2012 was a fantastic year for the Denver music scene. It seemed like the entire collective of bands and artists began upping their game, and it paid off for quite a few. Success stories include Churchill signing to A&M Octone Records, Air Dubai signing to Hopeless Records, and The Lumineers finding international chart success and garnering two Grammy nominations--without signing to a label.
Needless to say, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2013. While we should obviously continue to keep a close eye on the three bands mentioned above, here are a few more local acts worth watching this year.
The third time was the charm for this solid indie-rock act; after placing in the Hometown for the Holidays Top 3 for the past two years, they swept the contest in 2012. One of the hardest working bands in town, you have to see them live to understand their energy. It will be interesting to see where their momentum takes them this year.
Another of the HTFTH Top 3 acts this year, Rachel and the Kings have been making lots of waves in less than a year since their formation. A supergroup of Colorado music veterans (including pop/rock songstress Rachel James and members of Tickle Me Pink), this band won last year’s national Ford “Gimme the Gig” competition before ever having played an official live show together. Plan to catch their debut CD release show at the Bluebird Theater on Jan. 25.
Yes, all the HTFTH Top 3 are definitely worth watching this year. Monroe Monroe delivers a solid indie-rock/punk sound in the tradition of Interpol and old-school U2, and been steadily building a solid rapport in Denver over the past couple of years. Check out their new EP Interiors, and go see them play for free on Jan. 24 at Illegal Pete’s.
For being only a two-piece band, In the Whale sure puts out a lot of sound. Raw, energetic and aggressive, this guitar-and-drum outfit combines the power of hard rock with a White-Stripes style unpolished vibe. Definitely worth seeing live. Keep your eye out for these guys.
Umm…okay, so these guys have won almost every local award there is to win over the past several years, to the point that they’ve “retired” from competing--so it seems admittedly redundant to put them on a “bands to watch” list. But their new album Cinematics, released last fall nationwide, lives up to its name—it’s basically epic in its sound. 2013 has the potential to be a breakout year for a band Denver already knows stands toe to toe with the best of them.