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Denver, CO | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Denver, CO | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Duo Pop Electronic




"OptycNerd Share New Single, "Fluorescent""

Denver-based future pop duo, OptycNerd have released the upbeat “Fluorescent,” their first single of 2020 and follow-up to their full-length album, Never Come Down. The dreamy new track is the perfect start to the duo’s new year and can be heard now below.

Of the song, OptycNerd said, “It's a feel good, upbeat song about taking the time to appreciate life before it passes you by. Sometimes ‘you need to stop and enjoy the view.’”

OptycNerd are set to play Lost Lake in Denver alongside Neon Dreams, This Modern and VYNYL on March 16th. More info can be found HERE. - The Prelude Press

"Local Listen – OptycNerd’s Never Come Down Shows Us How Electro-Pop is Done"

Five years have passed since the left-of-center pop duo OptycNerd released an LP. This stretch comes to an end on Friday, August 30th with the release of Never Come Down, a 10-track album well worth the wait. Weaved into each song is the duo’s signature sound — a relaxed yet technically crisp fusion of indie and electro-pop that transmutes the feeling of sun-kissed summer days into music. This well-defined style has eased OptycNerd’s gradual transition from hip-hop and R&B to pop, a journey that finally culminates in this album.

The sound mixing masterminds behind OptycNerd — Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott — self-produced the entirety of Never Come Down, which features twice as many songs as each of their past four EPs. Consider this an indication that they’ve come into their own. Although this album is their most mainstream project yet, it still incorporates some of the riskier cross-genre experimentation that typified the duo’s earliest work. Kimmel’s tightly structured tongue-in-cheek rap verses make a return in “Don’t Call”, “You Gotta Be” and “Untied”, while Scott’s laid-back, indie-inspired guitar riffs lightly decorate pulsing electronic progressions in almost every track.

The duo, self-christened “the Chrises”, met each other at a college house party — an environment whose milieu is clearly a source of conceptual inspiration for their music. The album roughly chronicles the various stages of young romance and intersperses them with snapshots of euphoric teenage rebellion. Never Come Down’s extended metaphor, riding that high, allows for multiple interpretations: Tracks like “Do It Again” details overindulgence in addictive hobbies. Nevertheless, the album-wide conceit also carries an air of sentimentality and longing, ultimately revealing the human resistance to accept that all things must come to an end. Latent in this LP is the wish never to come down from life’s climactic moments (an appropriate theme for an album released shortly after the apex of summer).

OptycNerd opens their record with several tracks that function as rejuvenating aural dance parties. “Do It Again” — released as a single in April — demonstrates the group’s study and eventual mastery of the electro-pop song structure: Here, a lyrically dense pre-chorus blooms into a modulating electronic refrain. The laid-back vocal style with which Kimmel sings economic, meticulously crafted rhymes like “My body’s aching and it needs to be awakened” epitomizes the group’s playful yet carefully calculated approach to music-making. Only dedicated professionals can afford the illusion of effortlessness.

The album’s dark horse is “Lover”, an experimental track whose rock n’ roll-style hook features both the acoustic and electric guitar. Every section of this song is intriguing and unexpected. The bass line revs like a sleek automobile, while the atypical percussive melody carries the track through well-edited stylistic transitions.

The track list’s power is rather top-heavy, but the penultimate song, “Flying”, lifts the energy back up to the OptycNerd’s preferred range. Released as a single in late July, the pop track contains enough space between the notes to send the listener free-falling through empty atmosphere. Luckily, the bouncy staccato phrases of the bass, guitar and drums are there to catch you before you ever touch ground. The result is a breezy feel-good ambiance to loosen up in.

OptycNerd’s most ambitious release yet engenders a sunglass-wearing, driving-with-the-windows-rolled-down state of mind. Its crisp, easygoing sound encapsulates the aura of rapturous summer nights, and its thematic content wisely expresses both a yearning to relive them and a willingness to move on from them.

OptycNerd will perform alongside recent tour partners Whiskey Autumn at the Serendipity Music & Arts Festival at Globe Hall on September 22nd. Keep up with them through their Facebook and Instagram pages. - 303 Magazine

"Denver's Hook Junkies in OptycNerd Drop Debut Album"

“We are absolute junkies for hooks,” says OptycNerd singer Chris Kimmel. If that shows anywhere in the future-pop duo's music, it’s on its debut album, Never Come Down — which drops August 30.

Bandmates Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott — affectionately dubbed "the Chrises" — have been at it a long time. They met at a house party while both were students in the University of Colorado Denver’s recording arts program in 2014.

“Because we were in the recording arts program, we had access to the studio, so we would hit the studio together and start working, and it bloomed from there,” says Kimmel. "I would say since we met in 2014, we see each other every week — once a week, at least."

After five years of working together, Kimmel and Scott felt ready to drop a full-length album.

“All the songs we wrote over the last two years. Some of them are even older than that," says Scott. "We just reworked them. It’s like the culmination of us refining our sound, and it’s a good representation of us as band."

Produced entirely by Kimmel and Scott, Never Come Down is polished. From the album opener, “L.M.B.Y.R.,” to tracks like “Don’t Call,” “Song About a Rich Girl” and the album single, “Flying,” the duo's commitment to high-quality work shines. The album is fluid and natural, neither putting on airs nor burying things in effects.

While not a chart-topping hit-factory, OptycNerd has found some local and national success, in part from the 2015 edition of 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays, where it placed in the top three with the song “Marathons.”

“People started playing it on Spotify, and because we got so many plays in such a short period of time, we got picked up on a ton of playlists,” says Scott.

“It was this amazing positive-feedback loop,” says Kimmel. “It was this crazy whirlwind; then all of a sudden we were like, 'Oh, it’s not.'”

“Yeah. We spoke to eight or ten A&R reps from major labels, and nothing came of it,” laughs Scott. “But now it’s great, because that song still gets playlisted, and because of that, so many of our other songs get playlisted.”

Despite that success, the two no longer have the expectation of making it. Instead, the producers focus on making the music they want to make.

“In the bigger picture, I feel what inspires us is the outcome. We put so much work into these songs and ideas, bouncing ideas off of each other and rewriting and rewriting. And all of a sudden we have these dope songs,” says Kimmel. “We play them live, and people are vibing. That’s the best feeling in the world, and that’s what kept us going. We have this album that I listen to, and I actually enjoy it. I feel that if you don’t like your own music, then that sucks.” - Denver Westword

"OptycNerd Drops Single Ahead of the Westword Music Showcase"

To celebrate the beginning of the summer music-festival season, Denver indie-pop duo OptycNerd — which will play the Westword Music Showcase on Saturday, June 29 — has released a new single, “Flying.”

The song has all the ingredients of an OptycNerd number: a danceable beat, a catchy hook, and a call to wring out all the fun that can be wrung out from life. The song was also written by vocalist Chris Kimmel while he was traveling abroad, hence the “flying.”

“The ironic thing is when [Kimmel] brought me the demo, he recorded the garage-band lyrics on a plane, so the audio quality was so bad,” says guitarist Chris Scott with a laugh. “But I thought it was pretty cool.”

"The song is about this concept of trust out on the dance floor," adds Kimmel. "But it’s really supposed to be a metaphor for trust in your relationship.”

Along with the single "Do It Again," which was released in May, "Flying" offers a taste of the band's upcoming full-length album, Never Come Down, which is slated for the end of July.

“We’re trying to space it out to give it time between this release and the album release, which will be the end of July,” says Scott. “We thought, why not [release it ahead of] Showcase? We haven’t played a show in a while. It would be a nice time to showcase the song at a big event this summer." - Denver Westword

"The Word on OptycNerd"

Pop-duo and Denver locals Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott, a couple of good pals of mine, were kind enough to let me pick their brains on their musical baby that is “OptycNerd.”

Alexa Evangelista: Where did you two meet? When?

Chris Kimmel:“It was the winter of 2013, we were at a shit-show house party. It was mostly University of Colorado Denver music students at the party. So that meant that, at some point in the night, a jam/rap cypher started in one of the back rooms. I (Chris K) was rapping, Chris S was drinking (heavily). Chris S heard me rapping and came over to slur “yo bruh, I’m into those rhymes.” Later that week, we ran into each other in the school’s recording studio. We started working on some music together and rest is history.”

AE: When did you form Optyc? How did you come up with the name “OptycNerd?”

CK: “Weformed OptycNerd in the spring of 2014. It’s not that really not that exciting. Before I even met Chris S, I started to mess around with some beat making and rap writing. I wanted to come up with a name that was clever, punny and something that referenced the human anatomy (I’m a nerd like that). It just came to me one night. I thought it was dope. A lot of other people didn’t Ha.”

AE: Can you tell me about your recording process? Do you brainstorm? What comes first, the lyrics or the melody?

CK: “We write most of our songs together. As a lot of people do these days, we write and record at the same time. Writing for us consists of getting in the studio together and workshopping ideas. Finding great chord progressions or making awesome drum loops is usually how it starts. Sometimes one of us will have a full song idea that we develop out as well. We even write lyrics and melodies together as well. It is very collaborative from beginning to end.”

AE: What inspires you?

CK: “We are inspired by the dream of making music for our careers. We are also inspired heavily by the music and artists we listen to. We are constantly pulling influences from different genres to make our own, hybrid sound.”

AE: What is something about the process that you hate?

CK:“Although we’ve had quite a bit of online streaming success and are doing well in the local scene, it always feels like that’s not enough for people in the industry to take a chance on us. But, we’re gonna keep grindin’, baby.”

AE: Tell me about your first show? How does it compare to now?

CK: “Our first “real” show was at Meadowlark bar in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver. It was a small, intimate venue, but the response was amazing. SO much energy and everyone gave us a lot of great feedback. A lot of our future passion came from how people responded to our live sets. Now, our set is completely different. Before we were just an MC and a DJ. Now it has spawned into live instruments, electronic elements, and lighting production. But, the key element is still the same: High energy.”

AE: When/where is your next show?

CK: “Our next show is at Lost Lake in Denver on April 12th. We are playing with Whiskey Autumn. It is their album release show. The Milk Blossoms and Motion Trap (DJ set) will be on the bill, as well. Don’t miss it!”

AE: What’s Next for Optyc?

CK: “Wehave our latest single coming out in a few weeks, and our first full length album in the late spring of 2019.”

I asked the Chris’ to drop a title for the track or the album but they wouldn’t budge. I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.

Chris and Chris are great musicians and great people. Their passion for the music they create is inspiring; you can feel the hard work and most every step of the process it took them to get here within every lyric and beat they produce. Catch their next show with me on April 12 at Denver’s “Lost Lake,” or help us spread the Optyc love from coast to coast! Let’s get these boys the recognition they deserve. Hit their spotify profile here to hear for yourself. - Mic Drop Music

"OptycNerd Release New Single, "Do it Again""

Denver-based band OptycNerd have released “Do It Again,” their first new single of 2019. The new track is a pure future pop song that is true to OptycNerd's unique and defined sound, and it explores the concept of living free and experimenting while you are young while treading the lines of overindulgence.

Arriving just in time for warmer weather, “Do It Again” is bound to be a summer anthem with catchy hooks, danceable rhythm and pulsing synths.

"Do It Again" is the first single off OptycNerd's upcoming album, Never Come Down, which will debut early this summer. - The Prelude Press

"OptycNerd Drops New Music Video for "Days Are Done" on YouTube Premiere"

Denver indie-pop duo OptycNerd will release the music video for its single “Days Are Done" at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16, via YouTube Premiere. Viewers can count down the hours until showtime and tune in to watch the video by clicking on the following link: "Days Are Done" Premiere.

Released as a single on November 2, "Days Are Done" is a high-energy song a bit more on the pop side than anything off duo Chris Scott and Chris Kimmel's last EP, 2017's Nonfiction. Yet it isn't out of place in the band's catalogue, either, as the group is known for making music that borrows pieces from different genres: hip-hop beats, electro-pop synthesizer tones and radio-friendly, catchy sing-along choruses.

Made entirely by Kimmel and Scott, the music video was shot in Scott's home and shows the duo cycling through various activities: playing music, dancing in front of colorful backdrops, drinking, playing an intense game of cards, more drinking, and eventually holding a puppy.

"We wanted it to be pretty color-intensive," says Kimmel. "We had two LED strips set up like a backdrop in Chris’s kitchen and just experimented with colors. It’s kind of like a fun, dance-y song, so we wanted to mirror that in the video and then just incorporated a bunch of different household props."

The video has the feel of two friends playing around in front of a camera and figuring things out on the fly, because that's precisely what is happening.

“We had this whole plan for the video, and when we started setting up the shots, it just wasn’t working out well," he says. "We wanted to incorporate props in some way. The card game is sort of the knell of the song, and that just came out of messing around.”

Much like Facebook Live or Instagram Live, YouTube Premiere will give fans the opportunity to watch and react to the video in real time. People will be able to comment during the video and interact with Kimmel and Scott throughout.

“Our plan is to be present when we premiere, and hopefully there’s a good turnout and people are into it and we can answer their comments," Kimmel says.

OptycNerd "Days Are Done" Music Video Premiere, 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 16, YouTube Premiere. - Denver Westword


Naive (Unsigned)

CU Denver alum,OptycNerd, released their latest EP, Naive, providing fans new tracks to blast at their summer parties.

This electronic indie-pop band incorporates many aspects of various genres into their music. The song “On The Low” best demonstrates their use of cross-genre sound. When Chris Kimmel raps on this track, he sounds like a clean-cut version of a young Eminem, but the plucking of the electric guitar by Chris Scott at the beginning of the track is most common within the rock genre. Overall, the song blends enough sounds together to make it original, but not overbearing for listeners.

Title song “Naive” is most memorable for listeners due to its carefree sound. The song is made for easy listening due to the lighthearted lyrics and catchy beat. The song sums the hesitant feelings of youth: “Naive, not even thinking about consequence/Just consonance with friends/Don’t want this all to end.”

Audiences who have ever been in a complicated relationship will resonate with the track “Marathons” as it deals with loving someone who can be difficult. This lighthearted track is humorous and honest about the emotions felt while being annoyed by your partner.

The EP’s closer takes it slow with the cover of James Bay’s “Let It Go.” The cover replaces the electric guitar with synthetic beats, but does not alter much of the vocal aspect of the song. Audiences will enjoy the freestyle rap done by Kimmel in the middle of the track as it gives the original song more edge.

Naive delivers fans just enough music to want more from OptycNerd. This album reminds listeners of what it feels to be young, unsure, but full of life. Audiences will resonate with this up-and-coming band over the many mainstream pop artists.

Morgan Mackey - The Sentry

"Get to know a Denver band: OptycNerd"

Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott, both students at CU Denver, met at a party over two years ago. Since their chance encounter on that fateful evening, Scott and Kimmel began creating music together as OptycNerd, an indie hip-hop duo. “The foundation of the music is rap; it’s hip-hop, but like Chris was saying, it’s always evolving and pulling from any type of music we’re listening to at the time,” Kimmel shared with AXS during a recent interview. Playing the Higher Ground Music Festival on Friday, August 21 at Casselman’s, better acquaint yourself with this energetic, fun-loving, musical pair in this exclusive Q&A.

AXS: Are you Denver natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?
Chris Kimmel (vocals): I was born in New York, but I grew up in Pennsylvania. I moved to Denver for school.
Chris Scott (DJ, guitar): I’m from Southern California, but grew up in Colorado. I also came to Denver for school.

AXS: What brought OptycNerd together?
Chris K.: School. We both attended CU Denver. We were at a party one night, and we locked eyes. I was nervous. I walked up to him and I was like, “Hi, I’m Chris.”
Chris S.: At that point, I definitely knew we were going to be in a band together.

AXS: How long has OptycNerd been together? What have you learned during that time?
Chris S.: We have been a band for almost two years. I think more than anything, we’ve learned to push each other, and not really settle for what we use to think was really good. Now we’re going for what’s going to be the absolute best. We’re not afraid to say when something sucks and needs to be redone.

AXS: Where was your first show in Denver, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?
Chris S.: Our first show in Denver was at The Meadowlark. We played with our good friends Vance Romance and our friend Michael, who is now in a band called Spectacle. We got a lot of great feedback and support from that show. It really kickstarted us into where we’re at now.

AXS: Have any Denver musicians inspired OptycNerd?
Chris K.: Yeah, of course. I think a lot of the moves that some of these groups and collectives are making a huge. The Moon Magnet crew, like déCollage and all of them, have their hands in so many cool projects. That’s super motivating.
It’s really cool to see some of these local bands working their way up… artists like Rose Quartz, Turner Jackson, Lily Fangz. Souls in Action is also doing big things for Denver artists.

AXS: What projects are OptycNerd currently working on?
Chris S.: We are currently working on a new EP, entitled Lush. We just released the first single, “Marathons”. We’re super stoked on the EP coming out here a few weeks. It’s definitely some of the best stuff OptycNerd has done.

AXS: What else is OptycNerd involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?
Chris S.: I work full-time at a recording studio here in Denver called Side 3, which is where we record a lot of our music.
Chris K.: I’m in a cover band called Funkiphino. I’m in an a cappella group called Mix, where I do vocal percussion. I also run/walk dogs in my community.

AXS: Does OptycNerd have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces? Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?
Chris S.: One thing we have a hard time with is sticking to one specific genre. We find that it’s always similar, but it’s always kind of influenced by what we’re listening to.
Chris K.: The foundation of the music is rap; it’s hip-hop, but like Chris was saying, it’s always evolving and pulling from any type of music we’re listening to at the time.

AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard OptycNerd, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?
Chris K.: Three words: Good Looking Guys. [Whistles]
Chris S.: [Runs fingers through hair]

AXS: What would your ideal live show look like? Where would it take place? Any particular time of year? Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for OptycNerd?
Chris S.: It doesn’t matter how big or small the venue is. For me, it would just be any show where everyone is super stoked to see OptycNerd.
Chris K.: Yeah, any show where people came to see us would be ideal. I think we’d have an awesome set with Cherub, Childish Gambino, and like Tchami to close it out. Those three artists give us a lot of inspiration in our sound.

AXS: What shows are you looking forward to over the next few months?
Chris K.: We’re playing Higher Ground Music Festival (August 20-22). We’ll be playing at Casselman’s at 11pm on Friday, August 21st. Pretty stoked for that.
Chris S.: I’m excited for RAC in November, one of my favorite bands, Vacationer, in October, and obviously for that band OptycNerd playing at Higher Ground.

AXS: What do you enjoy most about Denver’s music scene, and why?
Chris S.: I’ve been in the Denver music scene since high school. Over the years, I’ve seen it grow so much. The music scene is growing stronger and the city is getting to be known as a great place for artists to thrive. It’s awesome to be a part of this scene and getting to meet new artists all the time.
Chris K.: Yeah, what he said. - AXS

"OptycNerd's Newest Single "Instigator" Is Made to Get You On Your Feet"

OptycNerd's latest single, “Instigator,” out June 1st, is the perfect addition to your summer party playlist or that mix you put on in your car for late night summer drives.

The infectious dance-y tune lyrically explores the complexities of relationships, specifically the instigation of nuanced relationships and how trying to figure out who the instigator is can take away from the moment at hand.

The instrumentals and composition of the track excel in a myriad of ways. The song begins with an ethereal almost alienesque introduction before echoing vocals enter and layers of drums, percussion, and clapping build along with a catchy tempo. As the song fills out, OptycNerd's interest in multiple genres comes through.

Bursts of pop sounds rupture the light, electronic feel of the song, evocative of bands like Passion Pit and CHVRCHES. A synthy guitar bridges the refrain and verse at one point and the track recedes with a funky outro in which the muffled, muted, cosmic vocals melt into a full circle ending.

OptycNerd has themselves instigated a melding of different sounds to cultivate a quintessential electropop tune that will make even the non-dancers want to dance along.

-Julia - Bolder Beat


Still working on that hot first release.



After meeting at a party and realizing they both had the same first name, Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott immediately knew that they had to form a group and change human existence as we know it. They joined forces and created what is now known as OptycNerd. Since then, the Denver-based duo has crafted their own signature sound- one that fuses electronic production with the lyrical and melodic elements of hip hop and pop. They channel some of their favorite artists including Snakehips, Disclosure, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, and Classixx to create what critics have called "some of the hottest new music since Gregorian chant." When people first hear their music, they often say things like, "It's not bad" or "this is okay." With consistently dope releases such as their first full-length album, “Never Come Down,” OptycNerd has proven themselves to be key players in the Denver music scene. With these guys on your radar, you can expect a constant supply of bangers, an outrageous social media presence, and high energy live performances. In the future, OptycNerd plans to keep working at their craft and eventually become elite members of the Illuminati.

Band Members