St. Louis native Paco just released his single “Cold Love” today, and we’re ready to keep this track on repeat.
Paco’s music defies the constraints of genre, so we asked him how he would describe the sound of this single. “Soul and R&B are my home-base,” Paco said, “but ‘Cold Love’ has a lot of pop influence, some rock influence, and a lot of electronica.”
Whatever this mashup of influences is, we’re down for it. We’ve already got “I’ve got secrets and no one to keep them / tell me are you lonely, too” stuck in our heads. In fact, we are surprised to learn that Paco didn’t think this was even a good song when he first wrote it. “For me personally, I thought it was the most pitiful song I ever wrote,” Paco told us, “but then I played it for people, and they found it relatable.” And relatability is what we really need from songs, isn’t it? The smooth vocals, music that make you move, and an irresistible chorus are truly the cherry on top.
”’Cold Love’ is all about a lack of intimacy from a desired relationship and the cold feelings he receives as he fills that void with a casual love affair.” – PaACO
Click here to listen to “Cold Love,” and be sure to keep Paco on your radar for more music this year!
You might know electronic duo NOTD from their songs “I Wanna Know” featuring Beat Miller or “So Close” featuring Georgia Ku, which came out in 2018. NOTD continues to prove that they can create hit after hit with their latest single called “I Don’t Know Why.”
The song, released today, features Astrid S. Her ethereal vocals complement the upbeat track, resulting in a mix that will make you want to dance and sing along with her. We dare you to try to not break out any dance moves during the chorus! Catchy from beginning to end, you’ll find this song stuck in your head. Even if you don’t know any other words than “I don’t know why / oh, I don’t know why,” we bet you’ll be humming the tune throughout the day.
Take a listen here, watch the official video here, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears on NOTD! We sure will be!
PUBLIC released a new single today titled “Honey In The Summer,” following up their hit “Make You Mine,” which you’ve most definitely heard on TikTok. And if you’ve been searching for the perfect anthem for this summer, look no further! You might not think that such a song could exist for a season tainted with coronavirus, but PUBLIC succeeded regardless.
“Honey In The Summer” proves that we can do this social distancing thing and still have a great time. “But I don’t have a sweetheart to hold when I’m alone / So I just grab my keys and snag my favorite CD / Cruisin’ and it’s just me in the front seat” sings lead vocalist John Vaughan, reminding us that listening to this song at full blast, windows down, and an open road ahead is all we really need.
But don’t just listen to the song! You should also check out the lyric video. Giving us a lovely mix of live action and graphics, our animated band cruises down the road in a bright yellow SUV. It makes you want to hop in the car with PUBLIC as a cute little animated version of yourself and belt out the lyrics alongside them!
So what are you waiting for? Go listen to “Honey In The Summer,” watch the video, and then head out to your car to welcome the summer season!
Whether you’re social distancing at home or driving to your (essential) job, consider putting on a track or two from Shallou’s newest album, Magical Thinking. It contains thirty-eight minutes of pure emotional joy that deserves to be thoroughly listened to. The first few seconds of the intro track immediately brought me back to a past summer and pushed all worries I had from this difficult time out of the way. Nothing like a nice drive with ‘‘Forget’’ playing in the background to make you feel like the world is back to normal, even if it isn’t.
The album surrounds the concept of memory loss, holding onto those intimate moments before they become out of reach. It shifts from the sadness of memory loss to represent the seasons with all of it’s changes and how that relates to people. The album holds an emotional aspect to it; maybe it’s from the introspective lyrics, or the spacious, light tone of the vocals, but it definitely left me with a heavy heart and a breath of fresh air. The production seems slightly opposite from emotional as it stems from joyous electronic pop but does a magnificent job keeping the allure of ‘‘whimsical sadness’’ that Shallou describes in his music.
The album features collaborators; Ashe, Daya, Zachary Knowles, and many others, that makes it all even more worth listening to as each artist brings their own flair without compromising the overall message in each track.
My favorite track would have to be, Older featuring Daya. It’s everything you need in a song from the combination of Daya’s vocals, Shallou’s production, and the top-notch songwriting putting it at my number one track on-repeat. The lyrics, ‘‘Maybe one day when I am older, I might understand why love doesn’t happen to everyone who wants it’’ is so beautifully written and performed, it is just the heart-breaking, ambient ear candy we were all looking for. Shallou has built a name for himself as one of music’s most organic artists who successfully gained over three million streams thus far. I cannot wait to hear more from Shallou and expect nothing less than something magical from him on the next release.
Regardless of the rain pouring and the weather dropping, fans couldn’t stay away when Audrey Mika came to town. That being said, I was one of them. Luckily, a perk of writing for a magazine means you get early access to the show and get to avoid catching a cold. Walking into Mercury Lounge, you immediately pass the long and dark bar area until you reach the light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, it was a small, but beautiful stage, lit up with rays of purple, pink, and a hint of blue, calling to be performed on. Artists like The Strokes, The Killers, Jeff Buckley, and more have made a name for themselves all with their legendary performances there and tonight, Audrey Mika added her name to the roster.
Mika opened with her single, ‘‘Fake Heartbreak’’ in which every person in the room sang word for word. With each transition to each song, Mika performed outstandingly, proving her vocal range to be impressively wide all while showing off her dancing ability (which never missed a beat). Maybe it was the pajama-like pink heart pants she wore or the space-bun hairdo, but Mika marked herself as one of the sweetest performers I’ve ever seen. She even made a point to bring up a fellow Paperclip Club (her fan-base name) member, Kahliya, onstage and credit her for being a superfan and for her support from the beginning. In all my 22 years of live shows, I’ve never seen someone bring a fan onstage without having them be danced on or sang to, but only to thank them. How sweet is that!
Sonically, the show sounded even better in person than in headphones. With the help of her band mates, Cam Lee on drums and Joe Avio on guitars, Mika’s performances were fun and light, and you just wanted to dance all night long. She closed the show with, ‘‘Y U Gotta Be Like That’’, an obvious crowd favorite, but one of the most memorable parts of the show for me was her unreleased track, ‘‘Just Friends’’ in which she engaged with a call and response chorus section between her and the audience. The track had never even been heard and the audience responded as if they’d heard it all their life.
I wanted to wrap up with my favorite song of the night, ‘‘Following’ ’ that was released on her 2019 Album, Level Up. This song made me feel everything at once. With just an acoustic guitar and no-band at this point, she sang her heart out while the audience lit her up with their mobile flashlights as the entire stage appeared dark. While the majority of the show was entertaining and lively, it’s the precious moments like this one that took the cake for me. It was raw and pure which depicted the emotions in the song perfectly.
All in all, there is a reason that this show and many others were sold out. Mercury Lounge was lucky enough to have Mika play her music and I cannot wait until her next live show!
If you’re a fan of lyrics that put you in your feels, then you’ve probably heard of Lauv. In celebration of his debut album dropping at midnight, Lauv hosted a #LauvLive with Spotify in New York City at National Sawdust, where he played acoustic or stripped down versions of the new songs on the album and talked about the meanings behind them. We headed to Brooklyn to catch all the action.
Everyone in line (and by everyone we mean the 200 people that were lucky enough to make it in the door) got a glowey Lauv wristband which lit up in matching colors depending on what song he was singing. The theme of the new album ~how i’m feeling~ is that no one is made up of one specific thing. There are many pieces to being a human, and many different sides and moods and personalities of each of us.
He explained that his identity is comprised of six characters that relate to a color: red is Spicy Lauv, orange is F*ckboy Lauv, yellow is Positive Lauv, green is Goofy Lauv, blue is Hopeless Romantic Lauv, and purple is Existential Lauv.
Before Lauv came onstage a few minutes past 9pm, fans could grab a drink, munch on some complimentary popcorn, and take a photo in the rainbow-themed photo booth.
The show started in orange as he walked onstage with a guitar and sang a gorgeous rendition of Canada, which led into a neon-blue singalong to Fuck I’m Lonely.
Spicy Lauv came out and the room glowed red when he sang the third song of his set, a new song called El Tejano, swaying the crowd with lyrics about getting margaritas and dancing with a lover. The space shifted to green during Billy, as Lauv told the crowd about a song he wrote about his beloved dog.
He made sure to thank not only everyone in the room multiple times, but all the people that were watching the livestream from their respective countries. Lauv said he had been waiting for this moment (of his debut album release) for so long that he had a lot of emotions processing at once, but that he was so excited for everyone to hear the album.
The crowd came together in a chorus as he ended with acoustic versions of his hits I Like Me Better and Modern Loneliness, following up lines like “To be young and in love in New York City” with “Love my friends to death, but I never call and I never text.”
Lauv, also known by his real name Ari, has been very vocal about his own mental health issues and the importance of de-stigmatizing and normalizing it. He started the Blue Boy Foundation, and has a telephone-booth-like blue box at all of his shows, called My Blue Thoughts, where you can type or record a message about how you’re feeling and share it with other Lauv fans around the world.
The room became a shimmery rainbow as he gave a final bow and left the stage, representing all the pieces of him coming together for his debut album.
I was already a Lauv fan before this show, but this deepened my love for his music and respect for him as an artist. You can watch the livestream in full right here. The new album is out now, so make sure you stream Lauv’s new album ~how i’m feeling~ and let us know your favorites!
Let’s be honest, I haven’t really known of Chelsea Cutler’s music besides her features with Quinn XCII, and Jeremy Zucker. But after tonight’s show, I can definitely say that I am a bigger fan than when I walked into Terminal 5. The whole point of a tour for a performer is to put on a good show, and for the fans, it is to enjoy it. Knowing all the lyrics and songs is up to the audience. Regardless of my lack of prior knowledge in Cutler’s music, I genuinely enjoyed the music and from the looks of it, so did everyone else.
There were already high expectations as it was her second sold-out show in New York City at Terminal 5. Along with her phenomenal openers, X Lovers, and Alexander 23, Cutler definitely did not disappoint. Visually, her use of lights, colors, and visual pieces made it all the better. The backgrounds painted a beautiful picture for her to be captured in and really kept the audience honed in on her performance, whether it be a ballad or dance anthem. Sonically, her vocals were so perfect live that it didn’t even feel real. Her tone and texture in her voice remained the same all throughout the show. No cracks, no weak points, it was just spot-on which is incredibly impressive for a vocalist to have that strength and control.
From the beginning of her performance to the end, we’d moved several locations to get a decent spot as the place was packed. And each time, fans everywhere were singing and dancing, lyric by lyric, note by note. It was inspiring to be surrounded by people so in awe from the performance that Cutler exhibited, and we couldn’t get enough. Overall, this performance was raw, fun, engaging, and nothing short of magic. Until the next show!
All across the world live music lovers can agree on the same thing. If you’re seeing your favorite artist, it will be a good show – but the venue is almost as important as the show itself.
Most people have different tastes in big venues, seating, sound quality, ambiance, refreshments, the merch table and many more different aspects of a venue because all of these small aspects add together and help shape the entire experience you’ll have throughout the night.
We’ve compiled a list of our top 3 venues in Denver where the music scene is only growing, and so are the venues! Take a look at our favorites, and don’t forget to tell us about your favorites as well!
We aren’t including this in the list, since it is a given. It’s won so many awards that Pollstar named their “best venue” award “Red Rocks Award”. We don’t need to go into detail since we have a different article written just about the venue and the shows we’re excited about this summer! Check out that article here.
Just opening in 2019 with a killer show from The Lumineers, Mission Ballroom has made big waves in the Denver music scene. With Red Rocks style seating, a GA floor, as well as seating upstairs, there’s plenty of room in however you’d like to enjoy your concert! The aesthetic of the ballroom is on point, from the artwork all over the walls to the sleek, modern look of the building – not to mention the giant disco ball inside. The size of the venue is perfect, as it’s big enough to hold some big names, but still has a smaller venue feel. Outside, there’s food trucks and drinks to enjoy before a night of dancing. Mission Ballroom has brought in so many great acts, sold out shows, and incredible memories – not even being open for a full year, it’s already a favorite for the concert goers of Denver.
The Ogden Theater
An all-time Denver favorite is the Ogden Theater. This venue has an intimate setting, yet still brings in some great acts! The sound system is incredible and there’s plenty of areas to jam out to your favorite bands. Although it can get crowded near the end of the night, if you show up early and see the openers (always worth it!) you’ll have a great spot. It’s in downtown Denver and is in an area of town where you can go grab some food and drinks before the show, then enjoy the night out! Parking can be a little more difficult to find, but there are paid lots next to the venue if you don’t want to drive around for a bit.
The Black Box
We think this is one of the best venues to catch some great local sets or some more underground music! The sound is incredible, but don’t forget your earbuds when you attend shows here! The atmosphere is unbeatable, and the talent they bring in is always top notch. There are two sides at The Black Box; most nights they even have two shows playing at the same time, so you can go with a group of friends and choose who you’d like to see that night! Between the two rooms, there’s almost no sound bleed, leaving for an incredible sound experience no matter what artist you’re seeing there. This is definitely the smallest venue of the three, but leaves for a great, intimate experience with some insanely talented artists.
If you’re in the Denver area we’d love to hear your feedback on your favorite venues or your favorite shows at the venues above!