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OPINION: Five local Tucson bands you need to check out in 2023

Local+Tucson+band+The+Basements+perform+live.
Sophia Hammer

Local Tucson band The Basements perform live.

After taking some time to listen and reach out to local bands in the Tucson area, I found that the music scene was truly worthwhile. From the five bands I interviewed, I found a sense of hopefulness and understanding — a community that is not only working to bring Tucsonans together, especially Tucson youth, but also working towards building a strong connection amongst each other as musicians. Here are five local bands that students and all Tucson residents need to listen to in 2023.

Annie Jump Cannon

“Our mom was cool with it, so we just set up in the house and invited a bunch of friends over, so that’s really where it started — in our house, in our living room,” said Logan Membrila when asked about how Annie Jump Cannon began. 

The local band is comprised of 4 members — Logan Membrila is the backing vocalist and bassist, Rory Membrila is the lead singer and guitarist, Jake Cowen is the drummer and Ian Starks is the lead guitarist. 

Logan shares that he and sibling Rory “started playing music together at a pretty young age. I think that we grew up around a lot of music in our family and it led us to [getting] introduced into the rock scene.” 

Now they have a thriving album that was released recently in 2022 titled Flourishing Apart. The band traveled to New Jersey in October 2020 to record the album with No Sleep Records.

Both the band’s favorite, my favorite and one of their most well-known songs on the album is “Strawberry Fiona.” Rory relayed to me that the song was originally not supposed to be on Flourishing Apart but it ended up being one of their most played songs from the album. “Strawberry Fiona” started with Rory creating a “slow, sweet acoustic song,” which they reworked by adding new verses to make it more upbeat. 

If you want to hear “Strawberry Fiona” or any music from Flourishing Apart or other music by Annie Jump Cannon you can find them on Instagram @anniejumpcannon_ and most streaming platforms. Their next upcoming show is at the Groundworks in Tucson on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

New Misphoria

Lee Parada is the singer and guitarist and Bella Crump is the drummer of the local band New Misphoria. Although they are only a two-member band, they are able to effectively convey a powerful message through their music. 

“You need to accept your sadness … that’s what New Misphoria’s music does in every single song,” Crump said. 

Parada and Crump both use music as an outlet to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way and then encourage that behavior in their listeners and audience.

“I think that we as the musicians are the ones who basically control the perceived importance that comes from the music. So I am excited that we generally promote a good message,” Parada said. 

Their new singles “Chocolate Fondant” and “Reflective Skin” illustrate the positivity they are trying to bring into the music environment by emphasizing the importance of accepting your emotions in a way that is beneficial to you. “Being really pissed off, but being able to communicate it in a way that’s healthy,” Parada explained is what they do best. 

Check out “Chocolate Fondant” and “Reflective Skin” on all streaming platforms, and if you want to learn more about New Misphoria and their upcoming projects and shows you can find them on Instagram @newmisphoria. 

Coffin Hotbox

Daniel Knight, the rhythm guitarist and singer of Coffin Hotbox, states that the band members, “try to keep our music open and not too predictable.” 

The band consists of Knight, Andrew Weesner the lead guitarist, Max Michaud the drummer, Shane Harkins the bassist and Dennett Brown the lead singer. 

Their music is far from predictable and I found that what they create explores many different deep topics including experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, encountering poverty and feeling the emotions of eco-anxiety because of the global climate crisis. 

“The song ‘Second Wave Surf’ on our live album is one I wrote about my experience during the heights of the pandemic, hence second wave. It was one of the lowest points in my life and not just because my family totally locked down and stopped doing really any social activities but also because I was super broke at the time,” Knight said. 

The members of Coffin Hotbox find that it is crucial to speak upon the issues that matter most to them. “I know some people will be upset that this song is somewhat political but these are just things happening in our lives that will have a huge impact on what our world ends up looking like,” Knight said. 

To find out more about Coffin Hotbox you can find them on Instagram @coffinhotbox and most streaming platforms. Their next show is on Feb. 17 at the House of Bards

Coffin Hotbox
Coffin Hotbox

The Basements 

On Jan. 28, The Basements opened with their new single “Changes (stay the same)” at 191 Toole in Tucson. 

Sebastian Driver, the singer and guitarist; Brandon Pors, the lead guitarist; Dylan Goode, the bassist and Alex Sciortino, the drummer drew a large crowd to the local venue that Saturday night. 

The song “Changes (stay the same)” is, “about things that tend to stay the same even though everything is changing around you,” Driver informed.   

The band began in Goode’s basement during the COVID-19 pandemic and has since released their first extended play, “Long Stories Get Short.” They have performed at the DUSK Music Festival and have played at several local venues within the Tucson community and elsewhere. 

“We are amazed by how supportive of a community Tucson is for local artists, and have tons of gratitude for all the people that have helped us along our journey,” Goode said. 

The Basements are ecstatic to continue performing throughout Arizona and revealed that they have many exciting opportunities coming up in the next few months. Their next show will be at The Nile Theater on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. 

Goode joked that for people who want to see them live, he hopes they acquire, “permanent hearing damage, the urge to dance, and [are] inspired to be themselves and do what they want.” 

To learn more about The Basements you can find them on Instagram @thebasementsmusic,  TikTok and most streaming platforms. 

The Basements
The Basements

The Sinks 

The Sinks is a four-member band consisting of Jackson Kimball, the singer and guitarist; Gabriel Noriega, the bassist; Harrison Cable, the drummer and Aidan Ochoa, the guitarist. 

Kimball, Noriega and Cable have known each other since middle school. They decided in high school they wanted to start a band. “We started playing some jazz together at Tucson High, but we decided we wanted to play rock music,” Cable said. 

Kimball joked that, “Back then we all played bass, but we kind of switched to guitar and drums. We realized we couldn’t have three bass players in a band.”  

They mainly focus on creating alternative rock music but have since been trying to incorporate country western influences into the music they play. The members of the band explained that they love to go heavy on the guitar — attempting to build it up and break it down throughout their songs. “If we make a really good song, we want people to lose their minds over it,” Cable said. 

More information about upcoming shows and music can be found on their Instagram @thesinksband and YouTube

Many of these bands put on live performances throughout Tucson. All of us, but especially the younger generation have undergone devastating impacts from growing up during the COVID-19 pandemic and being secluded from live social activities. 

Parada from New Misphoria relates to a lot of what we are feeling right now. “After this pandemic, it’s so hard to navigate everything … the way that we are so consumed with being online, it’s hard to connect with people your own age in person,” they expressed. Now with the return of live music, it is important to encourage ourselves and others to get involved to build up our Tucson community and connect with others in person again. 

The Sinks
The Sinks


Follow Sophia Hammer on Twitter


Sophia is a sophomore studying family studies and human development and global studies. She loves to write pieces concerning politics that affect the Tucson and University of Arizona community.

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