Localized: The Alpines
Thankfully (hopefully?), spring is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with a breezy Kilby show. April’s Localized showcase features the dreamy, indie sounds of co-headliners Sharing and The Alpines alongside wunderkind openers Stage Fright. Come out to Kilby Court on Thursday, April 20 (doors at 7, music at 8) for the show. SLUG Localized is sponsored by Riso Geist.
It was one of those funny reporter moments when I sat down on a cold evening in a cozy coffee shop in the heart of Salt Lake City with the members of The Alpines: Bri McCall and Danny Patiño. They were quickly spilling valuable information and thoughts that typically don’t come to life until at least 15 minutes into an interview—and I hadn’t even started recording yet! “I’ll ask the questions,” I joked. They laughed with me as we trekked into our friendly and prolific conversation. I quickly realized the reason for the eruption of excitement was that the duo had been sitting on material and songs for over a year. They were bursting at the seams to talk for the first time ever about their upcoming concept album and their story as an indie pop/rock band.
McCall, an adventurous spirit originally from Idaho, discovered as a young girl that writing was the thing about music that most enthralled her. Patiño, on the other hand, explains that he started his music career as a young person with Flamenco and Latin standard guitar lessons. Because of these roots, he found himself playing different riffs from that of his peers. “I learned to make a niche for myself and ignore a little bit of what everyone else was doing,” he says. “It seemed fruitless if I just tried to do what they were doing.”
“I felt very stagnant. Nobody’s really listening to you and they really would prefer if you just play covers … It felt like my soul was getting crushed.”
Their overlapping stories began in 2018 when McCall moved to Salt Lake and started solo gigging and was impressively able to make a living for herself. Eventually, it took a toll on her aching desire to create. “I felt very stagnant,” she says. “Nobody’s really listening to you and they really would prefer if you just play covers … It felt like my soul was getting crushed.”
Meanwhile, Patiño had spent the last decade being the “band guy.” He’d been a part of notable groups Hamartia and Ghost Radio, and the latter band had just come to an end. By that time, Patiño’s sound had transfigured from his Flamenco roots to a more prog-metal influence. As Ghost Radio concluded, he found himself interested in bands like Arcade Fire, The National and Fleet Foxes. He then connected with McCall on a platform neither of them regularly frequent. After a while of looking on KSL and at music get-togethers, McCall finally took to Reddit. The result was Patiño, who, within a week after their first song recording of her writing, came back with a fully produced piece, or “a beautiful portrait,” as McCall describes it.
“I learned to make a niche for myself and ignore a little bit of what everyone else was doing.”
McCall sparked the idea to write “a soft, apocalyptic album.” She pitched the idea to Patiño, and his dark senses tingled for what would become their first concept album release. “Basically, the story is about four people who decide to head north together,” McCall says. It’s a story written from all different perspectives that has a soft enough delivery to force the listener to figure out what’s really happening. The first single, “Maybe,” is streaming now anywhere you listen and is written at the beginning, right before shit hits the fan. The Alpines will be selling merch and lyric books at SLUG’s April Localized for listeners who want to sink their feet in early. While the record is a story of the end of the world, at its root it’s really a story of two musicians that put themselves entirely into their work. Find The Alpines on streaming services and follow them on Instagram @thealpinesmusic for more information.
Read more features on prior Localized acts:
Localized: Early Successional
Localized: Darling and Debonair
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