Author: Ischa B.

Noura Mint Seymali

Tzenni

Glitterbeats Records

Street: 06.20

Noura Mint Seymali =
Traditional West African griot vocals + The Doors

Noura Mint Seymali is an extraordinarily talented vocalist from Mauritania, descended from a long line of well-known and celebrated griots. She carries on the tradition as a griot herself—a highly regarded individual who is a kind of historian and performer, a storyteller and keeper for the community. Her husband accompanies her in a less traditional way, playing electric guitar riffs that have enough psychedelic twang to remind me of sweet ’60s/’70s-era bands. Funky drumbeats continue to add a modern twist to Seymali’s traditional storytelling vocals. Personally, I’m fascinated by the cultural differences in traditional chords and songwriting. I was particularly intrigued by the material, and I definitely think this is a great album for anyone to listen to and perhaps expand their regular musical horizons. It’s quite a unique and enjoyable take on the traditional performance. –Ischa B.
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The Pigeons
Self-Titled
Self-Released
Street: 10.01
The Pigeons = Iggy Pop + Marilyn Manson + Soundgarden
 
The Pigeons present a raw, rough sound with pure punk elements, and this recording has a gritty realness to it that suggests it was recorded live. It’s a fresh project, with this EP marking the first release for the pair of musicians from Cedar City, and the energy and vibe of the material and the performance still have that fresh perspective of people trying stuff out and seeing if it fits. It’s fun music, and it’s gonna be a fun ride, so hop in and hold on! I haven’t seen ‘em in the Salt Lake Valley, but if you’re further south, you can catch them playing all around their ‘hood. I’m sure it won’t be long till we get the pleasure up here, too—keep a lookout! –Ischa B.
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Patchz
Lightz Out
Second Thoughts
Street: 06.07
Patchz = Atmosphere + CeeLo Green

Lightz Out is a seven-track sampler of rap, hip-hop and R&B material, with different guest vocalists to break up the musical compositions. It begins with “Grounded,” a rap song featuring B Still, and moves right into a pretty, little R&B ditty on the second song, “Cry for Help.” From what I can tell from the track listing, Patchz himself has the smooth voice that is echoing CeeLo Green’s vocal style, and he does a great job. It’s a solid effort with talented individuals chiming in to do their thing and a definite flow throughout. The album art by Josh Tai Taeoalli and Will E. Petersen is absolutely beautiful, with new details to explore every time I take a look at it. It’s a lovely local release and perhaps even more fun because it included so many other local talents. Check it! –Ischa B.

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Searching For Celia
White Flag
Self-Released
Street: 02.09
Searching For Celia = Glowworm + Coldplay
I reeeeally enjoy Searching For Celia’s sound. I love strings, and I love them even more when they’re moody, frantic and excitable. I love them most of all when their undeniably classical sound is mixed into a modern interpretation, paired with electric guitars, bass and hearty drums. This album is a wonderful venture into the instrumental ambient arena, and the excellent electronic detailing and production really pull it all together. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Even without any vocals at all, this ranks as one of my top local albums I’ve ever reviewed. I love it, and I highly recommend it. –Ischa B.

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Intra-Venus & the Cosmonauts

Launch

Self-Released

Street: 03.12.13

Intra-Venus & the Cosmonauts = The Velvet Underground + The Clash + Night Beats

Intra-Venus & the Cosmonauts play raw, psychedelic punk rock. Their EP Launch, recorded and engineered by the band DIY-style, reflects their experimental punk mentality. It’s not polished—it’s rebellious. The recording makes me imagine a thrashy live show—guitars being broken, beers being spilled. Ya know, a good ol’ fashioned mind-fuck punk show! The EP includes four songs to give you a taste of the experience, so listen up and then see ‘em live! –Ischa B.
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Better Off With the Blues
Mean Old World
Self-Released
Street: 12.02.12
Better Off With the Blues = Lightnin’ Hopkins + Brownie McGhee
This album is blues, through and through, with a thoughtful song selection and excellent execution. This is truly an anytime album, but personally, I just wanna sit and listen to it on the porch in the evening sun with a cold drink. With 16 songs and clocking in at one hour of music, you can relax for a while and enjoy the selection, which includes traditional pieces like “Corrina, Corrina” and “France Blues,” classics by Muddy Waters and other blues legends, and even a couple of tracks penned by band members Jim Poulton and Paul Rasmussen. Naturally, the harmonica is a major component of all of the songs, and Lou Borgenicht does not disappoint, giving everything that bluesy twang. Ken Critchfield’s expertise on bass ties everything together nicely. I definitely recommend that you add this album to your collection. –Ischa B.

 

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Riksha

Dream Drops Red

Dark Harvest Records

Street: 09.27.13

Riksha = Soulfly + Tool + Killswitch Engage

Riksha plays heavy, hard, shiny metal, and their new release, Dream Drops Red, is a neatly executed album of exactly that. The music is loud, mean and beautiful. The growling vocals range from creative to devastating. The band is comprised of talented local musicians who have been rocking out for a long time, so it’s no surprise that they are finding success with sponsorships and making tour plans. If you love metal, you will love Riksha, so hop on and enjoy the ride! –Ischa B.
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King Niko
Oh, Hey!
Self-Released
Street: 03.16
King Niko = Michael Jackson + Cake + Awolnation
King Niko are sick as fuck. If it wasn’t enough that the songs are catchy and highly danceable, lead singer Ransom Wydner is an incredible frontman, vocally racing around a huge range and making it seem easy. His lyrical delivery reminds me at times of John McCrea (of Cake), Rivers Cuomo (of Weezer), and even Freddie Mercury himself, although I find Wydner’s voice to be one of a kind and difficult to compare. Overall, their sound seems to source a great variety of  influences, including little hints of Blink-182 on the first song of the album, “When I Wasn’t Alive.” It’s punk-y, fun and bouncy. Heavy synths and more electronic tweaking on the second track, “Boss Fight,” are a great example of how keyboardist Reid Laitinen adds his two cents to an otherwise classic rock n’ roll ensemble. Thanks to Benny Moffatt’s consistent, creative guitar riffs and Tim Rawcliffe’s rhythmic bass lines throughout the album, the whole package is unique and totally delicious. Eat up!

 

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Candy Warpop

Transdecadence

Self-Released

Street: 08.01.13

Candy Warpop = Hole + Mazzy Star + PJ Harvey

Candy Warpop is sugary-sweet, pop punk goodness, with a delicious and flexible female vocal and a musical sensibility that suggests a variety of top-notch influences. Tool, The Meat Puppets and Veruca Salt all come to mind, and even Mogwai, as demonstrated in my favorite on the album, a whispery track called “Afterlife in Dreams.” The band isn’t just talented at putting together a quality release—they are highly connected with their fanbase as well, with two successfully funded Kickstarters under their belt. They’re based out of Las Vegas, but with the new album out, I’m hoping they’ll add SLC to any tour plans they might have and treat us to the real-deal experience. Yummy. –Ischa B.
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Einstein In A Patent Office 

Supernova Sounds

Mareld Records

Street: 03.11

Einstein In A Patent Office = The Album Leaf + Apparat + Pelpp and Avanvranken

“Supernova sounds” is right! This album is a fantastic voyage through time and space, ambient but driven, with a totally modern production, but somehow still takes me back to my favorite classical songs. Instrumental and moody, it can soundtrack whatever you’re doing, or (if you’re a freak like me) can distract you entirely from what you were doing because you can’t help but wonder … about the music, about life … It’s a truly fabulous album. It’s a five-song opus, lasting only a short but sweet 13 minutes, and worth every second. A jab of Eastern influence here (“Em’s Dirge”), a bit of Mozart there (“Nightmare Music”)—it is right up my alley, and you should prolly take a stroll down this way. Love this local! 

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