White Iris Records, the label counterpart to Black Iris, a premiere recording studio and music
collective, is pleased to release the video for “Waking World” from El Sportivo & the Blooz. The
track comes from the upcoming Nights and Weekends LP, available February 26. The beautifully
shot video was directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada and features fellow director Isaac Ravishankara
as the lead. The lyrics behind “Waking World” were inspired by a vivid dream lead singer Daron
Hollowell had, but with Estrada the track takes on new vision. He filmed the video in desolate
Morelos, Mexico, explaining, “I see it as an allegory about how beautiful things can sometimes
come from dark places.” Hollowell fully endorses Estrada’s take, “The wandering and wounded
hero is an apt metaphor for the lyrics. And the climax of the video is such a dramatic and
beautiful scene, really the perfect ending for his journey.”
When you’re seeking out powerful rock n’ roll, you search below the surface. There
is the shiny and pristine and then there is the subterranean and the primitive. The
latter journey will take you across tequila-tangled guitar lines bashed out in
basements all across America. This is where you’ll find El Sportivo & The Blooz,
a crew who understand the necessity of rawness, urgency, and the sacral strength
of working under dim light.
“We wanted to let things be loose and about inspiration, not about trying to hide the
imperfections,” says Daron Hollowell, A.K.A. El Sportivo, about his LP debut Nights
and Weekends. “We were just trying to capture ourselves in the room, in the moment,
no over-thinking the performances or the mixes.”
The original room was a dingy basement practice space in Brooklyn, covered in
wall-to-wall cut outs of 70s rock magazine covers. Neil Young. Dylan. The Band.
This is the spot that Hollowell rented in the dead of winter, to record the demos that he
brought to the LA-based producer Lewis Pesacov. When you hear the record, you can
hear these heroes breathing in the steel guitar and the searing guitar lines. Don’t mistake
it for some hastily conceived, crudely cut record that you’ll forget about five minutes after
it stops spinning. There are also subtle hallmarks of deep thought and consideration—
deliberation that gets discarded at the moment of recording, allowing for inspiration
You might have initially caught the boozy vapors of El Sportivo & Co. two years ago.
They released an eponymous EP on White Iris, the imprint that Hollowell co-owns—
one of the first to release records from Best Coast, FIDLAR, Fools Gold and Foreign
Born. Lewis Pesacov, the lead guitarist of the latter two bands, produced the entirety of
El Sportivo’s sessions. The other proprietor of White Iris, Pesacov was instrumental in the
sculpting of El Sportivo’s sound, overseeing everything from equipment set-up
to the right alchemy of alcohol.
You can hear it in the first single, “Waking World,” a hazy and romantic odyssey of the broken
promises, big dreams, and words left unsaid that haunt most relationships. Backed by the
beautiful vocals of Nashville songstress Nikki Lane, El Sportivo thrust you into a world of
all-night drives, frantic door knocks, desperate longing, and eventually,
a bittersweet resolution.
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