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Hillary Hand | The Songstress Writer

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“Music became a new found love that was not only an avenue for me to write about my life experiences, but also about faith, struggle, joy, confusion and everything in between,” Hillary Hand explained. “I would say life, in general, has influenced me to write music.”

Hillary Gruener, aka Hillary Hand, is a growing Colorado star that has really found herself after making the move from Utah to Colorado. She was born in Logan, Utah, but she was surely raised in Colorado Springs. From the normal growing pains to musical training, Hand has been molding her musical personality since she was a little girl.

Hand started out on the keyboard and stuck with it for a over a decade and then it wasn’t until about 2011, when she finally decided it was time to take on music in a more professional manner. She sat down and wrote her first song, which led to her decision to pursue music, but falling in love and having a baby came first. She moved to Germany, met a guy, took his last name and a baby followed after. After growing homesick while she was pregnant, they made the move back to her hometown, sweet ol’ Colorado Springs.

“After moving across the ocean five times, we reluctantly, but purposefully moved back to America,” Hand said. “It wasn’t until my son was about eight months old when I sat back at my piano and started crafting songs.”

Now, residing in Colorado Springs, she lives her weekdays as a wife and mother, while on the weekends, she’s a musician and hairstylist. The busy weekends keep her on her feet and on top of her game. With her newfound focus to further her career with her band, she has been dedicating most of her time to Hillary Hand & the Roseliers, while never really truly breaking away from her solo career.

Hillary Hand & the Roseliers consists of her brother, Josh Hand, who plays the bass, her sister-in-law, Melinda Hand, who is a back-up vocalist and percussionist, Joel Burns, who is the drummer(and also the “backbone” of her songs) and Joe Degelia, who is the guitarist and has been doing music with her since the very beginning.

“I can’t say enough good things about my band,” Hand exclaimed. “They have been there for me in more ways than I could ever explain. They are so good at making my songs into something I could have never imagined.”

Early on, Hand wasn’t experienced when it came to writing music, so everything was new to her, but it didn’t seem like it when you heard her music. Hand’s music is edgy, creative and addictive, which is exactly how her music has been since day one. In the mix of her earlier music, a track off of her first EP, Paperdoll, got featured on the MTV show, Awkward. Her song “Domino,” which played during a scene on the TV show, just so happened to be one of her first songs as she started her journey into song writing. Shortly after, Hand’s “Tameless Tongues,” was placed on the show “Black Box,” which is a show on ABC.

_DSC6602When the music is good, fans will fall into place and that’s exactly what has been happening with Hand. The great music community in Colorado has gathered around her and she has been able to keep up a busy schedule of shows throughout the last year. From venues all over Colorado, to huge gigs in Texas, Hand has needed no helping hand in getting exposure. Through the Colorado Music Party and SXSW, Hand was able to play to a national audience in March.

“There is nothing scarier than going to an unfamiliar land, not knowing what to expect, and playing a show in the midst of some of the most amazing musicians in the world,” Hand explained. “After that experience, I feel like I don’t get the jitters so much before shows. I also no longer feel like throwing up, either, which is good as well.”

She played for the Colorado Music Party, which was a concert within the SXSW fest that catered to a Colorado music fan base, so she was quick to get some Colorado love. Then, she also played a set for a SXSW official stage and that played a role in allowing Hand to get a feel for traveling for gigs, and it was a good experience to play for a crowd that was so diverse.

Now, it’s 2014 and it has been just about three years since Hand has decided to really go for it. So much has happened and she has had a lot of success. It’s been a very short career so far and there has been a lot of musicians that have tried a lot longer and have achieved a lot less. With many years still ahead of her and her new found passion for a future with her group, there’s a good chance Coloradans will hear Hand’s name in the limelight.

For more information about Hillary Hand and her band, visit her website at www.hillaryhand.com, or connect with her on Facebook for updates.

 

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Soundbooth

6 Local Denver Bands to Listen to This Summer

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Summer is the time to roll down your car windows or sit on your porch and crank some tunes. But not just any tunes. You should listen to music that fits with Colorado’s summer vibe in particular, not just the auto-tuned flimflam produced by big record labels Los Angeles. In that spirit, here are six local Denver-area bands whose raw, unfiltered tunes you should be listening to this summer.

#1 The Milk Blossoms

The three-piece, all-female band The Milk Blossoms ambitiously mixes beatboxing with piano, ukulele, and breathy pop vocals—and makes it work. Despite the group’s seemingly strange combination of instruments, its experimental indie pop songs are accessible to casual music fans of all stripes in large part due to the wonderful harmonies found in its songs that are somehow simultaneously laid-back and jamming. The band’s latest album Supermoon (2018) includes an eclectic mix of eerie, heartbreaking, and upbeat songs that are undergirded by poetical songwriting. Suffice to say, this record might be the perfect soundtrack for the next full moon.

#2 Gasoline Lollipops

The Gasoline Lollipops is a folk-rock band fronted by Clay Rose. The band’s songs incorporate Rose’s bluesy vocals with funk, jazz, and country influences as well as a punk-rock attitude. The Gasoline Lollipops’s latest album Soul Mine (2017) includes songs that range from dark and brooding to more high-tempo and rambling in tone. In sum, the band’s music is evocative of the open road. The next time you cruise down I-25, these dudes will more than keep you entertained. The band’s most popular song “Love Is Free” is an emotionally-resonant tune about freedom and relationships that’s fitting for the Fourth of July—except it’s love that has the power to free you, not America.

#3 Wildermiss

Wildermiss, Denver’s hottest alt-rock band, emerged from the dissolution of local group Red Fox Run. With three instrumentalists from Red Fox Run and the new, energetic vocals of Emma Cole, Wildermiss fuses alt-rock with pop influences and an earnest mentality. The resulting songs on the band’s first EP, Lost with You (2017), are so well produced and professionally executed that they fit perfectly on the radio with the tunes of national touring groups. In fact, the band toured in support of Texas folk-rock duo The Oh Hellos this past spring, and it has already performed on the iconic stage of Red Rocks. Jump on the Wildermiss bandwagon before it leaves without you.

#4 The Reminders

Although Colorado’s music scene is thriving, the state still isn’t well known for its hip-hop. That may change due to up-and-coming acts like The Reminders, a husband-wife duo that brings its own spin to hip-hop. Aja Black’s dynamic R&B-inflected vocals complement the smooth flow of Brussels-born Big Samir, who speaks in both French and English. At its best, the duo channels the same sort of rap and singing back-and-forth as found in the songs of the popular Broadway musical Hamilton. The duo also mixes in reggae and jazz into its socially-conscious, highly-personal songwriting. The act plans to release new music this fall. Stay tuned.

#5 Los Mocochetes

This 7-piece Chicano funk band performs what its bandmembers describe as “protest music you can dance to.” This is an apt description of the group’s groovy, high-energy songs that feature both Spanish and English lyrics and directly engage with social issues in meaningful ways. With the violent child-parent separations that ICE has enacted along the U.S. border in the past couple of months, Los Mocochetes’s uplifting and impactful style of protest is more necessary than ever. The band members back up their words with actions, often playing local benefits that support causes close to their hearts like immigration rights.

#6 Avenhart

Avenhart follows in the footsteps of Colorado’s foundational genre-bending bluegrass band Elephant Revival. Female vocalist Andrea Pares’s deep, soulful singing gives the band an especially distinctive sound for a group that uses instrumentation typically found in traditional bluegrass outfits. This, combined with simple, honest songwriting, and a tendency to perform fun covers of rock and pop songs like the Pixies’s “Where Is My Mind,” makes them one of Colorado’s most dynamic rising bands.

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
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Music

CO Springs emcee Che Bong goes outer limits on new psychedelic full length

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Electro-Soul Hip Hop | Che Bong – From the dusty ‘Amen break’ heavy loop-gone-psychedelic of album opener Telescope to the lo-fi space rockin’ of album ender The Paradox of Time, CS emcee Che Bong (of Bullhead*ded) has really outdone himself and the genre itself on Telescope to the Heavens. With an album full of immersive and challenging-yet-chill hip hop musicality that owes just as much to free jazz and psychedelic rock as it does to hip hop and neo-soul, Che is on some next level stuff.  Get. On. It.


90’s inspired Alt-Punk | Hooper – “No Monument” from Denver Rock City punkers Hooper does a couple things very well; it provides stellar songwriting and momentum building, gives a healthy shot in the arm of indie-slathered 90s era punk rock, and in doing both provides a direct line to the sonic and perhaps more importantly workhorse aesthetic of the nascent indie punk heyday of the 90s. Trip out on that, holmes!


Blackened Sludge-Punks | Worry – The newest EP from Colorado Springs heavies Worry is not for the faint of heart, smashing heads on the punk rock with a bludgeoning mix of seething sludge metal and intrinsically intense hardcore know-how. Monolithic and absolutely monstrous, the seven raw cuts on A Celebration of Suffering are gloriously bleak, blackened and smolder with an actual extremity that most other “extreme” bands often lack.


Slow Burn Indie Rock | Wrinkle – Mind melding and photosynthesizing the big hook power-pop of early Weezer and the Rentals with the wide-eyed indie bend of Neva Dinova and Cursive, Denver’s indie rock supergroup of sorts Wrinkle are a slackers fever dream; a haze of unaffected yet disaffected indie-fed pop rock that first and foremost rules and that is more commercially viable than them nor I would care to admit on their newest offering A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies.


All releases available for purchase now thru Bandcamp. Go Local!

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
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Music

Raw Rock & Roll and dark Blues collide with Denver’s the Velveteers

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At only six tracks long, this brand new self-titled EP via Denver’s the Velveteers (Recorded on warm analog tape at Silo Sound Studios in Denver) is a half-hour long magic spell; a concoction of twisted psychedelic undercurrent and blues-rock guitar histrionics draped in the smoky and arresting vocals of one Demi Demitro. Demi, along with co-founder and multi-instrumentalist John Demitro, conjure the kind of gnarled, foot-stomping rhythms and riffs that have dual citizenship between the acid-laced Led Zeppelin 70’s arena-rock heyday and the modern fuzz drenched, psychedelic revival of now.

Musically, this 2 piece makes quite the racket. Raw rock and roll power and deep, dark blues mystique collide head on. If you want a band that can riff, look no further! You may snap your neck clean off from all the head nodding you’ll involuntarily be doing. Like a confession to the dark lord himself, the Velveteers pen the kind of dirty rock and roll diddies that are a conduit for the heathen in all of us. With lyrical gems like “You know just what your doing to me / but heaven knows what’s up your sleeves” (off of the sublime album midpoint “Bloody Little Secrets”), Velveteers delve into the dark and macabre underbelly of the mind and bring back blues-laced musical treasures for the world to behold. We should be so lucky.


“The Velveteers” is streaming (and for sale hint hint) via Bandcamp now. Live dates and more info on Facebook.

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
Continue Reading

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.

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