Has it really already been six months? With the shifting political landscape, and a new day job for me personally, time has been playing some really dirty tricks this year. It’s mostly gotten away from me, which pushed MeccaLecca into a bit of a hiatus, but I never stopped listening. I never quite allowed my ear to remove itself from the dry, dusty earth of our little local scene.
One of the biggest stories locally has been the announcement that one of Santa Fe’s bigger venues, Skylight, will be closing this year. They’re currently honoring all previously scheduled events, but it’s only a matter of time until the city loses one of its main stops for nationally touring acts. There’s undoubtedly mixed feelings throughout the community. Regardless of how your feel about the venue, it’s tough not to see it as a major loss even if their calendar had grown less exciting since the opening of Meow Wolf.
Fortunately, Meow Wolf continues to flourish, luring in some of the most exciting indie rock, electronic and hip hop acts from around the country. Angel Olsen, Clark, Devendra Banhart, Mykki Blanco, P.O.S., Itchy-O, and Whitney are just a few of the fantastic acts they’ve brought to town this year. Future Islands, Ty Segall, Jay Som, Zola Jesus, and the Drums are just a few of the great acts stopping through later this year.
2nd Street Brewery’s new location on Rufina will be opening soon, and will come equipped with a 230 capacity venue that should offer another strong option for touring bands.
On the more DIY level, Zephyr has done an incredible job of consistently providing an intimate space for smaller touring acts and some of our best local talents to showcase their tunes. Similarly, The Cave remains vital to our vibrant metal scene. Another DIY hotspot, Ghost. has seen a revival following being taken over by Matron Records’ Eliza Lutz.
On top of all this, the summer brings more free Railyard concerts presented by AMP, the Summer Bandstand Series in the Plaza, the wonderful AHA Festival, and an impressive set of shows at the Santa Fe Opera, including an incredible Fleet Foxes / Beach House double bill in September.
Notable Local Releases
Released March 3, 2017
Flossy Clouds first caught my attention a year ago. Their EP Moon Lighting as well as previous album A Hit From The Swing had me questioning how such a promising indie band could sneak under my radar in this little city. Their latest release Sunset Street finds the duo continuing to grow and refine their identity. They’ve adopted more elements of electro pop, including modulated vocals, and it fits them well.
Key Tracks: Arrow, Dreamaway, Lake
Released March 10, 2017
Lone Piñon’s debut last year was a joyful ride through the exciting roots of New Mexican music. On Dia Felices, the trio picks up where they left off while adding in a fair amount of accordion to the mix.. With virtuoso talent and immense respect for the material, Lone Piñon excels in showcasing the rich diversity of locals roots music. Their playing remains as playful and passionate as ever, which makes Dia Felices an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Key Tracks: Estas Lindas Flores; Las Conchitas; Mirada Que Fascina
Released May 26, 2017
Well, I’d never heard of Dog Park before stumbling onto this three song EP on bandcamp but hopefully it’s not the the last I’ve heard from them. Their casual indie rock here shows a lot of promise.
Key tracks: Ghosts; Pure of Heart
Released May 12, 2017
Tucked away in Taos, Trummors is not as well know an act here in Santa Fe as they should be. Released via the wonderful Ernest Jenning Record Co., Headlands finds the duo perfecting their brand of relaxed psych folk. Fitting nicely in the realm of Beachwood Sparks, The Handsome Family, and CSNY, there’s a deep haze of radiant sunshine that encompasses Headlands as it drifts at a casual pace through the barren desert landscape.
Key Tracks: Desert City Gold, L.A.River, Spanish Peaks,
Like Wiggling a Loose Tooth
Released May 24, 2017
Flamingo Pink!’s latest EP stays true to her electronic path while finding her quietly pondering the arrival of a new child.
Key Tracks: Nice & Neat; Before Us
Released May 26, 2017
The debut LP by Fox White hits hard with a combo of metal riffs and punk energy. Local hero Jessie Deluxe leads the attack with acrobatic vocals that effortlessly cycle between elegant and fierce. With an extensive 17 tracks, Fox White may run a little long for a debut, but it does offer the band a chance to run through a range of ideas and see what makes an impact. They’re at their best playing it fast and aggressive with complementary departures into their operatic rock.
Key tracks: Crazy Opera; Be Careful; The Sea
Released June 2, 2017
One half of beloved duo A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Albuquerque’s Heather Trost has long been a significant piece of the New Mexico music scene. Trost’s solo debut Agistri instantly sets the bar higher for every local act to follow. One of the finest records released anywhere this year, Agistri is perfect airy psych pop. There’s hints of the great Broadcast to be found, but Trost makes a significant mark of her own. It’s ultimately the sound of a mysterious, colorful dream, plus the Harry Nilsson cover is incredible.
Key Tracks: Agistri; Me & My Arrow; Real Me, Real You
Astoria Part I & II
Released June 2, 2017
Cloacas banjoman Johnny Bell’s meditative instrumentals remain serene.
Key Track: A Day in the Life
Thieves & Gypsys
Released June 3, 2017
With drummer Adam Cook leaving town, power trio Thieves & Gypsys cut one last EP with Adam in the band. The six new tracks find the trio mostly remaining in their comfort zone of catchy indie garage rock tunes. “The Knock” is a surefire crowd pleaser as good as anything they’ve done.
Kay Tracks: Animal; The Knock; Slipping Through
Upcoming Local Releases
The second half of 2017 will come loaded with some much-anticipated records from Matron Records. Ppoacher Ppoacher releases ppoacher ppoacher & the Concrete Dragonfly on July 14th. On August 4th, Storming The Beaches With Logos In Hand will release Bailiwick, Refused. And Albuquerque powerhouse Chicharra plans to unload Let’s Paint This Town in Craters in October.