When you’re seeking out powerful rock n’ roll, you search below the surface. There is the shiny and pristine and then there is the subterranean and the primitive. The latter journey will take you across tequila-tangled guitar lines bashed out in basements all across America. This is where you’ll find El Sportivo & The Blooz, a crew who understand the necessity of rawness, urgency, and the sacral strength of working under dim light. You might have initially caught the boozy vapors of El Sportivo & Co. two years ago. They released an eponymous EP on White Iris, the imprint that Daron Hollowell (aka El Sportivo) co-owns – one of the first to release records from Best Coast, FIDLAR, Fool’s Gold and Foreign Born. Lewis Pesacov, the lead guitarist of the latter two bands, produced the entirety of El Sportivo’s sessions. The other proprietor of White Iris, Pesacov was instrumental in the sculpting of El Sportivo’s sound, overseeing everything from equipment set-up to the right alchemy of alcohol. Despite the rollicking country saloon vibes, you can sense a deeper musical understanding. Hollowelll has spent the last several years building Black Iris, his boutique production house and agency that tirelessly cranks out top-tier music for film, television and advertisements. Before that, he spent his late teens and early 20s gigging in various hardcore bands that toured the world. His players, The Blooz, boast a sonic agility that can only come from years of mastering their instruments. “Being involved with music on a day-to-day level can get detail-oriented,” Hollowell says. “This was the opposite, five or six musicians playing together—whatever came out, we captured and documented.” You can hear it in the first single, “Waking World,” a hazy and romantic odyssey of the broken promises, big dreams, and words left unsaid that haunt most relationships. Backed by the beautiful vocals of Nashville songstress Nikki Lane, El Sportivo thrust you into a world of all-night drives, frantic door knocks, desperate longing, and eventually, a bittersweet resolution. This single was first premiered in Novemeber on Rolling Stone, and we are delighted to officially share it with you.