Feeling the PRIDE: We're putting the spotlight on LGBTQIA+ musicians all month long from some of our state's most notable artists!
Not only will you hear the pride with this month's Local 303; but we are kicking off Pride Month with our second annual Serve It! Pride Party at Meow Wolf's Perplexiplex on Friday June 2nd. Our queer-focused music show, Serve It!, will now be on every Sunday night at 8p hosted by Demi Harvey, and the month will wrap up with our monthly celebration of Colorado music, the Local 303 Meetup on June 26th.
The Local 303 Meetup gives space to celebrate Colorado musicians and music fans from our community with our Music Meeting that previews new local music you can vote on, giveaways, and there will be a very special performance from one of this month's featured artists, TBA.
This month's Local 303 Meetup is at our new location, Skylark Lounge upstairs in the new Bobcat Club, on Monday June 26th from 6:30-9 p.m. and is open to the public, 21+ and no tickets required. The venue is located at 140 S Broadway in Denver.
Are you a Colorado musician who wants to be featured in the Local 303? Send us your music.
Meet June's picks:
Colorado Home: Colorado Springs
Latest Release: For R (Self Released)
About: In 2020, Eden Selvin began writing and recording under the name, "Cabin". They would explore ideas of mortality, gender, getting high and scared, and isolation alone until the Fall of 2022, when Bryse Taylor (bass), Rowan Wolfe (keyboard), and Connar Cavanaugh (drums) joined the group. Together, they are who make up what is known as the most socially anxious band to come from the Rocky Mountain region, Cabin.
What Does The Band Have Planned For Summer: This summer we are recording and preparing to release our first full length album. We are hoping to book some more shows but we are inept.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: I like to view my music the way I view my gender: fluid. I want to be able to make whatever I want whenever I feel like making it.
Get Social: Spotify, Instagram
Colorado Home: Denver
Currently Based: Los Angeles
Latest Release: Anything To Make It Loud, on April 28, 2023, via Holy Volcano
About: Ella Luna (Alyssa Stoner), is a 20 year old singer/songwriter from Denver currently based in Los Angeles. Combining intimate vocals, raw instruments, and intricate lyrical work, Alyssa has been able to evolve into her Ella Luna persona both musically and emotionally.
On her new album Anything To Make It Loud (Holy Volcano), Alyssa explores the journey of growing up, femininity, domesticity, and intimacy. The record creates a magical sonic space with swelling string sections, warm piano, and dreamy guitar, bringing the listener into the world that she has created within the nine tracks.
Alyssa made a point to work with other female musicians in the creation of this album. The band that she and producer-violinist Gregory Allison put together for the record included drummer Elizabeth Goodfellow (Allison Russel, boygenius, Madison Cunningham), bassist Allee Futterer (Conan Gray, Weyes Blood), trumpeter Chloe Swindler (Harry Styles, Lizzo), bassist Kaylee Stenberg (Charlie Hickey, Christian Lee Hutson), and teenage saxophone prodigy Kaela Seltzer. She invited her band to display their own independent style on their instrument to even better present the songs that she wrote on piano and guitar.
Alyssa’s strength in lyricism and songwriting only grows as she ages. Compare the focus track “Nina” from her first record with “Laundry” and “All Silk & Satin,” from Anything To Make It Loud and one finds a more evocative and evolved artistry in both the songwriting, and production. Alyssa displays her classical vocal training on Anything To Make It Loud with strength in her low and high ranges, and again with her stacked harmonies. She also proves herself as an impressive instrumentalist, writing and performing all of the piano and guitar on her songs.
Alyssa showcases her queerness through music in a way that is not loud or the sole subject of her writing. She finds a way to write songs about being a woman and loving women in a way that simply sounds feminine and the way she believes love to be: soft, sweet, beautiful, and simple. The way that Alyssa is able to capture her identity has moved many young queer women, from the release of “Nina” to now. Anything To Make It Loud expands on her identity as a lover, daughter, friend, and artist.
Alyssa has been active in the Denver music scene since she was 14. While studying Vocal Music at Denver School of the Arts, she made her mark through being featured on local radio and in magazines, headlining at various local venues, and a live session on NPR. She independently released Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride in 2020 at the age of 17. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2021, Alyssa has had the opportunity to surround herself with amazing people and continues to prove that she is worthy of the attention of listeners.
What Does The Band/Your Project Have Planned For Summer: Playing some shows in LA & potentially elsewhere this summer!
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: Being a lesbian is my favorite part of being alive, and a huge part of why I choose to share the music I make. The love I feel for my girlfriend is so strong and pure, I’m convinced there is nothing better in the world. Love is the reason we exist! Writing songs about this special kind of love and seeing other people understand and connect with it makes sharing so beautiful. I love the community I’ve built of other queer women who understand my lyricism. My music without my queerness simply would not exist.
Get Social: Instagram
Colorado Home: Fort Collins
Latest Release: the moon is a lesbian 2
About: Jae Smith is not good at anything but music. After realizing this during their Junior year of high school, they started putting out DIY bedroom music under the name Hotel WiFi out onto soundcloud and eventually Spotify hoping to find an audience. Raw, emotional and usually unmixed, they managed to find a small audience in their hometown of Fort Collins, CO. After a stint in a failed high school band ended in 2020, they were able to put a band together for the first time and start playing shows all over Colorado. Highlights include participating in Sonic Spotlight, organizing a cover swap with FoCoMA, and opening for Wheatus last October.
What Does The Band Have Planned For Summer: Playing as many pride shows as possible and attempting to release a new single!
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: There are two mixtapes currently on streaming that pretty much document my queer awakening. I was a weird kid, not sure where to put any of my emotions until I found music. Recently, my songs have diverted to fictional stories about the community, as well as songs that take bitter shots at those responsible for the ongoing American trans genocide. Being nonbinary is who I am. Anyone who wants to strip my identity will have to kill me to do so.
Get Social: Instagram
Colorado Home: Denver
Latest Release: Jaguar Stevens (self-titled album)
About: Based out of Denver, CO, Jaguar Stevens formed when two high school English teachers began to purge their workday anxieties through rock n’ roll. Steve Bartholomew delivers tempestuous rock riffs on the guitar while Caleb Wohlust transports the audience with contemplative lyrics and a truly unhinged vocal performance. The spaces between the primitive, pounding drumbeat of David Glantz are filled by Charlie Frost’s masterfully melodious synth textures. Although fans have compared their sound to the Talking Heads, Nick Cave, and the Cramps, Jaguar Stevens finds inspiration everywhere. Above all, they strive for originality. Their self-titled debut album captures their earnest attempt to transcend time by offering songs of passion, betrayal, and yearning. Their electric, raucous live performance spellbinds the audience in an exaltation of rock n’ roll reverie.
What Does The Band/Your Project Have Planned For Summer: We are participating in the Dorian De Long Arts Scholarship benefit concert ‘Punk is Dad 5’ alongside Dressy Bessy and Fast Eddy. From there, we are taking our first ever road trip as a band - playing venues like Lulu’s Upstairs in Colorado Springs and Launchpad in Albuquerque. Beyond that, other shows include Psychs Peak Fest in Cañon City on July 15th (an epic lineup of psych rock bands) and the Englewood Block Party in August.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music:
Caleb: Queer punks, gay shoegazers, trans metalheads - I think some of us folks thrive with non-normative music, because our story as non-cis, non-straight people has been excluded from the American musical narrative for such a long time. And so celebrating ‘different’ is what we do best. I hope our music can inspire LGBTQIA+ folks to find a space outside of more traditional American music. I’ve never really fit in at gay clubs. I’m too tall, and admittedly, my music taste is wildly different from a lot of folks.
The song “All the Things He Said” is a punk tune I wrote, addressing the issues with rainbow capitalism during PRIDE month, my own contradicting judgments of popular music in the gay scene and a reimagining of gay dating apps. Our song Capital Lie is a disco dance with American capitalism, set in post-apocalyptic America. The reality is that queer folks in America have to shake off toxic masculinity. And it’s up to us to discover a new Americana rhythm. Growing up as a closeted gay, the angst of The Pixies and The White Stripes was so cathartic. Many of the artists I listened to were straight and cis, and yet, I still connected with the messages and the mood. It’s that fuzz, that angst, that cathartic release that allows me to fully experience the human condition. I think many of us share these complicated emotions, and I hope our band can help people dance through it.
Steve: When I met Caleb, I had been writing songs for awhile already, leaning into the singer-songwriter ascetic, one of many psych-folk disciples with open ears and a wandering mind. Caleb and I realized we had similar literary and musical tastes and we naturally gravitated toward each other during the new school district orientation where we met years ago. The fact that we are both from the Midwest solidified our bond. As the years passed Caleb and I toyed with a folk duo project called Bromantelope. We wrote songs together and performed live, but eventually those songs started to evolve into louder, faster, more cathartic celebrations.
Nate Cook of the Yawpers produced our debut self-titled album. At the Dirt Bar, we sculpted our songs out of the disparate parts of folk, punk, pop, psych, and rock to create a record we are proud of. Band members have been fluid in the past, but we now feel, with Charlie Frost on keys and Dave Glantz on drums, that Jaguar Stevens is elevating and broadening our sound.
Charlie, Dave: We hope all folks feel invited into this misfit rock. The music we write considers the punks, the weirdos, the literary lost, those yearning for change - we hope our music can start a dialogue or at least stir an emotion. Come see our live show - it’s a balance of darkness and lightness, a feeling of new and old - theatrical punk rock dance to revere the vapid absurdity of modern life.
Colorado Home: Denver
Formed: Started playing music and writing songs 15 years ago. Started taking myself seriously about a year ago.
Latest release: "Snack Break" releases on 5/19, I drop singles every friday and produce/release everything myself.
About: Jordin Dearinger is a transgender man and soul artist originally from Southern Maryland, who graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA with a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy. Jordin broke his back when he was 11 and was on bed rest for 5 years. During this time, Jordin taught himself how to play 14 instruments, and now uses most of those instruments in his productions or live performances.
What does your project have planned for the summer:
- Headlining a huge pride event on the Number 38 outdoor stage 6/24
- Releasing singles every friday
- Playing at least 4 shows a week all summer long, keep up with show dates on my Instagram!
How has your experience as an LGBTQIA+ person influenced your music: Being queer and trans influences every single part of my life, as it's hugely a part of my identity so it naturally plays a role in the music that I create. I think for a long time I was so scared of letting people see me and my creations because of how much rejection I experienced when coming out, that now it feels so important for me to be the face of transness and show people that I am also just as deserving as anyone else to make a name for myself and follow my true pursuit of happiness through music.
Get Social: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube
Colorado Home: Denver
Formed: Louise, Lately came to life in 2018. It was meant to be a sort of play on words (Louise, Lately, but next month maybe someone else), but it's taken on a life of its own!
Latest Release: I released the first single from my debut full length album, End Times, Baby, on April 6th. I wrote it in 2021 actually, as the culmination of a lot of climate dread that I had been experiencing. I wanted to marry two separate but deeply intertwined notions, the sort of despair you feel looking into the very near future and realizing the world you know and love is dying, and also the cautious peace of continuing to live your life and go through the simple, everyday motions with someone you love and care about.
About: Louise, Lately is the folk-pop brainchild of singer/songwriter Abigail Feldman, both a desperate search for and a constant exploration of her own shifting identity. Planting her roots deep in the shadows of the folk giants who came before her, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Vashti Bunyan, Louise has been entertaining crowds all over Colorado, from Steamboat Springs to Telluride, from house shows and dive bars to stages and backyards. Heartfelt, emotive, and always accompanied by her voice, sometimes soaring to joyous highs, sometimes plummeting to gritty, angry lows, her music is an experience and an expression of life, which is, after all, what she'd like for it to be.
What Does The Band/Your Project Have Planned For Summer: I'm so excited to be working on the finishing touches of my first full length album, which will debut late this summer! It's been a labor of love and the hardest thing I've ever done, and it's going to be very cathartic to finally release it into the world.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: I think my experience as a queer artist more than anything has shaped my songwriting, my music absolutely skews towards the introspective and melancholic, and if I hadn't grown up the way I did, queer and different in a small and deeply religious town and school, I don't think I would be creating anywhere near the same music today. In a strange way I'm grateful! In my house we have a sign on our wall that says 'no yearning zone', a joke between my roommate and I, but also at its heart I think genuinely authentic to the LGBTQIA+ experience. To be queer is to yearn, constantly, in a way that is difficult to describe to those who haven't experienced it, but it's a feeling that connects all of us within our community, and a feeling that is easiest for me to communicate through my music and my writing.
Get Social: Linktree
May Be Fern
Colorado Home: Denver
Formed: January, 2022
Latest Release: Our album “Ok Grandma, Your Turn” released on March 11th, 2023
Madi Spillman, Lead Guitar, she/her
Hannah May, Keys/Lead Vocal, she/her
Kate Fern, Bass/Lead Vocal, she/her
Carleen Jeffers, Drums, they/them
About: Hannah May (Keys and Guitar) and Kate Fern (Bass) were brought up in the Evergreen, CO music community. Their shared connections saw potential in the duo, and a spark was ignited. After establishing themselves as a force in the local music scene, they took the next step in May Be Fern’s evolution and brought on Madi Spillman (lead guitar) and Carleen Jeffers (drums). The foursome became quickly aligned with a shared vision: to create a unique sound that transcends genre and expectation. The band’s style is a passionate and cohesive collaboration of each individual member’s diverse musical background, producing a sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. May Be Fern welcomes you to join us as we share our love with the world!
What Does The Band/Your Project Have Planned For Summer: This summer, we are looking forward to a full lineup of shows in Denver and the greater metro area. You can find all of the dates for upcoming shows on our website or social media. We also plan to get back into the studio to record our latest single, “Overflow”. Until then, you’ll have to come to a show to hear it.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: Pursuing music as members of the LGBTQIA+ community makes it feel like everything we do is important because we aren't only expressing ourselves but encouraging the notion that we deserve the same amount of space in this industry as non-queer people. The ability to be out and proud has in turn given us the ability to create a safe space for those in attendance at our shows. Everyone has a place in the crowd at a May Be Fern show, and we want to continue to foster that feeling.
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok
Colorado Home: Fort Collins
Latest Release: "NUMB" September 23rd, 2022
Pronouns: Sofia - she/her Charlie - he/they
About: modrn is a duo consisting of multi-instrumentalists Charlie Montoya and Sofia Ailicez. The two have been playing together for over a decade in garage bands, alternative rock bands, and now as modrn. Self-described pop musicians, their music is piano, percussion, and vocal heavy, accompanied by rhythmic guitar and bass -- a blend of styles and sounds that depict their wide range of influences.
What Does The Band Have Planned For Summer: Will be playing Taste of Fort Collins and doing a ride around acoustic set for pride month in June.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: Some people may prefer to think of it as something separate entirely, but when it's an intrinsic part of you, it colors the way that you experience things, the way you process those things, and the ways you express them. There are no overt themes - at least no purposeful ones - but the music, culture, and communities that we're a part of and inspired by of course bleed into our own music.
Get Social: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok
N3ptune & Rusty Steve
Colorado Home: Denver
Latest Release: SHADOW (June 9, 2023)
Pronouns: He/Him | He/Him
About: Named the Best Breakout Artist of 2023 by Westword Magazine, N3ptune is an explosive multi-hyphenate hailing from Denver, CO. Heavily influenced by his upbringing in the Baptist Church, N3ptune is a genre-bender who alongside his co-producer and virtuoso guitarist Rusty Steve, merge the essence of gospel, blues, and soul into an amalgamation of pop music as only their minds can create. Their songs are bold and brash, and their live performances are immersive and raw to the point where Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss likened the experience to “seeing Prince live for the first time” and proceeded to invite them to tour with them on the spot. Their quick ascent from the local DIY scene to performing on some of Denver's biggest stages like Red Rocks, and supporting the likes of Cordae, Rina Sawayama, Wyclef Jean, Sleigh Bells, KennyHoopla, and Aluna, has made N3ptune + Rusty Steve staples in Denver's music scene. Not only that, but their penchant for pushing fashion and performance art in visuals and live performances has allowed them to carve a lane for themselves, unlike anything that has come before. RENAISSANCE, their debut album arrived on December 10, 2021, to critical acclaim and N3ptune + Rusty Steve supported the album by touring the East Coast alongside Sleigh Bells in August 2022. Looking into 2023, N3ptune + Rusty Steve will be releasing their long-awaited follow-up to RENAISSANCE and will hit major festivals like Capitol Hill Block Party and Electric Forest among others.
What Does The Project Have Planned For Summer: New music, Tour & FESTIVALS! We’ll be out of state expanding our reach and continuing to elevate our bar higher and higher.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: N3ptune - It’s made me significantly more intentional with my writing and approach to music. I aim to recount the untold lived experiences of Black Queer men and be the accurate representation we are very rarely given. The manifested ideas, creations, and innovations that have come from Black Queer people have only recently started to get long overdue global recognition, appreciation, and validation. I’m fully aware of the footsteps I’m following and in honor of those who have come before me, I am unwavering in my pursuit.
Website: N3ptune.com | Rustysteve.com
Get Social: N3ptune Instagram | Rusty Steve Instaram
Colorado Home: Denver
Latest Release: SKAry Stories: To Tell In The Dark | Released Dec. 2021 | Self-Released DIY
Pronouns: She/Her for everyone
About: Rotten Reputation is not gay as in happy, but queer as in fuck you! This group of ferocious femmes are here to show you what being punk is all about: Supporting the community and fighting for the rights of everyone. Made up of 3/4 trans people Rotten Reputation is a queer femme punk band blending feminist anthems with a raunchy irreverent sense of humor, all set to thunderous, grungy hardcore with a poppy edge. They are currently in what they are calling their "Ska Era" with their new album "SKAry Stories" but plan to move to thrash metal with their upcoming album. (Release date TBA.) Rotten Reputation's goal is to create space for trans folx in every genre of music by changing up their style every album. Some say that's risky for a band, but Rotten Reputation challenges you to keep up. They told us "As queers we refuse to be kept in a box and encourage everyone to explore new ways of self expression".
What Does The Band Have Planned For Summer: We joke that we come out of hibernation in June and can expect to see us 3 times this pride month! We play the Polyarmory June 3rd with BiteSize Productions, June 9th at Rickhouse, and June 17th at Seventh Circle Music Collective for The Denver Underground Pride Festival.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: Our music is made for and by queer people. Our goal is for every show we play to be welcoming for all LGBTQIA+. If it wasn't for being queer and the queer community Rotten Reputation wouldn't exist.
Get Social: Linktree
Colorado Home: Five Points Denver
Formed: Officially recognized as Indie artist since October 2021
Latest Release: "LAUGH to Keep from KiLLin" Uccchh & The Qor (collaboration), single released on Friday January 27, 2023, UchneLigans Productions X B.R.A.G. Entertainment (collaboration)
About: Uchenna Ohaya is the creative ignition and manifesting generator re-introduced to the world as musical artist Uccchh. She is a first generation Nigerian-American, published poet, Denver native and half of the dynamic duo that is UchneLigans Productions, with wife and crafter-comedienne Shanel Hughes. Uccchh brings forth her charisma and vibrant energy to curate and deliver enriching and entertaining events and productions throughout the city such as Denver's Premier BIPOC & Queer LIVE Dating Game Show "CUFF'd in Cabaret" as well as "FunkyFreshFriday" concert series and showcase experience. When she is not producing, writing, or puzzling, you can find Uccchh playing NBA 2k with 7-year-old son Xzavion (ex-zay-vee-on).
What Does Your Project Have Planned For Summer: Uccchh and The Qor are dropping a mixtape called 'Strap In BITCH, voL. I' on Tuesday June 20, 2023. On the heels of that release will be the mixtape release party and summer installment of FunkyFreshFriday concert series July 28, 2023.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: My experience as an LGBTQIA+ person has fueled my passion for telling my story through rhythm and poetry. I've always been a writer so elevating my writing to music, hooks audiences in differently. I take up the abundance that is mine when I make my music and share my story of freedom and self-discovery. After identifying as an LGBTQIA+ person in 2019, I was shunned and outcasted by my family. Finding my voice through the music has allowed me to cultivate a new community of kinship, respect, love, laughter and warmth that is the cycle that just keeps on giving.
Get Social: Instagram
Colorado Home: Lafayette
Latest Release: The album Waterline was self-released on 03/19/2023. I also released a podcast shortly after called "the Single Episode Podcast" under Marie on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
About: The Warpers is a music project that originated in 2018 when I started attending the Detroit Institute of Music Education. However, my love for songwriting began back in my high school days in my best friend Dani’s basement. After graduating, I brought my banjo-ukulele along for Americorps NCCC. It proved to be a magical tool for my team’s last project working with children at the Sherman Lake YMCA. By the end of the project round, countless kids had told me that music is what I have to do for the rest of my life, and so I wholeheartedly threw myself into it. A couple years later I enrolled in DIME’s music program with a focus on Commercial Songwriting. I committed myself to learning about the music industry, songwriting, lyric-writing, collaborating, and basic audio production. Following a series of life-changing events in 2022, my time opened up significantly. A strong passion for completing an album consumed me, and a couple months later I released Waterline, The Warpers’ debut album. I wrote and produced all of the songs, and played most of the instruments on the album (Kanyon Dickerson played the drums and bass for several of the songs).
What Does Your Project Have Planned For Summer: This summer I plan on releasing a music video for “i remember when u lost my mind” (from Waterline) and recording a song that my mom and I wrote together. I’m honestly most excited to record and help produce my best friend Dani’s amazing music in my little home studio.
How Has Your Experience As An LGBTQIA+ Person Influenced Your Music: My bisexuality is part of who I am and my music is a reflection of who I am and how I experience the world. The relationships I’ve been in have made unique impacts on my heart that I expressed through my songs and will continue to write about for the rest of my life. I hope that my music’s honesty creates a space where listeners can find solace, understanding, and a sense of connection. I’m endlessly grateful for songwriting helping me along my rocky journey of self-love, and vice versa.
Get Social: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube
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