Concerts are back, which means Colorado is finally getting back to normal! Local and national bands are starting to perform and bring back Denver’s nightlife. Although COVID presents its challenges, venues throughout the state are actively using methods to keep everyone safe! Most venues are requiring proof of full vaccination, a negative test within 72 hours of the show, and still enforcing masks. Keeping musicians, staff, and fans is the most important part of keeping these concerts going. August 24th local band VYNYLl was able to have their first concert in over a year at Globe Hall. Slex Allen and Neon the Bishop were also on the bill and made it the perfect line up.
Globe Hall has hosted previous shows during COVID and getting to be back to a normal concert setting was amazing. To start off the show Slex Allen performed his first live set, even though he has performed with his other band, Optycnerd. He had the entire crowd moving from the start to the end, his music is so easy to dance to and enjoy even without knowing the words.Alongside him was Casino Perosi on bass, having him there completely enhanced the music and performance. He played his song “Dali - Remix” and every person in the crowd was jumping to the beat, and loving every moment of it. At the end he brought the lead singer of VYNYL on stage to help perform his remix of their single “Who Could You Be”. Overall, his confidence on stage and charisma totally won over the crowd.
Neon the Bishop followed Slex Allen, and they have such a live stage presence, starting off with the ominous music and mask they get you excited, and then lead into an almost theatrical performance. The all white outfits tie the band together simply, keeping the focus on their music. Each member of the band easily captivated the crowd by dancing with them and keeping them involved. Mario, one of the members in the band had such a great view on the show, despite COVID conditions.
“This show was the band’s first time back at Globe Hall in a long time. It’s always a cool feeling when to start visibly notice the crowd learning the lyrics to the songs and singing along. It’s a turning point really. I remember the very first stages of our songs, just imagining that one day they might be known by more than the five of us and our families. I feel like we got to live that out at this show. And it’s always a fun time playing shows with VYNYL, and Slex Allen put on a great first show. The night itself felt exactly the way a late summer concert should. That’s something I think we all needed.”
VYNYL put so much emotion into this show, and had at least a few people crying by the end. They have been releasing music since the beginning of COVID and the growth in their music and performance has been insane. While singing “beautiful.feeling” off their latest EP THE WORLD IS ON FIRE AND I’M LONELY, the whole band got so into it and you could tell how much being back on stage meant to them. The crowd was full of day one fans, significant others, family and friends, but also brand new fans. But overall the show was personal and intimate show. Emma Hancock had never been to a Vynyl show or any other local show, she was blown away with the relationships the bands build with the crowd.
“I had never seen a local band before, I also had never seen a concert at such a small venue. It was really cool how the band comes out before the concert to talk with people. It’s really cool that they are able to form relationships with the people who come to their concerts, the concert had a very different feel than a large one. It’s much more personal than any other concert that I have been to. You can tell that the band really does care about the people who listen to their music. They really get into the concert and you can tell that they love what they are doing. 10/10 would recommend seeing a local band at a small venue. I can’t wait for my next concert.”
Here’s to more concerts, and a huge thank you to the venue, promoters, fans, and especially the bands for making these shows possible! Click below to listen to Slex Allen, Neon the Bishop, and VYNYL!
South Dakota based country artist Clayton Ryan & The Singing Mountain released his song Animals earlier this month, off his sophomore album Wild Call and is coming into the country scene with a bang. He brands himself as a soul artist and it's made evident in this song. Animals was engineered in Rapid City at Cottonwood Studios by Tom Frear, keeping it close to home. Along with the release he dropped a music video, which he personally recorded. He wanted it to have a vintage feel with the elements of a relaxing drive through the country. The classic feel, with the soul in his voice makes this the perfect country song. Summer rock will always be an essential in someone's playlist.
It is written about his childhood and teenage experiences in rural Iowa, bringing him back to his rock and roll roots. Ryan says, The lyrics are a story that any Midwesterner could relate to: Swimming in rivers, eating wild berries, flirting with romantic flings, working summer jobs; it’s all in there. The chorus line says “Animals, making sense of it all.” I believe the message is incredibly relevant and important. There’s a lot of focus on our differences right now, but in the end, we are all just creatures figuring out our place in the world. This song is something anyone can enjoy and hopefully can be brought a sense of nostalgia, even if these things were never experienced. He made the song feel incredibly personal, which is a key to such a successful country song
If you're looking for the perfect road trip or summer song this would be it. Make sure to check out the video and song, and show your support!
Over the past few months, solo artist Badly has taken over Tik Tok and is blowing up faster than imagined. In late 2020, he released a single called “I’m Okay Now” and promoted it on his Tik Tok account, and since then numerous other people have used the sound and the song now has over 7 million streams. That’s not including any other platform. Although this is where it all took off for him, his fame is constantly progressing with his self promotion on social media. He creates short videos that somehow he makes feel so personal, in a way that fans feel connected to him within a matter of 30 seconds. He recently moved to LA to pursue his music career, and it can only bring good things from here.
While it is not his most recent song, he dropped one called “other side”. The song is about waking up to a call and wondering what it would be like to feel what that other person is feeling. After being asked about what inspired the song he said “So, the inspiration of the song was really just- literally like the first lyric of the song song is like the facetime call… and it was based off of I woke up to a facetime call from a girl I used to have a thing with. And it was super like out of left field, I didn’t even answer it, but I was like alright this is annoying. Cause i wasn’t thinking about this person at all and now they like entered my mind and I’m gonna be thinking about it all day cause of this… So this is what sparked it. And then “I wrote it with my cousin Luke and used that experience to like, when on other past experiences we’ve both been through, and just the whole idea of like being on the other side of a situation and wanting to be.”
The sound of “other side” brings out the emotion of the lyrics with its lofi beat and the instrumental overlay. It makes the situation he went through feel so personal to anyone who is listening. Whether they have gone through it or not. I asked him how he wanted listeners to feel when they played this song, and surprisingly, it was different from his prior releases. He said “I would say like for me it's kinda like, not necessarily- I mean like a little bit romanticizing the feeling of that, like I feel like the chord progression and the way that the music feels, it kind of lets you not take it so seriously, but it's kind of funny cause a lot of my music that’s what I try to do, and that’s how it makes me feel. Cause it makes the situation a little bit more romanticized and less like just sad, but then people will be like “I cried to this song” and I’m like “Oh, damn… um haha I guess it’s more sad than I thought.” But it’s really meant to be casual and just chill, like I know the lyrics are pretty heavy I guess in parts, but I want people to just like be able to relax and listen to the music when they hear it and hopefully it can help them in some way. To just like, I don’t know, realize everybody’s going through that type of stuff… and that it’s kind of like a cool part of life. The negatives of life are just as important as the positives, and I think it’s kind of cool in that way.” So he takes a negative thing and puts his emotions into something he loves and the end result is beautiful. He says he doesn’t really put his emotions into words, but instead just says how he feels. He described his lyric writing as freestyle and he writes his songs by playing a song and singing what he would say, then going and fixing into the perfect song and being what he wants to say. “I don’t really try to focus on rhyme schemes or saying something the right way, I really just try to say it how I would say it in general.” His writing process brings out the brutal honesty of what he’s going through and in turn hoping he can help someone else going through similar things.
Make sure to go listen to Badly and follow him on social media @badlymusic and on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/2REKndUsYi3335RA5rxbTT?si=zvSGkDBdSOOM_gaJFDywjQ&dl_branch=1 .
In late October, Mikayla Lane released her single “Superman”. She is 15 from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is with LEX Music Group. She has previously released a lot of music, including “Rooftop Nights” in 2019. “Superman” is about couples going through problems and hardships and one partner trying to fix it while the other is more focused on fixing outer issues. Her message for this song is to fight for love, no matter how hard it is. She hopes it takes listeners back to a memory of when they fought so hard for love, and it ended up being worth it. In the chorus, she says “Superman’s got nothing on you” which ties the whole song together and brings a sense of reassurance. The song is described as a pop-country ballad and her music crosses genre lines. Her powerful vocals over the country music make the song fit her emotions perfectly. Along with the single, she released a music video. It features Mikayla in a stunning black dress against a bright background and then Mikayla in a relationship with a boy. The black dress is simple and really expresses how beautiful she is, making sure young stars stay modest is important in today’s music society, and she is an amazing example of it. The video was directed by John Conrad who also wrote the song with her. The two work closely and have a great relationship. In only four weeks, it has 70k views, and it is continuously rising! “Superman” is available on all digital streaming platforms now, make sure to go listen and check out her social media to stay caught up!
Marshall Hearne, a 21-year-old solo artist who goes by badly is starting off his music career strong with the release of his song “I’m Okay Now”. He has released a few other songs but this one holds a special place to him. He spent endless hours, money, and work into making this song.
During the process, he was awake for 60 hours at one point perfecting it. He was looking at fireworks and got this feeling which inspired him to write it. Hearne explained how he wrote the song about feeling nostalgic about a past relationship and how different life would be if you were still with that person. He says, “You are in the moment for a little bit and it consumes your emotions but quickly you are able to talk yourself out of it and get back down to earth and realize “you just needed space/break” and that you are okay now.” Hence the name of the song and the lyrics.
The cover art for the song is a picture his brother took of some fireworks and he thinks it meshed well with the setting and feeling of the single. The way he made the song feel with the power of his lyrics makes the song easy to love. Hearne wanted the song to feel loose and swingy to fit the emotion behind it. While writing this song he fell in love with it and wanted to release it immediately. “I’m Okay Now” is available on all platforms now and his Instagram is linked below. Make sure to go stream and share it!
In the uprising alternative scene, Xander Ward recently put out a new song called “Time and You” which is putting him on the map. He described his music to be in the same genre as Zachary Knowles who is taking over alt-pop at the moment. Ward’s new single is calm but has a gradual tempo towards the chorus which draws listeners in. The melodies at the beginning give the song an airy feeling and leads into his soft but powerful voice, which helps fans understand the emotion behind the lyrics. Throughout the whole song, there are ambient undertones but the instruments give the song the new wave of alternative vibe The song sounds like it should be happy, but at the end of the song, he says “Cause time will always get away, get away, But it took you too” which could be left up to interpretation.
The song was released on March 26, 2020, and he has two other popular singles. He has rapidly gained a following since this most recent single and is verified on multiple platforms. Make sure to go steam “Time and You” and follow him on Instagram on the button below!
Upcoming artist Zachary Booth has recently put out a new single called “Sunflower Fields”. It was released on July 20th, and he will have more music coming out in the near future. This song is very different from his last release “Letters to Clara”, which displays more of a gloomy, emotional vibe. It was also more directly personal, but he wants “Sunflower Fields” to be portrayed by the listener. Booth wrote the song in two different perspectives in hopes that fans will take the lyrics and apply them to a personal situation and determine the meaning on their own. This was Zachary’s first song released on the ukulele, which contributes to the airy feeling of the song. “Sunflower Fields” has heart-felt lyrics sung by Booth with his calming and mellow voice, with instrumental melodies to tie it all together. Overall this song has a glowy, chill sound.
He is a solo artist who has been putting so much work into his music career and it’s paying off. Since his last release, he has gained many followers and more listens. His vocals sound like the brainchild of Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran with tweaks to make his music fit his style perfectly. The combination of Mendes’s range and Sheeran’s power to get people into their emotions are brought out in Zachary’s voice. His cover art was edited by himself and the image of sunflowers was provided by Aurora Sinclayre. So on top of his musical talents, he also has digital talents!
Go stream “Sunflower Fields” on streaming platforms now and make sure to follow him on Instagram (linked below)! And if you haven’t already check out his interview with Local Focus Magazine here!
Alternative pop artist ENZI from Colorado, has recently moved to Nashville which has led her to so much success in her music career. She has put out many other singles, but she just released her most bubbly and relatable song, called “Retrograde”! The song is about astrology and when planets go into retrograde, which is basically when people start acting impulsively and making mistakes. As she put it, texting an ex. She wanted to demonstrate what it's like while adding her own ethereal twist on it just like her other music. She takes serious topics and transforms them into something relatable. Aside from music, as an advocate for mental health she displays is in such a powerful way through her voice. The song is described as a “lush dreamscape” while ENZI sings with beautiful melodies. “Retrograde” flows together and blends the light noises with the lower beats throughout the song to create a simple sound that captures listeners. ENZI released her debut single “Flipside” in 2018 and it won her awards such as a top spot at KTCL Channel 93.3’s Big Gig! She has performed along various national and very famous acts, and there is no doubt she will have that one day. Her cover art is her gazing up with a bubble around her head, which she creatively found through a lighting store and brought the idea to life with the help of Jordan Altergott. With the orange background and blue reflections the art matches the songs glowy feeling well. Go stream “Retrograde” and follow her on all media @iamenzi!
Melody Monroe, a one-woman show from Colorado has expressed her personal growth through her latest release “Hard Limits - Continuous Mix” last month. The song is 9 minutes long and separated into three parts. It is described as an “electrical sonata”. The first is “mvt i - hard limits”. The second part is “mvt ii - long lessons” which starts around 2 minutes and 45 seconds into the song. And the third is “mvt iii - warm regards”.
The combination of these three parts is used as a way to describe her growth and change as a person and creatively, and how important human connection really is. The way she produced the song, it displays dark synth-pop and ethereal vibes. While maintaining this, she added lively elements and her voice take the excitement and put a melancholy twist on it.
The cover art for this release was made by her colleagues in SmokeApes. They created a futuristic, cyberpunk demonstration of the solar system to add to the music. Being a musician in Colorado can be challenging to gain a strong following due to the amount of music being made through the state. But through the tight-knit relationships and work through the Colorado Music scene, she has found a following and will be sure to blow up even more soon.
Go stream Melody Monroe’s newest release “Hard Limits” and follow her on Instagram @harmonymph!
Vynyl has been working hard for months and with every release, the music just gets better. I spoke with Tyler, the lead singer of Vynyl and got some of his input on the success of the song and ban in general. In late October last year, Vynyl released their first EP called “Pink”, it includes songs old fans recognized and new music. One of which helped them win Hometown for The Holidays in the past, and they’ve only gone up from there. “Hometown for the Holidays was such a blast! We honestly had no clue we would win, and had already reserved ourselves to the fact that one of the other bands had taken the crown for 2019. When they called our name, Hunter and I (Tyler) were shocked. We stumbled on to the stage in a bit of a daze and the whole experience felt like a whirlwind. Afterwards, it really helped us set our sights on what the future of this band could be (ha!). Knowing that we were now unable to compete again meant that we had to take the momentum and attention brought to us by this and use it to propel ourselves forward. It has opened a ton of doors for us in terms of playing larger gigs and festivals, and we are already working on our 2nd EP. We will be recording the first single off this EP in May at the Blasting Room, and we are incredibly excited to share the songs with you this summer.”
Here will be the reviews of music released by musicians and events.