A couple of months back, the three hardworking musicians in the Denver pop band Liptruce — singer Sarah Angela, lead guitarist Kim O'Hara and drummer Luke Mehrens — were sitting at the Broadway Market, poring over calendars and notebooks, scheming about future plans: new music, new videos, new shows.
While the tight-knit crew had been playing together since 2017 as Sir!, they were now in the infancy of a new project called Liptruce — a band with a more Googleable name and straightforward commercial pop appeal. Angela had started taking dance classes, owning the stage with more dramatic flair and embracing a new obsession with wigs. Things were looking up.
But since that day at Broadway Market, much has changed — including the live-music industry shutting down and two of the act's members getting sick with COVID-19.
"Both Keems [O'Hara] and I had it, and have been symptom-free for about three weeks," says Angela. "It was absolutely unique to anything we’ve ever felt, a horrible experience."
And it wasn't just their health that COVID-19 wrecked.
"Like most working people, our work life was canceled," Angela says. "All shows canceled, in-person interviews, meetings, tour plans, video shoots...all canceled, with no future dates to be determined."
Depression, anxiety and insecurities have plagued Angela since the lockdown began. But she has also maintained her commitment to the band's new music — including Liptruce's latest music video, "You Think You're Hollywood," a ferocious takedown of some egomaniac in the music industry that Angela would rather not name.
"With some songs, we mustn’t kiss and tell..too much," she says. "This industry can be brutal! 'You Think You're Hollywood' is basically a kick to the gut of the setbacks that come with the business."
Has the person she rails about in the song heard it yet?
"Uncertain," responds Angela. "Although we do have one 'thumbs-down' vote on the audio track of it on YouTube, so..."
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Liptruce is now doing what it can to navigate all the changes in the industry and continue to release new music.
"We still have a lot of work to do," says Angela. "We’ll write and release more music. We'll live-stream. We’ll tour. We’ll eventually make it to The Tonight Show and have that dream set with the Roots! I’ll be sending little messages to all my idols until a collaboration makes its way to Spotify."
In the meantime, "I’m writing, practicing, continuing education and, now that my voice is back, live-streaming," says Angela. "Those performances, especially, have been a shiny little light amongst all the dark."