Local Music Singles Roundup: February 2022
Local Music Reviews
For those who have traded hiking boots for headphones, SLUG keeps Utah updated with all things musically magnificent. In this month’s Local Singles Music Roundup, you can find a sample of SLC’s eclectic music style, from mellow-pop beats to an anarchist rager. Whatever your music style, SLUG has something to match it.
#1 Babe Team
“Fever American Dream”
#1 Babe Team = Slaughter Beach Dog + PUP + Modern Baseball
“Fever American Dream” is a pop-punk song from the solo project of Austin Ryan-Mas, #1 Babe Team. The song is immediately accessible through the catchy guitar, Ryan-Mas’ whiny singing tone that draws attention to his lyrics and the fitting piano and drums that make the track feel more complete. With all of these elements, “Fever American Dream” stays true to the genre I would call singer-songwriter pop-punk The lyrics keep it unique, born out of Summer 2020 when wildfires across the Western United States were raging, political tensions were high and the COVID-19 pandemic was infecting millions worldwide. “Built a shrine all to yourself / A wall around everyone else / You keep pretending everything’s okay / It makes me sick, your birds of prey.” Although “Fever American Dream” comes from a meaningful place, the song manages to also be fun and playful and leaves me excited for future #1 Babe Team releases. –Andrew Christiansen
“She Wanna Go”
The 17th Angel, DDR
Arcadia Light = Russ + Gusto Leimert + blackbear
It’s cuffing season, so pop on your hoodie and turn on this bluesy beat that will give you the confidence to make the first move. “She Wanna Go” paints that scene of us sitting in our depths, figuring out our feelings and crafting that perfect message to keep things rolling. This track brings up those lingering ghosts who appear as that handsome face that makes you question what you want or think about the one you really wanted. While commonly in collaborations the features sound abruptly inserted, featured vocalists Arcadia Light, Mama’s Boy, Ceyz and MOD sound like they’ve always been working together. Arcadia Light has orchestrated a hip-hop ballad that captures relatable, ingenious lyrics: “I’m just being honest / Spirit with the goddess / We just getting started.” The words take silent interactions and add profundity. “She Wanna Go” captures loneliness’ silver lining that we need to get through this winter. –Kelly Fernandez
Kimi K = Rihanna x Zoe Wees
Kimi K’s “Slide Through” is hypnotic, although that very well may be accredited to the artist’s immaculate voice. The track is reminiscent of late ’90s and early 2000s R&B with its thoughtfully curated, lo-fi production and overall beat. Both Kimi K’s vocals and the theme of the track’s content mesh together effortlessly. It’s the type of track to listen to as you get ready to go out—mood-elevating and full of good vibes. The lyrics, although simple, fit the overall aesthetic and mood of the track. “Slide Through” is relaxed and laid back and it makes for good music. Frankly, Kimi K could sing about anything with that voice and it would be a hit, but this track is successful precisely because it’s done so well. With an ear for the music and an eye for the overall vibe, it’s the perfect package. –Palak Jayswal
the Poppees = The Turtles x The Lemon Twigs
SLC-based psych-pop outfit the Poppees have sparsely—but consistently—released upbeat singles since 2018, securing gigs at many local venues and painting rainbows in their wake. With a satirical title, an indulgent melody and on-the-nose lyrics, it’s clear their latest single, “#hashtag,” isn’t taking its subject matter seriously. It is clear, however, that the Poppees are serious about creating bright, uplifting pop. With lyrics that hopscotch from “Catch me outside,” to “#Blessed,” and “Don’t hate me cuz you ain’t me,” lead singer Andres Mitchell covers all the colloquial, Instagram-caption-esque bases with a nasally, late-’60s vocal tone that only the blessed are born with. Jangly indie guitars and The Monkees–inspired harmonies are added to create a true earworm. Is the song a side-eye to, or created for, TikTok culture? It fits into both of those categories and hopefully preludes a full-length album in the near future. –Mekenna Malan
Rachael Jenkins = Julien Baker + Adrianne Lenker
The chipper birdsong that opens Rachael Jenkins’ “Allergy Season” situates the listener in the song’s temporal setting—spring, new mornings, fancy lightly turned to thoughts of love. “I met you in the springtime / I was dying,” Jenkins sings in the track’s opening verse. “Allergy season / Had me wheezing over you.” These metaphors flutter throughout the song—“coughing up the past,” “you’re fogging up my eyes”—painting the arc of love found, lived and lost as a lingering head cold. At the end of each verse, Jenkins’ melodies soar as she admits her uneasy acceptance of the tumultuous romance: “And I can’t pretend I don’t relish in it / Every message you send.” The birdsong never lets up as the instrumental swells into a modest acoustic orchestra, peppering the song with a sonic analog to Jenkins’ lyrical musings on love’s uninhibited naturalism. –Audrey Lockie
The Usurpers = All Torn Up! + Raging Nathans + Leftöver Crack
Salt Lake’s The Usurpers are a punk purist’s dream come true. In such a notoriously malleable and adaptable genre, they steadfastly stick to the speed, intensity and anger hardcore punk was initially founded 40-plus years ago. Last year’s Future Wars established the trio as a potent force in the local punk scene, and “No Solution”—from their newly-released split Cold War with Russian punkers Night of Rage—only reinforces their brand of politically charged lyricism and brute-force musicianship. Furiously decrying electoral politics, The Usurpers rally here for complete disillusionment with the ballot box as a meaningful avenue of positive change, and they back it up with a barrelling rhythm and buzzsaw, thrash-tinged riffing. It may be a familiar formula, but for anyone who believes the system still needs a good screwing, it’s as effective as ever. –Nic Renshaw
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