DENM tells life on SoCal's rough side, finally making the music he wants to make on "Blow It Up." And from the sounds of it ... it has the resonance of an instant classic.

In 2018, SoCal garage-pop artist DENM connected with the hit songwriting team Rock Mafia, known for crafting hits with Eminem, Diplo, and Miley Cyrus. Rather than trying to sculpt DENM's distinctive grungy beach skank into anonymous radio fare, they asked DENM, "What kind of music would you want to make?"

"Blow It Up" is the answer to that question, a slow-crawling slide through the rough side of California living. There's more to California Dreamin' than just Hollywood and Rodeo Drive. "It's tough and you have to learn to be tough to make it."


You wouldn't think "Blow It Up"'s slow groove would be a soundtrack to a streetfight, given the laidback swagger of the ska guitar, the throbbing hypnosis of the reggae bass. The beats sound sourced from an early Beck record ... it's old school crunchy and addictive. The track has that same sense of possibility, the self-assuredness, and ease of early, imaginative Sublime, coming from a similar place of beach town party nihilism. 

Though it's smooth and steady-rolling, it's also weird, raw, one-of-a-kind. Laidback beats cut away to the sound of gunfire, like a record scratch. It's those little touches that let you know that DENM is a real songwriter, someone with something to say and an exhaustive musical imagination.

"Blow It Up" is the kind of music DENM wanted to make. Luckily, it's also the music you want to listen to.

Summer's not quite gone yet so be sure to put this on your playlist and roll the windows down. We Are: The Guard recommend it.