Local Music Singles Roundup: January 2023
Local Music Reviews
3… 2… 1… Happy New Year! Along with 2023, SLUG’s January Local Music Singles Roundup has arrived! It’s out with the old and in with the new, and here at SLUG, we encourage you to add listening to more local music to your list of resolutions. First, consider tuning into these relatively new releases from artists on the rise here in SLC! These tracks will get you grooving into the new year.
“Good Time (feat. Madge)”
Cop Kid = Cannons + Grimes
As one of the most prominent pop groups in Salt Lake, Cop Kid unashamedly releases EPs and singles that make more noise than entire albums. They’ve been described as “blending the line between acoustic and electronic,” but they transform again as each single hits. For this single, featured artist Madge mixes with the tenure of Cop Kid’s acoustic sound and makes for a fun and flirty pop song. You can digest the lyrics of this track the same way you digest your pissed-off girlfriend’s texts—but in a cute way. She’s so adorable, but she also “like[s] you better with a rent check.” She’s also not your girlfriend at all … but, almost. Marny Proudfit, lead singer for Cop Kid, and Madge sing an A+B call and response that mixes gender roles and vocal styles in a heartwarming and playful style. Ultimately, “Good Time” provides exactly what it advertises. –Mary Culbertson
Amnesia = Have Heart + Knocked Loose + Disembodied
“Fade Away” by the five-piece, Salt Lake–based Portraits begins with electrifying energy, embracing a fast-paced, hardcore sound that prioritizes chaos as much as melody. Lyrically, lead vocalist Derek Rys confronts the collective of people who forced him out of their life for non-productive reasons and the ways these decisions have fucked him up: “Replace me with a tainted memory / Push me out of your conscience / While you fall farther into your beliefs.” The vocals are yelled with passionate anger, sometimes accompanied by a lower-register death growl that creates a fuller sound. Near the end of the song, Rys sings about how he never did anything wrong to these people before exclaiming he’s fucking miserable as the band ascends into full chaos, repeating a catchy guitar lick and ending with a drawn-out note. “Fade Away” brings intense energy and cathartic anger, proving that Portraits are a force to be reckoned with in the Salt Lake hardcore scene. –Andrew Christiansen
Rachael Jenkins = Samia ^ Phoebe Bridgers
No secrets here—Rachael Jenkins is a local gem whose affective music has reached a national audience since her first single, “untitled,” took streaming services by storm in 2021. “I’m down and I’m out / Then I’m down again,” she sings on her latest release, “Secrets,” which expertly divulges the hopeless headspace many of us have found ourselves in at least once. A confessional about unresolved childhood and religious trauma, the honesty comprising “Secrets” is what makes this song so relatable to many of Jenkins’ listeners. “Do I keep secrets / Or do they keep me? / Will I be quiet for eternity?” She asks during the chorus. With soft guitars, Jenkins’ clear vocals and masterfully-produced harmonies that evoke Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” (2005), the song is an introspective listen that doesn’t come to a sunny resolution but nonetheless looks forward to a brighter new year—and hopefully Jenkins’ first full album. –Mekenna Malan
Von Masse = Tame Impala + The Strokes
“Ever Sharpening” is a track that lives up to its name. Elements are added in bits and pieces for a steady build: An isolated guitar riff is joined by spacey synths, drums are teased before finally being allowed to join in, and muddy vocals top the entire thing off. In true Von Masse fashion, this nearly six-minute track keeps you on your toes, weaving between established, familiar phrases and bursts of newness that slot right into the chaos. Von Masse’s willingness to keep things interesting and unexpected within each song is my favorite thing about this local psychedelic powerhouse. In particular, the final jam-filled minutes of “Ever Sharpening” do not disappoint. The largest crescendo fades into what you think is the end, but the bass doesn’t let you go just yet. The guitar riff that started it all returns with a vengeance, and the song rebuilds itself into the chaotic fun that defines Von Masse. – Alexis Perno
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