When Liptruce decided to rebrand, changing their name from the Sir band may have seemed like an abandonment to all the things that have made them a local Denver favorite. However, for the three band members, the fresh start includes not only a vision of the new music but with it an entire new set of aspirations and dreams. Liptruce are turned up and ready to turn you on.
The trio, made up of Sara Angela (SA) on vocals, Kim O’Hara on guitar, and Luke Mehrens on percussion, have been playing together for only a few years and released the debut album So Cold in December of 2017. The former Sir band deemed themselves sexy, alternative rock pop, and while those genres may sound generic, their sound and lyrical prowess was not. Anything but DIY, they were a grassroots outfit that had a sound far more mature than a group that had formed mere months prior.
Seeing success as the Sir band, their relatable and approachable lyrics paired with an undeniably danceable melody garnered attention from local and national news outlets. They played stages all over town regularly, with some necessary yet interspersed touring, and even made it to a headlining spot at Red Rocks Amphitheater. The downtempo, pop rock songs had grit, and audiences ate it up. However, it wasn’t getting the band to the next level, and they were ready to bite off more from the music industry and transcend the genre they had grown comfortable in.
“We used to be such a baby band, mentally and musically, and something happened to us after the last album,” said band frontwoman SA. “I basically spent everything I had in savings on it; we worked really, really hard, and then it didn’t go half as far as wanted.”
The fact of the matter is, while local success was nice, it wasn’t taking the band to the level of working musicians. Not wanting to play in a dozen other bands in order to make ends meet, the Sir band were in agreement. Make it big together, and that’s it.
A Fresh Start
A rebrand, including a new look, name, and sound aesthetic, was what the band felt was in order to turn things up within themselves and propel them to where they were truly wanting to go.
“We talked about it and said ‘Let’s just see what the f*ck we can get away with’ instead of being this safe, little band. Which, we didn’t even realize we were being safe; we thought we were being risky once upon a time,” said SA.
She went on, “We felt if we don’t challenge ourselves, we’re not going anywhere. We’re not growing. It’s so much more fun when you take risks.”
In a collective effort, the band broke through the pop genre and embraced the sexy side with the new music they were writing. Once the demos were complete, they packed up and headed to LA to rearrange and record the new music with engineer and co-producer Bob Horn.
The man who has worked with greats such as Timbaland, Usher, and Earth Wind & Fire, Horn was on board with cultivating a creative space that allowed Liptruce to explore the new direction.
“Working with Horn definitely upped our game; he is a wizard. We call him the three-eared raven,” SA said. “We had a very clear vision of what we wanted, which was different than any other time we’ve ever recorded. We’ve always taken direction from producers, and engineers always want to give their creative input. Bob gave such good advice that we often took it, but it was us taking a grain of his awesome idea and having it blast off into an even better idea of our own.”
With a confidence, a vision, and an all-in mentality, the band has definitely evolved into a project that is amped for mainstream appeal. The turned up melodic sex appeal, while not a dramatic departure from their former sound, is more methodical and intricate.
Within the four singles available for streaming, each song creates a landscape which explores one direction of the band’s ethereal search for humanity in relationships. The emotions are still raw and honest, maybe more honest than they have ever been before.
The Queer Advantage
Both SA and Kim identify as LGBTQ, and they are now at a point where the fear of being placed into a “queer band” box isn’t going to dictate their pride in being queer.
“I’ve been so scared and tiptoeing around it, being afraid of being pigeonholed into a certain genre. I was so afraid, but the bottom line is, I don’t care who calls my music what, as long as they like it,” SA said.
SA took the risk head-on, and on the upcoming album, there is a “very sexual song about sleeping with women,” she said, and while there was nervous energy around presenting it, she has found an empowerment in being able to fully express herself.
“We want to make music we want to hear. I was telling Kim before we went into the studio that I was really struggling to hear things I liked anymore. I was stuck on old albums and playlists, and what we are making now is my fave. Is it too egotistical to only want to listen to what we’re making?” SA laughed.
All three bandmates are well aware that the new sound and stage persona could either be a hit or a miss. SA explained that they are preparing for people to either love it or hate it, and she said they are okay with it either way. Liptruce is making the authentic music they want to be making, and that’s what matters. Yet, early listeners are giving feedback that is leaning more towards the love and away from the hate.
“We can feel the change happening; we can feel the shift in the community around us; we’re starting to actually hear how people are so impressed with our growth and change,” SA said. “That’s giving us a giant boost forward, and I think it’s because of the fact that we finally figured out how to do what we want.”
Catch Liptruce Live
With an upcoming album release show at Marquis Theater on November 15, Liptruce is eager to get on stage and show just how much they have turned up.
“Bring a date to the show because you might have a good night afterwards,” SA advises. “When I was on stage [before], I was hiding who I am, and not this show. I have an entire chair dance for you guys,” she said with a sly giggle.
With evolution comes doubt, and with doubt comes fear, and fear becomes toxic to a creative force. For Liptruce, they are transcending through it all. It’s no doubt through their unapologetic realness and foundational “we are one” mindset, they will soon see that next level of success they have been dreaming of.