The Best New Music by Colorado Musicians Released in June 2024 | Westword

The Best New Music by Colorado Musicians Released in June

Celebrate the beginning of summer with a new album from Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and fresh local singles
Denver's Voidatlas is bringing djent back.
Denver's Voidatlas is bringing djent back. Courtesy Voidatlas
Share this:
Summer is heating up in more ways than one, as Colorado artists celebrated June and the summer solstice with a variety of new releases. This month we have singles from local up-and-coming acts, as well as a new album from one of Denver's favorite sons.

Here is the best new music released by local musicians in June:

Denver rockers CITRA shared a new single, “Papercuts,” to kick off the month.

The group of singer and guitarist Brandon Arndt, lead guitarist Augie Menos, bassist Mauricio Jara and drummer Dan Naddy has been around since 2015 and has played alongside a bevy of big acts, including Sum 41 and Jimmy Eat World, over the years.

Now, with the latest track, CITRA proves that something as painful as a paper cut can sound comforting if wrapped up in an upbeat, poppy rock ballad. If not for that approach, “Papercuts” would be an emo anthem, as Arndt sings, “The smallest things, they hurt so much, these papercuts.”

Instead, CITRA wraps up the somber topic with a bright bow that makes you want to move to the groove.

Andy Sydow
“Follow the Rain Down”
Denver native Andy Sydow got to work with one of his musical heroes on his new single, “Follow the Rain Down,” released independently on June 7.

Sydow, who currently calls Nashville home, linked up with blues guitarist Anders Osborne to work on a new album at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana. To complete the project, Sydow recently launched a Kickstarter campaign.

“Followt he Rain Down,” which showcases Sydow’s twinkly piano playing and Osborne’s guitar and backup vocals, is the first taste of what’s to come.

“I constantly try to grab the wind and bend it to my will,” Sydow says of the meaning of the song. “I try to do too much and spread myself too thin, but sometimes you have to let life take over and let the universe do its thing…in a way, it’s a word of advice to myself.”

ego n friends
are u alone?
Aditya Kamath, the Denver indie-pop artist known as ego n friends, dropped his nineteen-track debut album, are u alone?, independently via Friendly Collective on June 11.

Formerly known as ego, Kamath recently added the friends tag to his moniker as a nod to his penchant for collaborating with local artists. That’s evident on are u alone?, where local musicians including DNA Picasso (“GARDEN”) and Cameron Cade (“LOVESTRUCK”) appear on the record, a mix of indie ballads and hip-hop.

“If you’re constantly beating yourself up for not being grateful, this album is for you,” according to Kamath.

“If you’ve been trained your whole life not to cry or share bad news, or even express sadness, even with those you love, this album is for you,” he continues. “If you’ve ever felt alone, even when you’re surrounded by amazing friends, this album is for you.”

Madeline Johnston, the Denver-born solo multi-instrumentalist behind the solo project Midwife, loves to sing about pain and destruction. Her new single, “Killdozer” (released June 11 via the Flenser), was inspired by Marvin Heemeyer, the muffler repair shop owner who went on a demolition spree in a modified bulldozer before taking his own life in Granby in 2004.

The story was national news, but Midwife’s song is more an “ode to a city lost in the aftermath of gentrification,” according to a press release announcing her new album, No Depression in Heaven (due on September 6).

“Killdozer” is dreamy slowcore with a 1990s alt-rock edge, which is Midwife’s forte. Fans can expect more new music throughout the summer, too.

Radio Fluke
“Blue Light”
Young Denver rock group Radio Fluke shared a new single, “Blue Light,” independently on June 12. The followup to B-side “I Feel Alive,” the latest track is a grungy tome that’s carried by a catchy guitar hook.

Kingston Lindner (lead singer and guitarist), Blake Petersen (drummer), Caleb Rockenbach (lead guitarist) and Michael Evans (bassist) got together in 2018 and like to mix classic rock with more modern sounds, including blues and indie.

The band’s 2019 cover of the Harry Styles original “Medicine” has reached nearly four million streams to date, evidence of Radio Fluke’s versatility, and proof that the four-piece is anything but a fluke.

Voidatlas might be new to the Denver metal scene, but the group’s new EP, Surrounding (released independently on June 14), showcases some seriously seasoned chops.

The four-piece of Zander (drums), Trent (guitar and vocals), Jake (bass and vocals) and Stephen (guitar) — Voidatlas members go by first names only — are doing djent like no one else in the city.

The three songs — “Red Pines,” “Limes” and “Selene” — on Surrounding are what the band calls “modern metal” and pull from the well of progressive metal acts such as the Contortionist and Between the Buried and Me. There are clean vocals and acoustic guitar intros, followed by Meshuggah-like breakdowns and screams. It’s familiar but different, in all the right ways.

Natalie Spears
Hymn of Wild Things
Hymn of Wild Things, the debut album from Roaring Fork Valley singer-songwriter Natalie Spears that released independently on June 28, addresses everything from nature’s ever-inspiring beauty to dealing with the death of a father to Alzheimer’s.

Previously released single “He Still Knows” is the record’s emotional centerpiece, as Spears chronicles her dad’s descent while fighting the disease with the tenderness and love of a caring child. “I wrote this song while watching my father's world become a gossamer collage of memory and experience as he navigated Alzheimer's,” the Americana artist shares.

On the bright side, Spears gives a voice to some of her favorite muses — chirping birds and the natural soundtrack of the Rocky Mountain countryside — on the title track. Overall, it’s an album about wonder, grief and perseverance.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
South of Here
Denver’s favorite burly bluesman, Nathaniel Rateliff, has a new record, South of Here (released on June 28 via Stax), with his longtime band of music makers the Night Sweats.

The honest lyricist shares that most of the album deals with his personal anxieties and insecurities, especially as he rose to fame. The song “David and Goliath” is the most direct track in that sense.

“The intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations feels to the person experiencing it as impossible of a battle as David slaying a giant,” he says.

Previously released singles “Get Used to the Night” and “Heartless” also tackle that topic, though from different angles. But don’t worry: Rateliff and the Night Sweats are doing just fine, as the group has its first-ever stadium headlining tour to look forward to later this year.

Want your music to be included in our monthly roundup? Email it to [email protected].
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Westword has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.