Denver is certainly a place of contrasts—300 days of sunshine mixed with brutal snow throughout a major part of the year, transplants from all over intermingling and mixing, and miles of mountains and isolated countryside surrounding a vibrant and thriving city. This mix of extremes is exactly what fuels local synth-pop group Retrofette and their dark and dancey music.
“Xavier [Provencher, synths] and I met in college and bonded over a mutual love of the synthesizer and ‘80s bands like New Order and The Human League,” Sean Culliton, vocalist and synth player, told CULTURE. “We both played jazz saxophone at the time but decided we wanted to create a project that was more relatable and dancey. After experimenting with new sounds and instruments we ended up finding a drummer and bass synth player to help round out the lineup [Ben Weirich, bass and synth, Dylan Johnson, dums].”
“We love classic ‘80s new wave,” Culliton continued, “and current bands like LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip and Holy Ghost! are big inspirations too. As a singer I learned a lot from David Bowie and David Byrne of the Talking Heads. We’re a high energy, electropop band that takes influence from classic 80s synth music. If you’re listening, you’ll probably have trouble not dancing.”
The group has been working hard playing shows around the city and recording music, and they are currently preparing for their EP release.
“Legalization brings not just big acts into town but attracts a slew of smaller artists and musicians. I like that it’s made Denver a melting pot of American cultures too with so many people from all over moving here.”
“We’re extremely excited to announce the release of our first EP on June 10,” Culliton explained. “We’re headlining the Lost Lake Lounge that night with a great lineup. [The EP] features three songs that we’ve been playing live for a while, and we can’t wait to show the world the recorded versions.”
Retrofette also recognize that the blossoming art and music scene they are a part of here in Denver wouldn’t be possible without the help of cannabis and legalization.
“So far I think it’s been a really positive thing for the city of Denver,” Culliton told us regarding legalized cannabis in the city. “It has obviously brought in a lot of tourism and revenue for the state. Beyond that, I think the art scene has truly exploded in the last two years. Legalization brings not just big acts into town but attracts a slew of smaller artists and musicians. I like that it’s made Denver a melting pot of American cultures too with so many people from all over moving here. Also, I’m a huge fan of tax revenue going towards public schools.”
“[Cannabis] is definitely all around us in Colorado and legalization probably affects me in many ways I’m barely aware of,” he added. “I know I’ve met people I would’ve never had the chance to if it weren’t for legalization in Colorado and the culture that it helps foster. Personally I don’t smoke a lot but I do use cannabis to help me approach songwriting problems from different angles. It has definitely helped me finish a few songs. “
June 10 @ Lost Lake Lounge in Denver