Formed in Austin, Texas, Urban Heat are a three-piece rock band uniquely blending elements of new wave, dark wave, and punk. Beginning in 2019 when multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jonathan Horstmann met Kevin Naquin and Paxel Foley, the two first joined Kevin to form a live show based on his analog sound design.
Merging the muscle and angst of a young Trent Reznor with the romantic heartache of David Gahn from Depache Mode, Urban Heat ignites explosive energy in studio and on stage. With the powerful presence and voice of Jonathan Horstmann, complemented by equally perfect backing instrumentation rounded out by Naquin and Paxel, Urban Heat are simply brilliant.
Jonathan transforms on stage from a reserved subject, to a massively powerful voice and presence fitting of a Greek God, with the look and body to match. And yet his magnanimous demeanor pulls in his audience, making Urban Heat and Jonathan Horstmann uniquely one of ours–a beautiful and ineffable soul; an important and powerful new part of our scene.
Jonathan’s unforgetable, rich voice traverses from shimmerings of smooth 80’s style croonings, to volcanic walls of booming baritone, cascading across expertly crafted melodies and hooks. Their songs; reflections on the travails of modern societal decomposition, hang like a carcass across the bones of sumptuous deep pop bliss.
Live, Urban Heat dominate. Their stage presence gained them slots at Austin’s LEVITATION and Seattle’s Freakout Fest in 2021, as well as SXSW in 2022, and Cruel World Festival in 2023 along with fellow peers Billy Idol, Siouxsie, and Iggy Pop to name but a few. Urban Heat released six singles between 2019 and 2022, with videos to match.
2022 was a stellar year for the band. Their single “Have You Ever” had a viral moment on TikTok, having been viewed over one million times. That fall, they they completed a national headlining tour. That same year, Urban Heat were selected as Sonic Guild grant recipients, and featured as KUTX 98.9’s “Artist of the Month” for July. After the band played the Austin City Limits Festival in October, Urban Heat was next nominated for “Band of the Year” in January 2023, and received the award for “Song of the Year” in the Austin Music Awards. In March 2023 Urban Heat joined Vision Video as direct support for a 3-week tour that took them to the East Coast and Canada.
The following is an exclusive video by subnorrmal with Urban Heat during their latest tour in 2023.