“Music brings a warm glow to my vision, thawing mind and muscle from their endless wintering.” – Haruki Murakami
Musings on Colorado Musicians
With the arrival of Spring comes the arrival of vaccinations, and the symbolism is all too clear. As the flowers begin to bloom and the animals emerge from hibernation, so does the city.
Gradually, more and more people are finding safe ways to enjoy the things they used to – live music, family gatherings, even a simple walk through a busy park seems to be a tiny bit less stressful.
As we return to our normal(ish) lives, I reflect on the ways our community has shown resilience through it all – especially creatives.
I often think about how society tries to position creativity and pursuit of passion as a privilege. It’s hard to envision and dream when your energy has to be spent on figuring out your next meal, or how to convince your landlord to let you stay a bit longer.
Somehow, our creative community has managed to stay tapped in to their essence despite the barriers.
Sure, I’m aware of many high highs but mostly low lows – moments when many of my friends felt like giving up in more ways than one.
As a collective, though, it seems we’re succeeding in lifting each other up. We’ve done what we can to make sure the inspiration kept flowing – even through financial hardships, deep depressions even death.
We’ve also faced the closure of many of the venues that felt like places of worship for many of us – places where we felt alive, accepted, and motivated to keep going.
What Comes Next for Denver Music?
It’s exciting and scary to think about what’s next for us. There’s no doubt we’ll all return to life having changed.
I’ve changed in many ways during quarantine, in ways that will stay with me forever.
I’ve learned to enjoy my own company. I’ve learned who I can rely on and be my most vulnerable with, what it looks like to allow others to do the same. And perhaps most of all, I’m returning to community even more in awe of the resilience that surrounds me.
I hope we return a little closer despite the distance we’ve had – that each resounding musical note, sticky floor and sweaty crowd means a little more to us. And that the appreciation we learned shows.
Inspiring New Music Releases
I kept these sentiments in mind while making this playlist. Each one of these songs were created and released amidst this revolutionary era where challenges have at times felt far too great.
They’re the result of forces at work that we as humans might not even be able to comprehend. Endurance. Passion. Resilience.
Sometimes even agony, uncertainty and desperation. The craziest part? This playlist that spans a couple of hours doesn’t even scratch the surface. Many more 2020 and 2021 releases will appear in my upcoming playlists.
In many ways, Denver has been creating a creative renaissance. One that incorporates activism, where “the family you choose” is simply “family.” One where vulnerability is even more accepted thanks to the spread of solidarity. Mutual aid has become an everyday term, one that in my circles carries much less baggage and indecision.
So if no one has told you yet, I love you and I’m proud of you. I don’t know what’s next for us, but I do know I’m honored to be part of it.
Enjoy streaming on Spotify as you wish, however I’d encourage you to support artists in other ways if you can.
Buy the albums and merch, follow them on social, give them some words of affirmation – because while artists are strong and somehow gathered inspiration through the thick of it, they’re still people with bills and needs. People who deserve some feedback, support, and a “thank you” for being your bridge to the wonders of music.
Remember, art is what we turn to for comfort in the darkest of times. If that isn’t a worthwhile investment, I don’t know what is.