Colorado is becoming one of the hottest music scenes in the country, and Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins bands are making their mark.
Boulder’s 3OH!3 started out playing shows at the University of Colorado and the Fox Theatre before hitting it big, The Fray opened up doors for Denver’s indie music scene and Boulder’s hard-rocking Rose Hill Drive’s toured the world with international bands.
Now its time for a new group of Colorado bands to break nationally.
Here’s some of the Front Range’s top acts that are about to burst out of the local music scene.
Better catch them while you can.
1 The Chain Gang of 1974
OK, this act’s riding on 3OH!3’s coattails, but the Chain Gang of 1974 has enough talent to break out on its own.
The Chain Gang of 1974 is better known as Kamtin Mohager. The musician fronts his own band — and plays bass for 3OH!3.
Those are pretty good gigs.
But Mohager’s also gaining note for his own brand of music. The Chain Gang of 1974 plays a cool blend of pulsating punk and psychedelic sounds.
The band’s latest record, White Guts, is getting noticed, and Mohager got to play the Mile High Music Festival this summer.
Keep an eye on this act.
2 Candy Claws
Colorado loves its electronic-based music and Fort Collins is becoming one of the Front Range’s biggest electro markets.
That’s the town where Pretty Lights got started, and now attention’s being focused on Candy Claws.
The Fort Collins electro duo creates swirling dream-pop soundscapes that cross the line between shoegazer and surf music. The goal of this band is to create pop songs that explore new realms of sound.
It’s paying off.
The Colorado band’s already touring the East and West coasts, has a record deal with Irish label Indiecator and just launched its new CD, Hidden Lands.
This band won’t be hidden for long.
3 Paper Bird
Genre: Modern folks
Paper Bird has become a staple on the Boulder and Denver music scenes.
The local band is known for its modern take on American folk music. The group’s also gained a solid reputation for its harmonious vocals, laid-back vibe and really fun live shows.
Paper Bird concerts sell out in record time. The band’s packed the bigger venues in town, performed at the Mile High Music Festival and toured around the country.
The group just released its new CD, The River Took Flight, and it looks like this band’s career is about to take off, too.
Last year, Boulder band Savoy opened CU’s New Student Welcome concert featuring Pretty Lights.
It wasn’t long before the band was opening Pretty Lights’ concerts outside of Boulder. Plus, Savoy sold out last semester’s headlining show at the Boulder Theater.
This DJ/producer-led band creates very danceable, club-style electro tunes. We dare you to stay still during a Savoy concert.
The group plays select shows around the country, and just released its free, new downloadable CD, Nothin For Nothin. The record features electro dance remixes of tunes by No Doubt, Santigold and Dire Straits.
If you like club music, this is your band.
5 Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Genre: Acoustic alt-folk
Sure the quirky name attracts attention, but Danielle Ate the Sandwich is one of the Front Range’s fastest-rising acts.
Danielle Anderson is only 23, but she’s already scored more than 500,000 hits on YouTube’s Spotlight Video section — and she’s made it to the top five position on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts.
The local performer’s sassy lyrics, crystal-clear voice and ukulele strumming may have something to do with that fact.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich is now one of Colorado’s hottest new acts. She’s already opened for Grace Potter at Red Rocks and played at this summer’s Mile High Music Festival.
Anderson’s hoping her new CD, Two Bedroom Apartment, will move her into a bigger music zone.
On the verge
This semester, also expect to hear more from Boulder indie rockers Nautical Mile, electro artist Michal Menert (Pretty Lights’ first label project), alt hip-hop act The Pirate Signal, local thrash-pop band Solar Bear and post-punk psychedelic hip-hop band Air Dubai.