Local Indie Band Gears Up for Life Is Beautiful

Desert Bloom L-R: Xavier Paul, Kennedy McClendon, and Kameron Salek.
Photo Courtesy of Desert Bloom. Image created by Jennifer Durnell/Vegas News

This year’s Life is Beautiful is featuring some of the biggest names in music to Las Vegas, including Billie Eilish, Green Day, and Tame Impala.

While the majority of artists this year are touring acts, Las Vegas indie-rock group Desert Bloom is one of the few local artists playing at the festival.

“It’s definitely been a dream come true [to play Life is Beautiful],” band member Kameron Salek said during a band interview with Vegas News.

The band currently consists of 18-year-olds Kameron Salek (keys, bass), Kennedy McClendon (guitar), and Xavier Paul (drums), with all three members sharing vocal duties. The band — which takes its name from a local park — formed three years ago while Salek and Paul attended Las Vegas Academy, along with McClendon who was a mutual childhood friend.

Since their formation, the band has gained widespread attention not only in the Las Vegas music scene but across streaming platforms like Spotify.

Notably, their catchy pop-driven track “Shut Up: It’s Showtime” has garnered over 500,000 listens on Spotify. The band also has a sizable discography spanning three years, including a 5-song EP and several singles  — the majority of which was recorded and produced by Paul.

While Desert Bloom’s sound takes a lot of their influence from early 2000’s indie-rock artists like Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, and Glass Animals, the band’s discography is filled with all sorts of genre-bending tunes that are bound to replay in your head over and over again.

“As far as our influences, we definitely try to do new things each time we release something,” Salek said.

Songs like “Shut Up: It’s Showtime” draw their listeners with jangly Ezra Koenig-esque guitar riffs mixed with frantic drum and bass lines, while other songs like “Throw Me a Bone” take on a more of a somewhat funky, playful approach in their sound. Perhaps their greatest experimentation can be heard in their EP “Paid Vacation,” which explores a diverse range of sounds, including hip-hop and jazz mixed with early indie-rock.

If the band’s extensive discography isn’t evident enough of Desert Bloom’s creative drive, the trio has also released two music videos and recently completed a 37-day tour over the summer that crammed in 34 shows across 29 cities.

The band has kept a DIY ethos, including songwriting, recording, and management, and plans on sticking with this formula for as long as possible.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way, especially now in an age where you can be DIY and there’s no prerequisite as to when you need music out or what you need to do live, or who you need for your crew,” Salek said.

You can catch Desert Bloom at the Container Park Rising Stars Stage by the Main Entrance of Life is Beautiful on Sept.18 from 4:30-5:15 PM.

You can listen to Desert Bloom on the following platforms:

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