Introducing: UT Kirin – Southwestern Bleeds Colors & 3 Qs

Bedroom indie rock /psychedelic project of one HR Huber-Rodriguez. Began in an apartment on Ward St. in Berkeley, CA in December of 2015. Migrated to Davis, CA in August 2016. Continued on to include Nicholas Troughton, Matt Miller and David Seo from 2016-2019, during which time a live presence in Oakland and San Francisco was established, before relocating to Austin, TX and becoming a one man project once again.  

LP1, SF Is Fine, was released in 2015 and is not on Spotify (Bandcamp only) and is a collection of 10 very lo-fi songs about drugs and grad school and stories from the Bay Area. 

LP2, Wry Side of Paradise, was released in 2016 and is a concept album about my four years as an undergrad at Rice University, where each song represents a semester in chronological order.  

LP3, Lose Your Pacific Dreams, was released in 2018 and is very personal album about psychedelic-induced depression and missing Berkeley and working a desk job in Davis. 

LP4, Southwestern Bleeds Colors, was released in 2022 and is inspired by Latin American literature and the American and Mexican Southwest, and contains songs about other people, including fictionalized accounts of friends and characters in books and films.

Even though this album has been out for some time and the artists released more new music, I recommend checking it out on Bandcamp.

If you want to read more about this album, you can do it on Bandcamp as well. I will not share it this time, because it is a little bit longer, but it is still worth the read.

This album is a collection bedroom-folk-rock-punk songs with a strong emphasis on songwriting. The whole album is a story itself and I recommend you to pay closer attention to them. The album is full of energy and the songs have really nice drive. I like the blend of genres that makes the song so interesting. The whole album has a lot of 90s music vibes and I enjoyed that as well.

The discography of UT Kirin is vast and you can go through it. You can start with this album and then go to older and newer music. There is plenty to choose from and I bet you can find your favorites.

I have reached out to HR Huber-Rodriguez and asked 3 Qs.

What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?

I think I was inspired by just how much there was to the process, how technical it can be and how much room for creativity and unique sounds there is while still getting at something emotional and human. The first album I really loved as a kid was the White Album and those songs still hold up to me 25 years later, from some kind of technical and creative standpoint, but as a kid they just got at some part of my heart or way I looked at the world where I understood what those guys were really going for even though I was only 5 or 6. I think I keep making music because there’s endless room to improve and innovate, and it’s so satisfying to get something right, to make the kind of song where you think you’re doing something at least a little novel and that is the kind of track you would want to listen to.

What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?

The most challenging thing for me is working through getting your production to sound good. There’s so much self-doubt about whether a vocal line or guitar line or something is too high or low in the mix or sounds amateurish, you get so deep into the tracks and so close to them, and you can never hear them objectively again, you constantly compare yourself to other musicians. You have no idea if the song sounds well-produced or not but over long enough periods of time you can recognize yourself getting cleaner and tighter.

What would you dream to do if anything was possible?

I think i’d like to spend time living in lots of parts of the world and be able to learn the native languages fluently, sort of a way to try your hand at living multiple lives. I really like the United States, I live here by choice, but if money and time was no object I think my world and thoughts and experience could only broaden and become more enriching if I had the chance to spend a decent amount of time in different countries and really sink into the local life and culture.

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