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

After taking some time to listen to and reach out to local bands in the Tucson area, I found that the music scene was truly worthwhile. I found a sense of hope and understanding in the five bands I interviewed – a community that not only works to bring Tucsonans together, particularly the Tucson youth, but also works to create a strong connection between each other as musicians . Here are five local bands students and all Tucson residents need to hear in 2023.

Annie Jump Cannon

“Our mom thought that was cool, so we just settled into the house and invited some friends over, so it really started — in our house, in our living room,” Logan Membrila said when asked how Annie Jump Cannon started .

The local band consists of 4 members – Logan Membrila is the backing vocals and bass player, Rory Membrila is the lead vocals and guitarist, Jake Cowen is the drummer and Ian Starks is the lead guitarist.


Logan shares that he and his siblings, Rory, “were making music together from a fairly young age. I think our family grew up listening to a lot of music and that’s what got us into it [getting] introduced to the rock scene.”

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

The band’s favorite song, my favorite song and one of their most recognizable songs on the album is “Strawberry Fiona”. Rory informed me that the song wasn’t originally supposed to be on the record thrive apart but it became one of their most played songs on the album. Strawberry Fiona began with Rory creating a “slow, sweet acoustic song,” which they reworked, adding new verses to make it lighter.

If you want to hear “Strawberry Fiona” or any music from thrive apart or other Annie Jump Cannon music can be found on Instagram @anniejumpcannon_ and most streaming platforms. Their next upcoming show is February 23 at 7 p.m. at the Groundworks in Tucson

New misphoria

Lee Parada is the vocalist and guitarist and Bella Crump is the drummer for local band New Misphoria. Despite being just a two piece band, they are able to convey a powerful message through their music.

“You have 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 healthy ways, and then encourage those behaviors in their listeners and audiences.

“I think that we as musicians are the ones who fundamentally control the perceived meaning that emanates from the music. So I’m happy that we’re spreading a good message in general,” said Parada.

Their new singles “Chocolate Fondant” and “Reflective Skin” exemplify the positivity they seek to bring to the music environment by emphasizing the importance of embracing your emotions in ways that are beneficial to you. “Being very pissed off, but communicating it in a healthy way,” 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 hot box

Daniel Knight, Coffin Hotbox’s rhythm guitarist and vocalist, explains that the band members “try to keep our music open-ended and not too predictable”.

The band consists of Knight, Andrew Weesner on lead guitar, Max Michaud on drums, Shane Harkins on bass and Dennett Brown on lead vocals.

Her music is far from predictable and I found her creations to explore many different profound themes including experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, confronting poverty and feeling the emotions of environmental anxiety due to the global climate crisis.

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

Coffin Hotbox members find it important to speak up about the issues that matter most to them. “I know some people will be upset that this song is a bit political, but these are just things that happen in our lives and will have a huge impact on how our world ends up being,” Knight said.

To learn more about Coffin Hotbox, you can find her on Instagram @coffinhotbox and most streaming platforms. Their next show is on February 17th at the House of Bards.


coffin hot box

The basements

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

Sebastian Driver, the singer and guitarist; Brandon Pors, 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,” informed Driver.

The band started out in Goode’s basement during the COVID-19 pandemic and have since released their first extended play, Long Stories Get Short.

“We are amazed at how supportive a community of Tucson is to local artists and are so grateful to all of the people who have helped us on our journey,” said Goode.

The Basements are excited to continue performing across Arizona and showed they have many exciting opportunities in store for them over the next few months. Her next show is on February 10th at 7pm at The Nile Theatre

Goode joked that for people wanting to see them live he hopes they don’t have “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 cellar_sophiahammer

The basements

The sinks

The Sinks is a four piece band consisting of Jackson Kimball, the singer and guitarist; Gabriel Noriega, the bass player; 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 that they wanted to form a band. “We started out playing jazz together at Tucson High, but we decided to play rock music,” Cable said.

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

They primarily focus on alternative rock music, but have since tried to incorporate country-western influences into their music. The band’s members explained that they love playing the guitar hard – and try to build and break it during their songs. “When we make a really good song, we want people to lose their minds about it,” Cable said.

For more information on upcoming shows and music, follow her Instagram @thesinksband and YouTube.

Many of these bands give live performances throughout Tucson. All of us, but especially the younger generation, are devastated by growing up and being withdrawn from social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parada from New Misphoria relates to a lot of what we are feeling right now. “After this pandemic, it’s so hard to navigate through everything… the way we’re so busy being online, it’s difficult to personally connect with people your age,” they said . Now that live music is making a return, it’s important to encourage ourselves and others to get involved in building our Tucson community and to reconnect personally with others.


The sinks

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Sophia is a second year student majoring in Family Studies and Human Development and Global Studies. She loves writing articles on politics affecting the Tucson and University of Arizona community.

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