This month we're highlighting 12 of the 150+ Colorado artists performing at the Underground Music Showcase. The UMS, the three-day long music festival along South Broadway in Denver is in it's 22nd year and is a favorite festival for local music discovery peppered with amazing performers from all over the world.
Joining us this month is a handful of rising artists that will be performing at the festival for the first time. Pop singer Dafna who we welcome back to the Local 303 will take the stage for the first time at UMS; and try and catch her before the Colorado local moves to Los Angeles to explore making music on the coast. Indie folk pop singer Lonely Choir will make her debut at the festival as will indie alternative bands Sunnnner and Neon the Bishop. Hailing from Grand Junction, Peach Street Revival will bring their blend of classic rock and blues to the Denver stage for the first time.
Returning to the UMS is Austen Carroll, who will be backed by his band The Better Neighbors which is made up of other beloved performers in the Denver folk rock scene. For hip-hop, Schama Noel who we had perform last year for our Local 303 party at UMS makes his return to the festival. And we are bringing back Jelie to the Local 303 and she will perform for again at UMS. The fun Denver punk band Bury Mia will also be at the festival making their second appearance. Fire Motel will play for the first time at the festival, but front person Ilya Litoshik has been a staple of UMS in the past with his other project Turvy Organ. Catch Northern Colorado trio Holdfast. again this year as they prepare to play their first out of state dates this summer too!
Check out what this month's artists have to say about their most favored moments from the festival and share yours with us too. We hope to see you the weekend of July 29-31st for what is sure to be an unforgettable weekend!
Join us for our UMS pre-party! Come hang with Indie 102.3 at the Local 303 Meetup on Monday July 25th 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 let's all soak up music and summer sun together!
Are you a Colorado musician who wants to be featured in the Local 303? Send us your music.
Meet July's picks:
Austen Carroll & The Better Neighbors
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: "DIY Nights," self-released, June 9, 2022
About: Growing up near the Red River in Texas and moving to Denver in 2012, Austen Carroll has been playing in punk, country, and indie rock bands for the last decade. Now with a fresh batch of stories and songs, he blends all of these genres into his newest releases that offer a candid glance at contemporary living, showing beauty in commonplace and humor in heartache. He plays solo or with his dream-team band, the Better Neighbors (Tate Ignelzi, Sarah Michaels, Neil McCormick).
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: Yes, but this will be the first time playing under this name and with this band.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): Watching Bluebook underneath Metropolis in 2019.
What's Next For You: We will be releasing a music video for "DIY Nights," a new song called "Mockingbird," and a live album in the Fall. After UMS our next show is at Hi-Dive on September 24th.
Get Social: Instagram
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: Somewhere Between Where We Are And Where We've Been, self-released, Jan. 14, 2022
Pronouns: they/ them
About: From an inception over breakfast burritos and nitro brew, the growth of Bury Mia has been rapid and steady. In just a few years the band has launched themselves from sweaty garage practices to packed and rowdy shows across the West Coast. As this 4-piece brotherhood of Punk has progressed through growing pains and extricated band members they’ve held a tight grip on their mission to assert their authenticity and musical lineage.
Frontman Justin O’Neal has supplied the band with an endless stream of catchy and somehow already-familiar Pop-Punk songs. As Bury Mia continues to gain recognition over the years, their sound has become tighter and instantly recognizable.
Within a few years, Bury Mia has already toured the West Coast twice in addition to embracing their local scene. They roam the local dives like Lions lair and Seventh Circle as well as iconic venues like The Marquis Theater and a recent headline show at The Fox Theatre. They’ve earned acknowledgements from publications including 303 Magazine, Denver Westword and LoHi Lifestyle Magazine.
“We believe that this music demands success. There's something special here, a reinvention of sorts, a familiarity but with a unique freshness unlike anything out there right now. It's not about claiming to be original. Originality is a myth. But this music is authentic.”
This group is passionate about their music which shows in every note. With no other goal besides issuing their hard-earned music into the world, they are going to get heard. Bury Mia has firmly planted a flag in the sound they’ve been dialing in from the beginning: It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s undeniably Punk.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: We played UMS for the first time in 2021. This will be our second year playing the festival.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): Given that last year was our first time at UMS, our set was scheduled for earlier in the day. It felt so good to see people waiting in line & fill the venue (HQ) in the middle of the afternoon to see us play. & it's rad being part of a festival where the community really comes out to support all of the local bands.
What's Next For You: We recently returned from touring the northwest & west coast so we're looking forward to a summer of festivals & hometown shows. We'll also be spending the summer writing new music & recording at The Blasting Room (Fort Collins, CO).
Get Social: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Latest Release: WHEN I WAS WITH YOU, self-released, May 13, 2022
About: A 21 year old singer, songwriter and producer from Boulder, Dafna eclectic taste brings forth an exciting combination of sounds. Practicing classical piano since the age of 4, Dafna’s interest in music began early on, and she was 11 years old when she began writing and singing her own songs. It wasn’t until she graduated High School at the age of 17, however, that Dafna began producing and recording her music from her bedroom in her parents basement, which led to the subsequent release of her first single in January 2019, if you’re a dove, a “hypnotic blend of folk and minimalist electronic pop (Amelia Vandergast, A&R Factory). Since then, Dafna has independently released 10 other songs and two albums amassing over five million streams on Spotify alone. While attending University of Colorado, Boulder as an Electrical and Engineering student, Dafna continues to play local shows with her own band, her “quippy sense of humor and powerful vocals” allowing for an exciting and energetic show (Reilly Ernst, Crave The Sound). Notable performances include headlining a sold out show at the Boulder Theatre, headlining the Fox Theatre, playing the main stage at Westword Music Showcase, and singing with Covex on the main stage at Decadence NYE and Red Rocks.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: Nope! This will be my first time.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): I haven’t performed or attended so I’m really excited to see it all in action!!
What's Next For You: I’m moving to LA to keep pursuing music! I’ve been writing and recording a lot of new songs that I’m excited to put out hopefully sometime in the near future.
Get Social: Instagram, Twitter, TikTok
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: "Like The Universe" (Single), self-released, 2022
About: Drawing on a variety of musical influences like Bright Eyes, Destroyer and La Femme, Fire Motel creates shimmering synthetic effects, nostalgic guitar tones all playing under a warm undertone. Started by Ilya Litoshik of Turvy Organ.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: This will be our 2nd year playing UMS, last year being our first year playing UMS. This year Fire Motel will be playing Saturday July 30th 6:45pm at the Hornet.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): UMS for me has always been about the discovery of new musicians in Denver and being a part of this extremely talented community that Denver has to offer.
What's Next For You: We are currently working on our debut album "The World an Opera" which we plan on releasing early 2023.
Get Social: YouTube, Instagram
Hometown: Windsor, Colorado
Latest Release: Movies, Audio Network, Apr. 15, 2022
About: “Holdfast have quickly become one of Colorado's favorite bands as they've emerged onto the scene in the last few years as the 'ones to watch.' In fact, they took the stage at Taste of Fort Collins (2019) to open for lovelytheband. They are a must-see for fans of bands like Bad Suns, Muse and The 1975. We have a feeling that someday, they'll be taking on big stages, so enjoy them now from home (while you can).” - 94.3 THE XAlt-rock band “Holdfast.” formed in Windsor, CO in 2011. Consisting of brothers Tommy and Mikey, and their cousin Charlie Maddocks, the band have captured the hearts and minds of fans across Colorado. Their single “Time”, released in December 2019, was met with immediate enthusiasm from fans. After extensive airplay, the single landed the band in KTCL 93.3’s “Hometown For The Holidays” show where they won “Crowd Favorite” for their energetic signature live show. On January 8th, 2021, Holdfast released their debut album, “Stay and Fight.” Holdfast partnered with production music company Audio Network for their second album and recorded the project at The Blasting Room with longtime producer and collaborator Chris Beeble. The 7-song EP Movies released April 15 2022, with a sold out release show at Cervantes’ in Denver, CO. The band announced their “Movies In My Head” 2022 tour. They also recently partnered with Assemble Sound.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: once in 2021
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): We played at The Hornet and ended up only having two PA speakers and no monitors to hear our instruments. It was a packed show and we had the last performance slot of the night. We adapted and had an awesome time.
What's Next For You: We are going on tour this summer, and will be playing in California, Utah, and Texas for the first time ever. We're excited to finally have our Movies EP out, and have been practicing our live show for years. We have a summer full of shows and hope to get out on the road again in the fall! We recorded a few new tracks earlier this year and hope to release them soon.
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify
Hometown: Denver, CO
Formed: I've been rapping for 17 years
Latest Release: "Cope" (Single), May 20, 2022 and "Just Like You" (Single), Jun. 17, 2022
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
About: Jelie is a multi-talented rapper and producer who is at the fulcrum of an evolving Hip Hop scene. Jelie pronounced “Jel-eye” is a very different and uniquely wired musician who isn’t afraid to break the rules and push the boundaries of our perception with her deeply layered lyricism and well-crafted production. Born and raised in Denver Colorado, Jelie is making music that is driven by a desire to motivate, inspire, and tell her story her way. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Recording Arts and music is the vehicle by which she expresses herself authentically. She writes lyrics that draw from her experiences and by using her musical acumen she articulates stories and shared perspectives that will connect with audiences across the spectrum. She cites icons such as Missy Elliott, Tech N9ne, Brotha Lynch Hung as pivotal influences in her music. She also draws inspiration from her family. Her autistic brother and sister are at the center of her motivation and heart. She has a deep-rooted passion and loves working with people who are perceived as disadvantaged, the elderly, the young, and the disabled. As an artist, her bars are cold and knit together by emotive and expressive punchlines. Her effortless intonations are accentuated by a skillfully resonated voice. She delivers her rhymes in a cadence that crescendos with spellbinding emotive undertones. The talented enigma is here to reshape and leave an indelible mark in the industry.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: I have played once before.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): My favorite UMS memory was when I told everyone to put their phone lights up to make it look like we were in a spaceship.
What's Next For You: I'm working on a full length project and dropping singles monthly.
Hometown: Denver, CO
Formed: I’ve been writing songs since I was a kiddo, but started recording/ performing in 2021
Latest Release: "I Miss You" (Single), self-released, May 20, 2022
About: Lonely Choir (Rachael) is a Denver-based indie singer/songwriter. Her music has been described as a unique balance between raw emotionality and tongue-in-cheek wit. She is new to the music scene, and is currently wrapping up recording her first EP.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: Nope! Nope times.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): I've never been! So excited to get to experience it for the first time, and also play at it for the first time!
What's Next For You: I will be finishing up my EP pretty soon here, and would love to get my foot in the door with the Denver music scene a bit more! Hoping to score some gigs in the upcoming months.
Get Social: Instagram
Neon the Bishop
Hometown: Denver, CO
Latest Release: The Get Down
Pronouns: They, Them
About: Indie/pop/alternative band Neon the Bishop is quickly establishing themselves as a group to watch. “Neon the Bishop made its mark as a distinctly unique voice in the local scene. Neon’s story is told through the textures of a 4-piece group whose eclectic roots and musical backgrounds converge for an electrifying indie blend. Characterized by the relentless vocals of Kendall James, the band builds arena rock guitar work, modern samples and synths, and a driving rhythm section on top of deep, piercing bass beats.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: We've never played UMS before.
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): Our favorite UMS experiences are when we discover new, incredible artists that blow our minds. Especially when they become friends. This happens just about every year at UMS and really shows how deep the musical talent pool goes.
What's Next: We are currently in studio working on 5 songs and getting primed to release a full length album on vinyl. On top of UMS we have several amazing shows lined up for the back end of 2022 including Not So Silent Night at Mission Ballroom in December.
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok
Peach Street Revival
Hometown: Grand Junction, CO
Latest Release: CINCO EP, self-released, 2020 - 2021 one single at a time through the pandemic. We kept busy shooting music videos for each single.
Pronouns: She/Her, He/Him
About: Peach Street Revival is a 4-piece band from Grand Junction, Colorado. Classic rock, blues, and punk inspire the band’s original songs. The band members are Gonzales (vocals/harmonica), Sofia Benham (drums/vocals), Jordan Will (bass/vocals), and Cooper Bradley Shull (guitar).
Have you played UMS before? This is the first UMS for Peach Street Revival!
What's Next For You: Looking for a studio/producer to record our new EP. Perform at Red Rocks. Continue to break new markets and tour internationally.
Get Social: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music
Hometown: Haiti, now in Denver
Latest Release: "Sugar Mom" (Single), self-released, Oct. 31, 2021
About: Hip Hop Artist, producer, songwriter, entrepreneur
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: I’ve played UMS once, this will be my second time (in a row)
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): Definitely performing at the INDIE 1023 party!!
What's Next For You: My EP Two Can Play That Game releases August 19th!
Get Social: Instagram
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Latest Release: "Numb" (Single), self-released, May 13, 2022
Pronouns: Ty Gallaway (Lead Guitar, Vocals) - he/him, Jonah Samp (Drums) - he/him, Loren Dorland (Vocals) - she/her, Isaac Vance (Rhythm guitar) - he/him, Brendan Lamb (Bass) - he/him
About: Shady Oaks is riff-heavy blues-rock from Denver. The band is led by eclectic singer/songwriter and lead guitarist Ty Gallaway, whose inspiration comes from bands such as The Black Angels, Raconteurs, Black Keys, and Jack White. Gallaway brings his music to life with support from Jonah Samp (Drums), Loren Dorland (Vocals), Isaac Vance (Rhythm guitar), and Brendan Lamb (Bass). The five-piece band brings listeners original music that is both dreamy and psychedelic yet equally rugged.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: Yes! Once! We made our UMS debut in 2021 at Banded Oak Brewing. We are excited to hit the stage for the second year!
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): Playing for a large audience of people that weren't our regular dedicated fans! It was so cool to see people walk by the venue and decide to stop and hear our set.
Hometown: Denver Metro
Latest Release: Spruce Aly, self-released, May 31, 2022
Pronouns: Rane Miranda (she/they), Ari Looney (he/him), Logan Pace (they/them)
About: Sunnnner is a radical, outsider, experimental, no-wave, dust punk, dream pop, bit-of-everything band out of Boulder, Colorado, who takes advice from Fugazi and Steely Dan. A pleasant near-overdose of post-hardcore daydreams + bedroom punk nightmares- they humbly receive the feedback of being unique; nothing nothing quite like ‘em, yet sound like a bit of everything, often like something new and old, all at once. Their lyricism (written from experience, by singer Rane Miranda) tackles radical topics from human rights and police violence, to familiar interpersonal dynamics and existential thoughts- with Miranda sharing vulnerable thoughts, abstractions (meant to allow listener to derive their own meaning), experiences, and feelings- encapsulated sonically in their 3-piece vessel.
Frank Zappa meets 90s midwestern emo. Blues sped up, in the modern post- fashion, with influences from greater music world, bands like Sonic Youth, Minor Threat, Sleater-Kinney, Slint, Pixies, Cure, and New Order- but most often in the underground scene surrounding the Denver Metro Area, from locals and independent touring artists from the greater US and beyond. They are blessed to have shared stages with the likes of Diners, It Looks Sad., The Velveteers, Dressy Bessy- and held their own. Their stream of consciousness songwriting style and (very different) stage presence leaves audiences awestruck. If the root of all creative endeavors is ascribe to existence, intangible feelings we all share (but sometimes lack the words), then Sunnnner hits their mark.
Have you played UMS before? If so, how many times: This will be our first time!
Favorite UMS Memory (whether it was performing or just attending): Have never been! Were supposed to play last time it happened, but had stuff come up, so we're really excited for our first UMS, attending and playing! Our favorite bands are our friends', so we are incredibly excited to see everyone we know perform, and to perform alongside them!
What's next for the band in 2022: We recently returned from a three week Northeast US tour on June 14th, so after a little pause from performing, we're excited to get back to it, with some summer shows coming up on our home turf in CO (and into the end of 2022), including some festivals: July 8th at Compost Heap Festival at 7th Circle Music Collective, July 29th at UMS, August 29th at Down in Denver Fest. We have a nine-day Midwest Tour looking likely for us in the Fall, new album(s) coming soon, and some exciting projects in the works, stay tuned!
Rane Miranda is learning digital production, recently began playing solo under the name Bill Hates. (@billh8s) She is planning a national tour toward the end of 2022, a debut album, and will be playing local shows under that name so keep an eye out. Expect some hyperpop/breakcore singles on BandCamp and SoundCloud!
Ari Looney is building a local reputation as up-and-coming dj/producer vegan.gore. He will be spinning and performing his own compositions and fav music at venues around CO this year.
Logan Pace is also in local bands Hotel Wifi, Rose Variety, as well as Sunnnner, and will be drumming at tons of shows this summer, local or not! Expect new releases from his solo project Polywhirl.
Get Social: YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, BandCamp, Instagram, Linktree, Facebook, Songkick, BandsInTown
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