Blvck Hippie brings rhythmic riffs and deep lyrics to Albuquerque - Albuquerque Journal

Blvck Hippie brings rhythmic riffs and deep lyrics to Albuquerque

Indie rock act Blvck Hippie is set to play the Launchpad on Jan. 31. (Courtesy of Lawrence Shaw)

Blvck Hippie is set to share experiences and moments with the Albuquerque crowd.

The act is bringing relatable stories and rhythmic riffs to the Launchpad on Jan. 31. The band’s first visit to the Duke City didn’t go all too well, however.

“I just remember my guitar kept getting out of tune … it was just a bad show. It was one of the rare real life shows where I was like, oh, we didn’t play well,” lead singer and guitarist Josh Shaw recollected. “The highs and lows are part of it, but I remember Albuquerque was really cool.”

Shaw hopes there’s a good showing this time around, and there’s a high chance of such. Blvck Hippie is keeping the momentum from a successful last two years with this tour. In 2021, the act released its first full length album, “If You Feel Alone At Parties,” and the title track off that collection has over 2 million streams on Spotify.

Shaw said that album only took three days to track and is “hyped” about making more music.

“I feel the success of the album gave me a free pass to whatever I want for the rest of life creatively,” Shaw said. “We didn’t have nearly as much time as we wanted to, and it turned out amazing. … I feel like there’s more hype and confidence to be myself now.”

“If You Feel Alone At Parties” is full of metrical guitar licks and structure, and the beats are catchy no matter the tempo. The album embodies not only the alternative pop sound, but also clever stories that can translate from Shaw to the listener.

Beyond the popular title track, the listing has a slew of other gems, including the clever themes in “NYE” and “July 5th,” the musical versatility of both “Art School” and “Technicolor,” and the musician’s personal connection to “Bunkbed.”

Shaw, a classically trained musician since youth and through higher education, addresses mental health throughout Blvck Hippie’s songs. Many of the tracks stem from personal experiences, some more darker than others, but yet relatable.

Deaths of family and friends, heartbreak and depression all had an effect on Shaw, and the musician was unmotivated to create at times. Yet, Shaw accepted vulnerability as something to share rather than repress.

“I started writing as a means to cope,” Shaw said about being drawn to music as an escape. “It’s more intentional now than it was in the past.”

Shaw added, “It’s not just talking about my own problems, but talking about them in a vulnerable way that everybody who goes through something can have that to attach to, and be like, he’s just like me.”

Blvck Hippie recorded a new record in November and plans to release the material this year.

“It’s more consistent,” Shaw said about the upcoming album. “I feel like everybody recognizes just a more evolved version of our sound. It’s a good combo of … elements of everything we can just pull from.”

Shaw said the band as a whole is influenced by an eclectic mix of genres, and certain artists helped the musician specifically push through issues – a task Shaw hopes to forward to a new generation of listeners.

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