By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Denver native and autodidact Joshua Novak played his first show in early 2000. Since then, he has become a celebrated fixture on the music scene. Recently he placed in the top twenty out of 560 bands in the Denver Post's Best of the Underground and received his sixth Westword Showcase nomination. Joshua is one of fifteen winners in the Modmusic Records Indie Band Search in N.Y. and performed at Red Rocks as part of the epic Monolith Festival, which included acts like TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend, Justice and others. In 2010, Joshua's highly anticipated full-length album, Dead Letters, was released to critical acclaim. Both the Denver Post and Westword included it in their best-albums-of-the-year lists.
Option4 recently relocated to Denver, where he has quickly made a positive mark on the electronic dance scene. From becoming the full-time resident of Lipgloss, Denver's longest-running dance party, to starting TheHundred, the overwhelmingly successful monthly dance party that has already received national acclaim, option4 looks forward to focusing specifically on production in the coming months. With his upcoming EP, To the Night, set to be released August 15 on VCR Records, option4 is something to watch in the coming year. Delving into a feel that is heavily house-influenced with a twinge of darker groove, option4 has a release schedule that is packed from summer to spring on several different labels and collaborations. He also is a BMX enthusiast.
Christened in 2006, Overcasters put their oars into a raging black ocean of towering waves of guitar amid the gales of hope and squalls of fuzz, never setting foot ashore, guided only by stars. In February of 2012, Overcasters released Curses/Prayers, pushing further out to sea, braving bigger storms in search of brighter lights at dawn. (Overcasters.com)
PANAL S.A. DE C.V.
When you hear an act being referred to as a "musician's band," it usually means the band in question has incredible technical skill but not a lot in the way of emotional resonance when it comes to songwriting — especially if the outfit is instrumental. PANAL S.A. DE C.V. bucks that trend in every way imaginable. The band's music, which speaks for itself, has evolved over the past several years. PANAL has written some of the most interesting and evocative rock music to come out of Denver, partly because it knows how to speak directly and powerfully to the heart without having to spell everything out with words.
Ginger Perry has been throwing it down with G.L.O.W. since '81. After an unfortunate groin accident, she decided to pursue a career as a disc jockey. This was the best idea she ever had. Now she wrestles beats with the best of them. After a horrible catfight, she decided to start producing her own music. Ginger Perry now goes by the name of TillDawn for her production. Deejaying is not behind her; it's just on the side now. Her first EP is due to drop in a few months. (Soundcloud.com/gingerperry)
PETALS OF SPAIN
With a blend of musical influences pulled from almost every genre imaginable, Petals of Spain will leave you humming its tunes as you leave the venue. Founding members Hunter Hall and Nic Jay Hammerberg were harmonizing together before either of them received their first mustache hair, creating a vocal sound steeped in experience and familiarity. Rhythm section Mason Shelmire and Dylan Johnson round out the sound of Petals of Spain with an intense backbeat and pulsating excitement at every turn. The real centerpiece of this group, however, is the thoroughly original composition and arrangements, pushing the pop idiom to entirely new plateaus. Their new single, "I Gotta Know," is slated for release on June 19. They look forward to sharing their music with the world.
THE PHOTO ATLAS
The Photo Atlas — Alan Andrews (vocals/guitar), Bill Threlkeld III (guitar), Mark Hawkins (bass) and Josh Taylor — is a high-energy indie/punk/dance outfit residing in the Mile High City. Fast-paced dueling guitars, perfectly precise drumbeats and bellowing bass lines intertwine around cleverly crafted lyrics and uniquely brilliant vocals. The Photo Atlas continuously proves that it's one of the hardest-working bands in music by captivating audiences with impressive live performances at every opportunity. This is shaping up to be a banner year for the foursome, with a successful East Coast tour already wrapped up and a brand-new full-length album slated for release in fall. The new music is bolder, faster and downright more exciting than anything the Photo Atlas has done before.
PINK HAWKS & KOFFI TOGO COMPANY
Pink Hawks & Koffi Togo Company is an Afro-beat, Togo-jazz, global dance ensemble with Denver's imminent take on West African music. Their complex rhythms, addictive melodies and distinct arrangements make you wonder when the last time was that you felt so good moving your body. Having moved from the original free-form performance-art format, the Pink Hawks & Koffi Togo Company have tightened down into a far-reaching and accessible conglomeration of musical ingenuity that makes you happy so drugs don't have to. Where the new and the old worlds meet, Pink Hawks & Koffi Togo Company organically and collaboratively craft songs from the heart that are guaranteed to touch your soul and might inspire even the most timid kind of person to tear out in the dance-floor melee and release their own inner "Pink Hawk."