew Elofson and Noah Sauls, and drummer Tom Hanson. Featured in publications like 303Magazine, Westword, Alternative Press and more, the band has been on a steady rise upward since their inception. After a sold out headline show, a run of winter 2022 shows in New Mexico and Kansas and a trio of sold-out shows in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Albuquerque, the band is ready to move into their next phase. Showcasing soaring melodies and boisterous metalcore breakdowns on their latest single “Sunshine”, this collaboration with heavy crew Colony Collapse is the first look at the band's upcoming full length album.
Musicians That Inspire Us: Hot Mulligan, The Aces, 5 Seconds of Summer, Mayday Parade, Harry Styles, Intervals, Four Year Strong, Taylor Swift, Periphery, One Direction
What's next for the band in 2022: Releasing our full length album on May 20th and touring all summer long!
The White Moms
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: White Moms III: Men Working (WM III MW), Lounge Records, Jan. 2022
About: The White Moms are a Denver hip-hop trio consisting of Cisco the Nomad, Bruce Leanin, and Mersh. The White Moms have cultivated a fun-loving and lyrically savvy combination of boom-bap and trap which defines the unique sound of the group. From songwriting to music production and engineering, the homegrown music and style of The White Moms is a headtrip to listen to and a full-on party to experience live. The group also engages with the Denver music community by hosting free music showcases alongside the Santa Fe First Friday Art Walk, which involves local music acts of all genres and entertains audiences of all walks of life. Despite being racially distinct all three of members of The White Moms do in fact have white mothers.
Musicians That Inspire: Wu-Tang Clan, Dreamville, MF DOOM, Mac Miller, Smino, Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar, Griselda, The Palmer Squares, and anyone bringing bars and hard beats tbh. Outside of hip-hop we have some different tastes but we can all appreciate classic pioneers of any genre as well as new trail-blazers of sound and style. Mersh likes jam bands and all three of us will shamelessly indulge in pop-punk or emo stints, which you might hear in some of our attempts at singing in our tracks.
What's Next in 2022: We're opening for The Palmer Squares, some of our long-time role models, at Lost Lake on May 20th. We'll also be performing in various Denver festivals and events TBA. We want to keep hosting as many monthly First Friday showcases as possible, unfortunately May won't be happening but be on the lookout for the rest of summer. And of course we want to be collaborating with as many artists and performers, new and old, and playing as many shows as possible. There's also a couple of music videos on the back burner that we need to finish to accompany the album we dropped this year.
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, Linktree, YouTube
You made it!
You love learning about new music and the Denver music scene. We have a weekly newsletter for you -- Inside Track. Sign up here to stay in the know about the hottest Colorado concerts and how you can score tickets!