In the heart of the South West around the Middle Rio Grande Valley Albuquerque, NM, there is a growing underground music scene full of youthful musical artists creating their own takes on staple music genres.
From Indie Rock to Burque Reggae, Pop Punk to R&B and Pop they’ve got it all covered. These young musicians are working hard on changing up the underground music movement in the area creating fun meaningful music for all to enjoy.
Local Indie wonder boys Five Mile Float throw a party every show. They play with beach balls, party hats and have a very fun, upbeat set including their featured song “Loose Interpretations,” drawing crowds that sing along to their happy songs.
Indie Rock Band So Say We All calls what they do “Nerd Core,” headed up by front man Jonathan Anderson. Though it’ll get you pumped, their tunes are a far cry from what the meatheads at the gym are grunting along to between reps. Intertwining questions of spirituality and creationism, referencing William Paley’s Watchmaker analogy as a theme for their album, and strategically composing atmospheric interludes, thoughtful poetry, and chords with as many colors as the sun setting over the mesa, it is clear that this faith-based group is no stranger to the enchanting beauty of New Mexico. With such a crosshatching of culture, the information age, theology, on a canvas of punk sentiment, they paint musical compositions that really are new.
The local Pop Punk scene is teeming with a new generation of youthful, energetic artists such as The Countdown (Formerly Countdown To Overkill) led by Jim Cheshire and crew and Right On, Kid!. Bringing their own brand of Duke City Pop Punk to the game (along with pizza and skateboards). Both bands are working hard on new albums as this article is being written. The Countdown is in the studio at Duke City Sound in Albuquerque and Right On, Kid! (Signed to DCS Records) are in the studio in Arcadia, California working with producer/engineer David Dominguez (Weezer, The Offspring, Papa Roach & Queen Latifah).
Burque’s brand of Reggae is like no other. Bands like The Riddims and Mondo Vibrations play their laid back style of the staple genre from the Caribbean isles. Reggae soul splashed with a dose of Rock ‘n Roll, these guys are fun to be around and their smooth tunes are great to groove to. Listen to their music and be inspired by the brand of High Desert Rock’n Reggae.
Pop and R&B artist Leah Leyva mesmerizes audiences all around the Duke City with her original music and crazy vocal talent. Her passion for creating music shows through in her performances and is backed up by the incredible guitar licks her dad, Moses Leyva, that rocks the house all night long. Leah Leyva and The Band released their debut self-titled EP through DCS Records last summer. Leah is looking to work on the next album this summer.
If Psychadelic / Prog rock is your flavor RAWRR is rocking in downtown Albuquerque regularly with their melodic guitar riffs by JD Harding. Their recently released album Living on a Dying Star is a great example of the diversity in the music scene in Albuquerque.
Along with musicians in the local music scene there are a number of newer venues and recording studios working to support local underground music. All ages venues like The Blu Phoenix, The Jam Spot, Duke City Sound Stage and The Co-Op provide opportunities for local bands to perform shows and open for national touring acts. Local studio Duke City Sound offers a facility for local artists to work together to write, rehearse, perform and record music. An offshoot of Duke City Sound, DCS Records helps young artists to write, record, release and distribute their music.
Take a chance. Listen to some of these emerging artists. Try it, you might like it!
Rhett Butler is the label head for DCS Records, based in Albuquerque, NM. Learn more about the label and the bands they have signed by checking out their website here.