Not all basement bands from the sixth grade make it to the Bluebird stage, but Indianapolis natives Devin Leslie and Eric Marlow have accomplished just that.
Leslie said he and Marlow have produced music together since middle school, through high school and into their early twenties.
Originally they played drums and bass together, but Marlow has since taken on the art of recording while Leslie sings, writes songs and plays guitar.
After making local rounds to the Bishop, the Players Pub and Serendipity Martini Bar in recent months, Leslie will return at 9 p.m. Tuesday to the Bluebird to perform in the Bloomington Battle of the Bands quarterfinal round.
Although Marlow has given up the performing element, he still accompanies Leslie to shows to get a feel for the songs in a realistic sense, he said.
Everything the pair has done, from debuting their first album last March to touring with their band across the Midwest, has been independent work.
The duo doesn’t have a label, contract or agent.
“It’s a lot when you’re doing it independent, booking it all and getting there and everything,” Leslie said.
After months of songwriting and hours in a local studio, Leslie said the co-producing duo is eager to share their newest work.
“The album we’re working on is called ‘Love Like This,’” he said. “It’s a modern day explanation of love and what it means to love this generation from my perspective.”
Leslie, who has been composing music since the age of 12, said he goes through long periods of writing where the music, lyrics and inspiration come to him all at once. He and Marlow then work together to accomplish the vision of the song in its recording.
“For this project we are currently working on, the process has been different,” Marlow said. “Devin has been playing shows more often and has been rehearsing heavily with the band. He typically provides me with the instrumentation and I choose when, where and how those instruments work together.”
Leslie said he is introducing a new genre on this album called trap-folk, which takes rhythms based on trap music and blends them with traditional folk songwriting.
“The larger than life sound that you hear on modern music comes from copious layering and doubling,” Marlow said. “This makes the recording sound very full and rich and more pleasing to the ear.”
This new sound is incorporated into the single titled “Come and Stay,” which will be released later this month, Leslie said.
“‘Come and Stay’ has a little more of that pop flare that listeners are used to,” Marlow said. “But not all of the songs from this new project are that way.”
Fans of the first album, “Indianapolis,” should not expect the same Americana sound they heard last year, Leslie said.
“I’m excited for people to hear what we’re about to release.”