Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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Laidback and oozing with psychedelic influences, Lowmello has been an act to watch in Albuquerque since shows returned at the beginning of the summer. The creative project of Abel Gonzalez, Lowmello features artists and musicians from a multitude of musical projects around Albuquerque.

A founding member of the Monsoon Music House, a collective of bands in Albuquerque, Gonzalez has been an instrumental member of Albuquerque’s thriving music scene for the last few years. Lowmello’s sound is a distinct combination of psychedelic and Indie rock genres that is notably laid back, or as Gonzalez puts its “ear candy.”

In an interview with The Paper. Gonzalez spoke about Lowmello’s inception and the journey that the project has been. A California transplant from Riverside, Gonzalez decided to head east to explore and experience what the great interior had to offer. While on I40 heading towards Ohio, Gonzalez and his brother decided to stop in the 505 for a night. One night was all it took for Gonzalez to be charmed by New Mexico, and for the benefit of the creative community in Albuquerque, Gonzalez decided to plant his creative roots and has been creating and producing ever since.

His first album, “Big Bang Boomerang,” was inspired by his experience leaving everything he had ever known in Riverside and the trials of starting anew without a support system. The album delves into themes of heartbreak and karma, approaching the well-trodden themes with a refreshing sense of reflection and nostalgia. This is most notable in the song “Change,” where Gonzalez approaches the subject of heartbreak with invigorating energy with a hint of psychedelic rock. Gonzalez reflected that the title of the album was inspired by “a bunch of energy that came back to me.” Like so many others, life after the pandemic radically changed life as we knew it; Gonzalez noted that the album was an exploration of “realizing who I am in this world.”

Although the project is a product of Gonzalez’s creativity, the guitarist and vocalist approaches his role with humility as he collaborates with a host of musicians from around the city. “I don’t want to make it seem like it’s all about me,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve learned over time to step into that role of owning up to it because I am proud of the fact that I was able to write and record all those songs by myself. In the past, I was kind of weird about it.”

Lowmello’s blend of easy-going rocks and timeless themes often draws comparisons to other Indie rock artists such as Mac Demaraco, The Strokes, and Tame Impala. There’s the undeniable creative freedom to Lowmello that Gonzalez attributes to his lack of formal music education. “In not knowing how to do things properly, I just do whatever ever sounds cool to me. I play it in a way that I know how to do it.”

When asked about upcoming projects, Gonzalez emphasized that the project is focused on recording its next album, one that hopes to build and expand on the themes of “Big Bang Boomerang,” which will celebrate its one-year anniversary this weekend. Gonzalez hopes to explore this relationship with time and the fear of the loss of time, a theme that is particularly relevant as we grapple with finally ridding ourselves of the pandemic. The music will still feature their signature laid-back psychedelic tunes but further explore this shared universal experience of coping with a post-pandemic world.

Gonzalez will be hosting an unplugged challenge at High & Dry Brewing this Saturday from 7-10 pm.