Indigo Kidd drummer Garrett Curtsinger was walking through Mandalay Bay when he heard the distinct contralto of iconic pop matriarch Cher. Her 1998 hit “Believe” broke out over the speakers, and the percussionist headed home with an idea.
“I was watching TV, and [Garrett] came home and brought up that song,” says older cousin Eli Curtsinger, frontman and guitarist of the local rock band. “I hadn’t thought about it in a while, and I really liked the sound,” Eli, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, says. “[But] what if it was more wallowing?”
There’s a palpable sense of despair and urgency to Indigo Kidd’s cover of “Believe” (recorded at Las Vegas’ Naked City Audio), which Eli says was purposeful. “There’s a general mood these days, where people are more open to darker, nihilistic ideas,” he explains.
The energy of “Believe”—loud, raw and bleating—seems to echo the overall feeling of 2020, as the world navigates the uncertainty of a pandemic. The sound is also part of Indigo Kidd’s new trajectory, in which the band takes a more rock ’n’ roll vibe and less of an indie-pop sound, Eli says. It’s something like Roy Orbison meets The Misfits, or, as Curtsinger describes it, “party goth.”
“We want to be easygoing,” Eli says. “We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously, and we want to make some just really good rock music. But we’re also going to make songs that are existentially burdened, or maybe even nihilistic in nature.”
The trio—the Curtsinger brothers and bassist Dalton Willett—recently finished tracking a handful of new songs at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, some 30 miles east of El Paso, where a diverse roster of artists like Fiona Apple, Bon Iver and Swans have recorded. “Recording in the room where It’s Blitz! was [made] by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs—one of the bands that made me want to play music—is such a full-circle thing,” Eli beams. “I might not be a musician if that record wasn’t made.”
The trio plans to release a new single every month for the next five months. “I think it’s the future,” he says about releasing songs individually rather than collected on full-length record. “We’d love to do an album, but it would suck to release [it] and have this feeling like not that many people heard it or it’s just out there aging. Because there’s no touring or live shows, it’s forced us to get creative on how to approach lots of things.”
Indigo Kidd recently recorded two covers from the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender—“Leaves From the Vine” and “Secret Tunnel”—both with accompanying YouTube At-Home Sessions videos.
The band’s monthly Sonic Ranch releases are scheduled to begin August 31, with more visual content on the way, too. “We’ve just been trying to stay busy and stay creative,” Eli says. “There’s some really creative and talented people Downtown that we want to work with and let the good times roll.”