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And the 2023 Sonic Spotlight winner is….

autumnal sonic spotlight 2023 winner ron bostwick washingtons fort collins colorado
Ron (l) with autumnal at the 2023 Sonic Spotlight Final Showcase at Washington’s in Fort Collins, Colo.

We’re thrilled to announced that autumnal has won the 2023 Sonic Spotlight competition! The judges made their decision during the Sonic Spotlight Final Showcase on Dec. 13 at Washington’s in Fort Collins, Colo. Our own Ron Bostwick emceed the evening.

A self-described “fuzz folk band” from Fort Collins and Denver, autumnal was one of three finalists in this year’s competion alongside clementine and Stone Jackals. All three bands performed during the Final Showcase, along with 2021 winner Julia Kirkwood and 2023 Audience Choice winner Still Runnin.

Ron autumnal washingtons stage sonic spotlight colorado
Ron (l) with autumnal

Each year for Sonic Spotlight, musicians from Northern Colorado aged 22 or younger apply to be part of the a friendly competition, designed to encourage and support young musicians across genres. To qualify, at least 50% of band members need to reside in Larimer or Weld counties.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of Colorado industry experts from a list of 8 Sonic Spotlight semifinalists:

Congrats to all the artists who participated in this year’s Sonic Spotlight!

Listener’s Choice Award

Based on your votes, Fort Collins band Stil Runnin wins this year’s Sonic Spotlight Listener’s Choice Award. Congrats to the band, and thanks to everyone who voted!

Meet the 2023 Sonic Spotlight finalists

autumnal clementine stone jackals Sonic spotlight finalists 2023 northern colorado bands musicians competition
Clockwise from top left: autumnal, Stone Jackals, clementine

autumnal is a fuzz folk band from Fort Collins and Denver. They combine the storytelling of folk songwriting with the tones and pedals of shoegaze to create a unique sound they’ve dubbed ‘fuzz folk’. autumnal is fronted by childhood best friends Annalee Knies on guitar and vocals and Geneva Hein on synth and vocals. They are rounded out by Justice Murray on bass and Nina Dorighi on drums. Their lyrics detail the lives of 20-somethings navigating the world, everything from queerness to climate change. They strive to make the music scene an inclusive space for anyone who wants to get involved, starting with their own shows.

Freshly squeezed out of Fort Collins, Colo., clementine features bright guitar riffs juxtaposed with heavy-hitting drums and lyrics. With an alternative rock, punk, and soulful grip on the music they write and perform, clementine offers something unique and diverse. Their energy is over-the-top intense with a sharp, in-your-face presentation. 

Stone Jackals is a Colorado rock band formed by high school friends in 2018. They play a range of rock music, from indie to heavier garage rock. They’ve recently played shows with acts like the Orwells and Zella Day and want to continue to increase their presence across Colorado and beyond. 

About Sonic Spotlight

Sonic Spotlight, a music competition and talent development program, is a beacon for aspiring musicians in Northern Colorado, providing a platform for them to share their music and continue to develop their professional careers. Learn more about Sonic Spotlight on the program’s website.

Sonic Spotlight is brought to you by The Colorado Sound along with the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and the Bohemian Foundation.

Related pages:

The Colorado Sound Music Awards – meet the 2024 nominees

Top 850 Cover Songs – see the complete list of songs based on your votes

Soundboard Newsletter – subscribe to get music news, presale codes, other goodies every Thursday morning

Become a Colorado Sound member – join our awesome community of passionate music lovers

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