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Collin Estes has mastered the fine art of pandemic collaboration.

Releasing music in a physical form can be a long process. 2020 brought out a lot of creativity, but this year we will start to see some of that art in its final form. Starting things off, I get to do a fun switcheroo! The torch has been tossed and now I get to write about former Reverb columnist Collin Estes.

On Friday, Feb. 5, Collin will be releasing his new album Our Favorite Prodigal Son through Anonymous Collective. This album has been a long process, grabbing from some older songs, and now putting them out in a bit of a different world.

“I started recording the album pre-COVID disruption, and the recording process kind of occurred in bits and parts because of that,” Estes explains. “I’d get a bunch of work done and then I’d have to wait a whole month or longer to work out logistics with my collaborators,” he says. “Ah, we were all such novices at pandemic collaboration back then.”

The album features collaborations with other Anonymous Collective artists like Greno on drums, Erin Moore lending some vocal skills, and Owen Kinslow adding some extra guitar parts. “They all did a phenomenal job,” Estes says.

Our Favorite Prodigal Son is a misty psychedelic folk album. It has a darker element than a lot of folk but it is still in there underlining the whole album, without being too forceful.

“The initial vision for the album was more bleak,” he says. “However, as the songs and album were taking shape, they also started to feel like they were holding some agency of their own.”

“So the album didn’t want to be so bleak, and I didn’t really want to just make my audience more depressed,” he says. “I didn’t want to further contribute to that.”

You can watch Collin’s virtual living room launch party at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 on the Anonymous Collective YouTube Channel, youtube.com/user/greno5/featured.

The album will also be available on CD and streaming online on Bandcamp.

 Colorado Springs’ busy bong boyz Dust Lord are releasing a four-song split with Michigan’s Bog Wizard. Four Tales of the Strange will be available on tape, CD and vinyl and digitally March 5. Dust Lord’s two tracks are pure doomy goodness and they recorded them in Denver at Rancho De Sancho with Keith Sanchez.  The way they met Bog Wizard isn’t too rare given the days we’re living in.

“I literally met Bog Wizard on the internet,” says Dust Lord founder Spike Shavor. From there on, they decided to release a split full of Doom Metal! The album art was done by Marinko Milosevski, famously known for doing the artwork for Western video game, Red Dead Redemption 2. Distribution for the album will be handled DIY by the band, and with the help of The Swamp Records, The Cosmic Peddler, and Kozmik Artifactz in Europe.

You can listen to one song from each band now and pre-order physical copies on Dust Lord’s Bandcamp, dustlordpartydoom.bandcamp.com.

In other new release news, hip-hop newcomer Past/Tense released his new album Turn the Lights On last year digitally, but this week he’s releasing it on a smooth compact disc. The album is a great refreshing blend of old-school classic hip-hop along with a modern touch of skateboard swagger. This album is so hot, you might need some oven mitts when you pick it up! You can listen to the album on all major streaming platforms. CDs will be available at What’s Left Records (disclosure, I co-own the place), or you can get one directly from Past/Tense by contacting him through linktr.ee/

PASTTENSE.

Local hard rock outfit Lamb Bed just released a video for “The Punk Song” that was on their 2020 EP B.U.M.S. Lamb Bed brothers Patrick and Kevin Brown actually wrote the song 20 years ago as a reaction to the tragic story of Amarillo punk rocker Brian Deneke, who was murdered in 1997 by a jock, simply for being a punk.

“We were really shocked seeing the story on 20/20, how a group of kids were bullied and discriminated against for the music they listened to, played, and the way they dressed. How those differences can lead to violence and death,” explains Patrick Brown. “Kevin and I grew up in many different places and always accepted the differences in all types of people.”

The video was made by Derrick Spencer and has even gotten the attention of Deneke’s family and friends. “Last night his dad liked and shared the video, his brother Jason said it’s badass, and one of his friends thanked us for reppin Amarillo. We’re stoked they like it!”

You can find the video for “The Punk Song” on YouTube, and you can pick up the B.U.M.S. EP at Independent Records, or stream it on Spotify. Lamb Bed is currently working on a full-length album with new drummer Dillon Defelice called Catch the Wave