Jemez Mountain Hawkz was the brainchild of the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Dameon Lee Waggoner of Scared of Chaka, who recruited singer/songwriter Ian Moore, Waggoner’s former bandmate, Dave Hernandez (who was also a member of the Shins), Drew Church of Little Cuts, and Steve Barci, completing a triangle between Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Hey-Mez is the band’s debut EP and it draws heavily from the AM radio friendly rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s, 1970s country, modern alt country, and indie rock.
When you listen to the EP’s 5 tracks, there’s this sense of longing for the halcyon days of a past that seemed simpler and less uncertain. But it’s also a perfect soundtrack for hitting the road towards what one hopes would be a brighter, more positive future. “Go West, young man!” the album seems to say. Their debut reminds me a lot of Truth and Salvage, Co., Wilco, and others – all fair sonic comparisons to be honest, but delivered with an amiable, Saturday afternoon sort of charm. It’s become a recent favorite of mine. Check this stream of the album, and I think you’ll think the same way too.