Keeping Up With the Ever-Busy Rosebay From Fort Collins

Photo courtesy of Rosebay Facebook.

Jonson Kuhn | New SCENE

Rosebay has had a pretty busy summer. After wrapping up a showcase at the Lyric on July 19, they played Funkwerks Brewery on July 22 and then Lost Lake Lounge in Denver on July 28 with Blurred Radio and Brùha. Then the very next night, they played the Atrium back in Fort Collins with Chicago band North By North and Ash Redhorse and The Midnight Suns. Most recently, they played on August 5 for the last house show ever to be thrown by Your Local Fairy Godmother, which has thrown art shows with live music for years.

Rosebay’s current lineup consists of Creighton Evans (songwriter, vocalist, and rhythm guitar), Jessiah Bethea (lyricist and bass guitar), Grant Hartman (drums), Conner Pilburn-Burbach (lead guitar), and Akayna Calkins and Elizabeth Evans (vocals).

The hard work and busy summer schedule are all leading up to the band’s extraordinary announcement of their new EP ’Lunar Choreography’, which is currently in the works and planned for release in October. Despite the busy schedule, New Scene was fortunate enough to get a quick minute to catch up with the band and learn more about what makes them one of the best indie surf rock bands NoCo has to offer.

New Scene: I understand Rosebay is somewhat of a blend of influences, making it rather challenging to pin down within a specific genre, but in your own words, how would you describe Rosebay for anyone who might be new to the band?

Rosebay: Describing our sound in words is difficult because we try not to confine ourselves to the limitations of any genre. We’ve been told our sound is a blend between indie, surf rock, and grunge with undertones of r&b. Those comparisons are appreciated though no song is written with any genre specifically in mind. Music is something spiritual to all of us in the band. Every song is written from our souls and captured from different states of our consciousnesses. Like all of life, our music has different phases, feelings, and emotions. We hope to convey a spectrum of emotion through our music to give our listeners an actual experience. To display our authentic selves with the overarching message of love and connectivity. We’re diverse in every sense of the word, and we hope to make music that anyone can listen to and that everyone enjoys.

New Scene: I read that you all formed in 2022; what’s the origin story, and how have things been going since then?

Rosebay: Creighton and Jessiah met over a decade ago, in 2011, through Jessiah’s brother Judah. They bonded beyond casual friends in a History of Rock N Roll class they took together at Fort Collins high school. After graduating, each pursued music and supported each other’s journey, and remained in touch because of it. Jessiah started his rap career, and Creighton entered the musical realm with a few acoustic releases that Jessiah co-produced. Jessiah then started playing bass in 2022, and they decided to start Rosebay. The project head was spearheaded by Creighton. However, Jessiah’s musical capabilities and contributions, along with his introduction of Grant Hartman to the band, were foundational. Akayna was introduced to the crew through Creighton’s wife, Elizabeth, who brought her on to join her in singing female intended vocal parts. Things have been going great, considering we’ve been a band for less than a year. Lineup changes are expected, but we don’t plan on slowing down at all. We’ve already accomplished so much in the little time we’ve been doing this, and the train keeps rolling.

New Scene: I saw you played the Lyric in Fort Collins on July 19. Was that the band’s first time playing there? I saw the lineup had 36? from Calgary on it. What was it like sharing the stage with them?

Rosebay: Funny enough, we’ve only played The Lyric Cinema one other time, and that was the night we were introduced to Conner Pilburn-Burbach, our lead guitarist. We had performed on a bill that featured Jakob Mueller, autumnal, and People In General, a band that Conner plays bass. At the time (which was around late January of 2023), we were performing as a three-piece with the hopes of finding a more permanent lead guitarist. As luck would have it Conner offered up his talents on guitar that very night after listening to our set and suggesting that we could benefit from having another guitarist in our lineup. He officially joined the band promptly after, quickly contributing to the recording of our debut single, Running Away. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that he’ll continue with Rosebay for the long haul, but he has been a crucial part in getting the band to the great position it’s in now.

The July 19 show was particularly special as Creighton has been a longtime listener of 36. And was introduced to them through his friend Trevor who also played the bill with his band Almost Extinct. The whole show was almost a family reunion, along with a dream come true for Creighton getting to play with 36? and Trevor with his band rather than a solo acoustic act.

New Scene: With the EP right around the corner, dropping in October, is there anything you can tell us about it ahead of time?

Rosebay: The EP will be an insightful catalog of some of our favorite original songs made by some of our favorite people. Right now, as a band, we are about to enter a very transitional phase, and we hope Lunar Choreography encapsulates that in a way that connects with everyone. 

Be sure to follow Rosebay on Facebook and Instagram and stream Running Away on all platforms.

Photo courtesy of Rosebay Facebook.

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