Stay Yearning

Moody band Munk Rivers describes their plan for their upcoming first EP

Be sure to also check out No Scene, the Urban Plains documentary featuring Munk Rivers.

The lights dim and a violet hue fills the room. Cheers rise from the crowd as the band takes stage. A slow guitar riff. A steady drum beat—1,  2, 1, 2. Bass rumbles through the room. Crowd members sway. Then the lead singer takes a deep breath and suddenly you can feel the heartache tearing through you. And now the show begins. 

Navigating the music scene as a DIY band can be tricky. It’s up to you to book your shows, record your stuff, and get your name out there. But for Munk Rivers, they’re ready to open their hearts to anything. Self-described as “yearn-core,” they’re moody, with lyrics surrounding that pang in your chest you feel when you miss something dearly. Their tagline they like to throw out is “Stay Yearning” because yearning for something lost or to come isn’t always a bad thing. It reminds us that we’re human. 

The Des Moines  indie band is composed of sibling duo Charlotte (vocals) and Tucker Judkins (guitar), along with drummer Izzy Marx and Max Green on bass. Munk Rivers originally started as just the Judkins, but soon after found Marx and Green through mutual friends. Since then, the band has performed house shows, multiple performances at Des Moines’s independent venue xBk, and recently traveled to open for Diaphane in Omaha.  They hope to put out a full-fledged EP of five original songs by the end of the summer. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. 

“The hard thing about self-producing is you just don’t know how fast or slow things are gonna go because of all the problem solving,” Charlotte says. “Which is fun—but it’s just so different from established bands.” 

There’s also the added layer of prior commitments. Marx and Green are still attending school at Drake University but make it a point to take time for rehearsals and a bit of recording every Tuesday and Thursday. 

“We’ve been experimenting with a lot of different things. We originally tried recording all of Izzy’s drums and realized that I wasn’t quite ready to produce that,” Tucker says. 

The band has two demos, “Genie” and “Leeches,” but those only feature the Judkins. Marx is hoping that with this new EP, Munk River will be able to establish their sound as a quintet. While the road may seem unpaved at the moment, Charlotte says that’s what makes it exciting. 

“With all the troubleshooting that comes with being a DIY band, there’s a lot of liberty to do exactly what we want and make the music that we love,” she says.  To learn more about the creative process Munk Rivers is following, you can watch the documentary here.


  • Victoria Soliz

    As one of the Senior Editors for Urban Plains, I pull from my wide range of experience. From Allrecipes’ recent Editorial Apprentice, YourTango’s Editorial Intern, and my many years of work with Drake Magazine, I’m passionate about the way our words make us feel! I love telling stories. A fun fact about me is that I hope to one day blend my love of storytelling and my love for horror into one as a career one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *