Husband-Wife 'Mountain Goth' Duo Volores Kicks Off 2023 With Concert, New Music | Westword

Husband-Wife 'Mountain Goth' Duo Volores Kicks Off 2023 With Concert, New Music

They play Globe Hall Saturday.
Volores, the new project of Monument husband-wife duo Nathen and Shelby Maxwell, are exploring "mountain goth" vibes.
Volores, the new project of Monument husband-wife duo Nathen and Shelby Maxwell, are exploring "mountain goth" vibes. Courtesy Alan Esparza
Share this:
For Nathen and Shelby Maxwell, starting a band together was inevitable. Nathen is the bassist for Flogging Molly, while Shelby is a singer-songwriter. But it’s always been a matter of finding the time to sit down and create.

“When two musicians marry, you kind of skirt around the idea of doing music together every other day,” Shelby says.

They both laugh, as if it’s the first time they’ve shared such a sentiment publicly, before Nathen explains that the unexpected downtime during the pandemic provided the opportunity they needed to start writing music together from their Monument home.

“It was like, ‘Why aren’t we doing this as a household?’ It started with us just going and playing acoustically together, but very quickly I wrote more and presented more to Nate, and we created these songs together,” Shelby shares.

Volores, the Maxwells' “COVID baby,” as Nathen puts it, is the result of those recent sessions. The band, which includes drummer Art Brown, recently released a single, “Ages,” while another one, "All That We Could Need," will be out on Friday, January 13. Both songs are off the upcoming debut album AGES, which drops on February 24. But curious listeners don’t have to wait that long. Volores is playing Globe Hall Saturday, January 7 — the band’s first show on a mini-Front Range run this month. Vatican Vamps, fronted by Nathen’s former bandmate in The Bunny Gang, and Egoista are providing support.

Dubbing their sound “mountain goth,” both Shelby and Nathen list The Cure, Leonard Cohen, Interpol and Elliott Smith as influences. “Ages” is a brief glimpse into that sound, complete with a distinct bass line and catchy chorus that shows off Shelby’s vocal range. The couple spent five days at Sonic Ranch — a residential recording studio in Texas — with engineer Diego Mendoza working on and recording the twelve songs that would become AGES.

Lyrically, the Maxwells aren’t afraid to chronicle their lives together, and they actually find that music helps them process some experiences. “You have an extra layer of vulnerability when you’re creating with your significant other. You already know each other at a depth and level that other people don’t quite understand. You add your creative vulnerability to it, [and] it really does allow for joyous creation, in my opinion, because it does feel so raw and real all the time,” Shelby says. “It really is putting our personal life on display a lot of the time. It helps heal. It helps you work through things, I think, as a couple. Not only are you talking about it and getting through the situation, but if it was a poignant moment — good, bad, ugly — it can end up in one of our songs. As musicians, as creatives, it’s our way of processing. You really do learn your partner on a deeper level, because there were times it was like, ‘Didn’t that just happen yesterday, and you already wrote a song about it?’ ‘Yeah, why not?’”

“It’s amazing, because I’m able to experience it in a really beautiful way in the music,” adds Nathen.

He points out that the organic nature of the Volores creative process is something he appreciates, too.

“From my point of view, the way it really seems to all be happening is Shelby will be the catalyst and channel of these melodies and lyrics,” he adds. “Right now, I really love that. I love Shelby coming up with these initial melodies and lyrics and taking that with her and together forming it into Volores. I think it’s working really well so far.”

While it’s just the beginning, the Maxwells are looking forward to nurturing Volores and expanding the band’s reach and breadth.

“We really love this. We love performing. It’s what we do, so this is something that we plan on building and working towards for the rest of our lives,” Nathen says.

Volores, 8 p.m. Saturday, January 7, Globe Hall, 4483 Logan Street. Tickets are $15.
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Westword has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.