Finding new music can be tricky. Some people search the radio or Spotify, while others turn to zines, liner notes, word of mouth and compilation albums. Compilations are an integral part of underground music. From mixtapes to playlists to full-on compilations, it gives music enthusiasts a chance to hear new music from new bands, and also allows bands to meet one another. There are two compilations involving Colorado bands worth noting that have come out recently and another is in the works...
Doomed and Stoned is a podcast that showcases underground psychedelic hard rock and heavy metal across the world. The podcast has a Bandcamp page offering compilations from everywhere — the Netherlands, Peru and Belgium, all the way to Ohio — and this year Colorado gets a chance to share some Rocky Mountain riffage.
Springs resident Freddy Allen, of local doom trio Sun Of Grey, has curated a 55-track compilation of bands from all around the state. “We have such an amazing community here for musicians and I wanted to show the scene and the rest of the world what we have to offer,” explains Allen. “Compilations are a great resource for bands to reach a wider audience with new fans and potential labels.”
It features Denver bands including Low Gravity, Abrams, Love Gang, Deer Creek and Lost Relics, along with Colorado Springs punishers Alone, Worry, Dust Lord, 908, Tovenaar, Letters from the Sun, Sun Of Grey, and the debut of Kalakuta among many others. Pueblo also comes in hot with some ripping songs from thrashers Voltaic and Retention. You can find the free download of the Doomed and Stoned Colorado compilation at tinyurl.com/doomedn.
There is also a compilation album coming out of Pueblo — This Is Colorado, Not California — showcasing more Colorado bands, that’s a follow-up to 2017’s This Is Pueblo, Not L.A.
“The first one was a comp that was only bands from the ’90s,” explains Ricardo Alvarado. “I wanted people in the scene now to hear some of the music their parents were moshing to back in the day. The second one consists of current bands that perform now.”
Ricardo has run his Innocent Sinners distro since 1991, booking insane punk rock shows in Pueblo. And in 2017 the distro turned into a label, putting out albums for bands all over the state and country.
Ricardo finds compilation albums are useful for getting people into new music. “Comps are important because it gives us a chance to promote different bands on one project. It’s also a perfect way for someone to grow their library of knowledge. As a kid, I would buy a comp and memorize all the bands so I could show off at school how much I knew about all those bands,” he says.
This Is Colorado, Not California will feature Burns Like Hell, Clusterfux, P.I.D, and many more. It will be released July 10 — with a show at Pueblo’s Grind Haus Cafe — on blue marble vinyl, cassette and CD. For more info on Innocent Sinners’ releases, check out innocentsinners.com.
Some people in search of new music turn to other mediums, such as television, where competitive singing and talent competitions show millions around the world what artists have to offer. Savanna Chestnut is a country singer/songwriter hailing from Kansas who heads from the stage of The Voice to Colorado Springs’ very own Boot Barn Hall, a far more intimate venue. Savanna has toured around the country for years performing music that’s close to her heart, and was on Season 20 of The Voice that premiered March 1.
“It was a very fun experience,” she says. “It definitely helped me step up my game as a performer for sure. I just took an opportunity and used it to my advantage the best I could.”
She took a short break from performing last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but it motivated her to write and even make a little money while she wasn’t able to play. “We were shut down and I was out of a job, so it gave me time to write songs and even DoorDash to get a little extra money,” Chestnut says. “The Midwest wasn’t as shut down as the rest of the world, so in June/July, I was still fortunate to play shows again.”
Savanna Chestnut & The Field Hands will be in the Springs Friday, May 14. “I have been up to Colorado a couple times before but it’s been a few years so we’re definitely overdue for a visit.” Find tickets and more info at bootbarnhall.com.