Put It on Your Playlist: New Music Released From Denver and Beyond | Westword

Put It on Your Playlist: New Music Released From Denver and Beyond

In need of new music? Look no further.
VOLORES will release its full-length next year.
VOLORES will release its full-length next year. Alan Esparza
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This week, Denver rapper Time appears on “I’m Still Here,” an experimental hip-hop track that raises money for a good cause; Monument-based husband-and-wife duo VOLORES drops an X-evoking piece of mountain goth with “Ages”; Doc Fischbach drops some sweet-sounding pop about a sad subject; and The Cheeks have some fun psychedelic tracks to soak your brain in.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the music listed is available on major streaming platforms.

“I'm Still Here (U​.​S. Political Prisoner Never Forgotten version)”

The song released by eMERGENCY heARTS, an Austin-based “anarchist-run indie collaborative music media project,” showcases Denver-based rapper Chris “Time” Steele. Known for his work in the hip-hop duo Calm., Steele delivers a verse over a somber, almost ambient piece of music that defies the traditional definition of a rap beat. It’s almost like Brian Eno decided to produce a rap track. “I’m Still Here” also includes contributions from scott crow, Televangel, David M. Williams and Dissonance. The song includes a poem by Herman Wallace and is dedicated to Albert Woodfox, both of whom spent more than forty years in solitary confinement at the Louisiana State Penitentiary and are known as part of the Angola 3. The song, available on bandcamp.com, will cost you $2, but all proceeds benefit the prison reform project Certain Days. Pay for some music and support a good cause.


This is the debut single for the Monument-based duo of Nathen Maxwell, bassist from Celtic punk-rock outfit Flogging Molly, and his wife, Shelby. They call their music “mountain goth” but will settle for post-punk or indie rock, if that sounds more relatable. Whatever the genre, “Ages” emits a strong resemblance to cowpunk masters X, but with its own unique sound, one that possesses a joyful, life-affirming quality. And while Shelby’s vocals also evoke the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde or Stevie Nicks, she’s definitely got her own thing going on. VOLORES has a full-length record, also called Ages, due out next year, that will include a vinyl version. Shelby worked on the songs, which address life, love and death, over several years, often while Nathan was on tour with Flogging Molly, but they recorded the twelve tracks in just five days. If “Ages” offers any clues to their sound as a whole, the full-length will be a treat.

Doc Fischbach
“This Empty House”

Denver singer-songwriter Doc Fischbach drops a happy-sounding piece of pop music on Friday, November 4, that tells a sad story from his life. Based on his backstory, Fischbach has plenty to write about. He says he has survived years of toxic relationships, addiction, abuse and mental health struggles before finding some solace in the mountains around Denver. And his music does possess a certain peaceful quality of someone who has finally escaped drama and found joy in their art. Fischbach also eschews the use of gendered pronouns in his music. It imparts a more universal quality to the stories he tells, and Fischbach, who is gay, says he’s used to feeling marginalized and doesn’t want anyone else to feel that way when they hear his songs. While you’re listening, check out Fischbach’s August release, the more disco-adjacent “Walk Away.”

The Cheeks
More Than a Handful

The Cheeks are a five-piece jam band of literal brothers and best friends who have jammed together for years, finally writing and releasing their debut record, More Than a Handful, this past summer. The band debuted most of the songs at Electric Forest, the four-day jam- and electronic-oriented music festival in Rothbury, Michigan. That’s not to say that jam band haters — and there are plenty of them out there — wouldn’t dig this record. It’s chock-full of the hazy, psychedelic elements that surged through ’70s rock records, and with its dense arrangements, it invites invite repeat listens for audio nerds. The record is currently available on all major streaming platforms, but the band is formally releasing it on Friday, November 4, at Cervantes' Other Side. The Cheeks have run into supply-chain issues with vinyl — like so many musicians who aren’t Taylor Swift or Adele — but come out to the show, dance and pick up some merch.

Are you a Colorado musician with new music? Send submissions to [email protected].
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