Born from the pandemic, the Denver-based band People Like Me explores a new genre of music they call “power pop-rock.” Simultaneously a style of music and an empowered mindset all in one, the four members of People Like Me share the common goal of creating music that “takes an upbeat approach to life’s hard lessons.” Singer/guitarist Bam Gordon, singer/guitarist Ryan Patrick, drummer Jordan Ryan and bassist Charlton Demas didn’t necessarily intend to create art within this newfound genre. Rather, their sound is “developed organically from our unique friendship dynamic and our own individual influences,” said Jordan Ryan.
Having connected just weeks before the pandemic through a mutual friend, Gordon, Patrick, Ryan and Demas “experienced setbacks, grief, and mental health challenges” over the course of the pandemic that would shift their lives and bring about the creation of their band, People Like Me. From their newfound bonds and mutual experiences, People Like Me “evolved into a project where we could provide an optimistic and heartfelt musical response to these challenges,” said Ryan. Today, with two newly released singles, accompanying music videos and a debut EP on the way, the four players of People Like Me are finding their strides both within their musical careers and in recent life, the latter of which they describe as both “tough and funny.”
The musical aspect of the band-originated genre is self-described as punk-rock with “a little je ne sais quoi,” with the four members each coming from vastly different musical backgrounds. While bassist Demas is an academically trained musician, Jordan Ryan learned how to play drums by banging on trash cans on the sidewalks of Arkansas for Oreo money. Gordon is both a self-taught guitarist and an experienced jazz vocalist, and “Renaissance Man” Ryan Patrick brings “technical know-how” to the group as a recording engineer, producer, and film editor.
People Like Me’s first single “Don’t Hold Your Breath” was released in October of 2021 and was literally and quite amusingly written about Ryan Patrick’s owing of several outstanding debts to Jordan Ryan, and the likelihood of those debts ever being repaid (or not). Their recently released second single “Lifesaver” is another lighthearted take on life’s inevitable hiccups, with both singles being well-complimented by their entertaining and DIY music videos. A pinnacle point of the band’s creative process, these music videos “create lighthearted stories to reinterpret and reframe our own mental wellness journeys,” said Ryan. “The world may be a cold and cruel place, but we don’t have to respond back to the world that way.”
Though young at heart and high-spirited, People Like Me’s silliness is well-balanced with discipline and determination. With an EP in the works, they find that “setting timelines for ourselves helps to keep us focused and organized while balancing the ups and downs of life.” Looking forward, we can expect two new upcoming singles from the group:”Winning Lottery Tickets” and “Barfly,” with predictably two more music videos to follow. As People Like Me evolves from amateur to official, the foursome plans to continue to bring new music, fresh sounds and positive vibes to the local music scene.
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