Local Music Singles Roundup - July 2022

Local Music Singles Roundup: July 2022

Local Music Reviews

We all know that July in Utah can feel like we’re living on the surface of the sun. This July, there’s only one thing that could possibly be hotter than the summer sizzle—SLUG’s latest Local Music Singles Roundup is here to help you beat the heat with some of the coolest sounds in SLC. Whether you find yourself cooling off at the lake or in a heavily air-conditioned apartment, chill out even further with these six new tracks.

AMEA (feat. Shawty Pimp)
“Champ Talk”

AMEA Music
Street: 06.14
AMEA = Sabrina Claudio + UMI

AMEA’s newest R&B-driven single, “Champ Talk,” contains three-and-a-half minutes of a soul-seduced, nodding beat that encourages you to follow along and consume the artist’s every uttering. This track provides a sweetened, joyful concoction of sounds to accompany the primary element of the song—AMEA’s vocals and lyricism. They sing, “Please don’t be bad for me / Based on what I’m averaging,” on repeat, creating a melodic loop that pleads and hums for this connection to be what they deserve and hope for. The vocals are smooth and thoughtful before breaking momentarily with the lines, “Tell me that you love me / Keep my soul spaced / Out universal / With the flow / Babe,” giving deliberate pauses and lulls to ensure you’re still floating along. Three quarters of the way through, artist Shawty Pimp is introduced, quickening the track’s flow and deepening its introspection. With “Champ Talk,” be ready for a dose of intentional, soothing and melodic haze. –Jamie Christensen

Christen Cooper

Street: 02.25
Christen Cooper = Dodie x Maren Morris 

Christen Cooper manages to capture the tumultuous, ephemeral essence of being in your 20s with her new single. The lyrics are apt and direct in a way that is universally relatable, such as the opening lines: “Going on awkward first dates / Learning to live with roommates / Throwing parties on the weekend and staying up too late.” With Cooper’s voice providing a near acoustic delivery, the lyrics are even more impactful. Sonically, the song has a country vibe to it, emulating some of Maddie & Tae’s early work. Vocally, there are moments when Cooper seems to be reading the song rather than singing it. The overall sentiment of the song, though, is solid: It’s near impossible to describe your 20s in this era, but at the end of the day, the best you can do is try to make the most out of them. –Palak Jayswal

Early Successional
“Another Way to Die”

Shaman to the Witch Records
Street: 05.27
Early Successional = Emily Merrell’s “The Hallowed Wide” + Poor Man’s Poison

Rarely is there a folk song I dislike, and there’s something about jaunty tunes with dark lyrics that adds something special to the listening experience. Early Successional has channeled this balance in “Another Way to Die” with its persistent, bouncing piano, light and steady percussion and an acoustic guitar melody that follows the vocals throughout every line. Lyrics such as “You’ve got a million walls I don’t know how to climb” and “Broken wings and worn out strings still show signs of life” add depth to the catchy tune. Somehow, every time I listen, I hear a different emotion blanketing the words. From anger to sorrow to resigned hope, Early Successional packs a punch wrapped up in an energetic package. –Jude Perno

“Energizer Bunny”

Charade Records
Street: 04.07
Hurtado = Good Morning + Wyatt Pike 

Even though Hurtado is fairly new to the music scene of SLC, they have quickly gained a following that stretches from Provo to Logan. First-time listeners can expect a soft, melodic guitar riff in unison with what I read as a VHS recording discussing an old memory. Pairing that with Sam Hurtado’s soft and almost crooning voice only amplifies the melodic sounds of the guitar and background beats, creating a sense of harmony within the listener. This song displays a lot of psychedelic sounds, including a distorted, elongated guitar, as well as quiet drums that create that nostalgic, shoegaze feel. If Hurtado isn’t on your summer concert list, then maybe you should change it. With the positive energies in their heartfelt performances, the band will always deliver a show worth viewing. –Sage Holt

Mama’s Boy

Darkest Dawn Records
Street: 02.24
Mama’s Boy = Dilated Peoples + Cannibal Ox

“To be honest, I’m fucking tired,” spits Mama’s Boy with venomous indignation at the opening of “Immortal,” the beat’s backwards-looped pianos slurring under the artist like lapping waves. The fatigue doesn’t beget apathy or drudgery, though, instead propelling Mama’s Boy into a fervent resilience as he jumps from lines like “I’m just trying to find alignment, to find my purpose / Instead I hit a fucking wall asking if it’s worth it” to the track’s titular affirmation of “Immortalize what I be preachin’, generations to come.” The second verse takes a more direct emotional and narrative pivot, taking the form of a pep talk from the artist to himself. He lauds his hardworking spirit, lifelong connection to music and steady path toward eventual success. The track’s sparsity—its skeletal, 2000s-throwback beat, the slurred chorus smashed between two marathon verses—drives all the focus toward Mama’s Boy as storyteller and sermonizer. “Immortal” affronts like its album cover, the artist staring down the listener with a chilling blend of determination and provocation. –Audrey Lockie

Snake Eyez

Street: 02.25
Snake Eyez = Suffocator + Crowkiller

“Weaponized,” the standout track from Snake Eyez’s self-titled, debut EP, showcases the local hardcore group’s belligerent, lead-clubbed fury in its finest form. The track’s opening stretch toys with tempo like an elastic band, revving up its chunky riffs before sputtering out with each of the vocalist Charles’ shouts of “defy!” After 45 seconds of these start-stop cycles, Snake Eyez float over a web of airy distortion and take a collective breath before diving into the pummeling 90 seconds that close “Weaponized.” The track moves with a mid-tempo swagger, the guitars sliding through their deep-pitched riffs while the drums (delightfully crisp, thanks to recording engineer Bob Godden and a mix/master by Ryan Shreeve) batter out a string of double-kick patterns and snare fills that will make you wince. Atop the fervor, Charles berates The System with typical hardcore exasperation—“You’ve built your shrine on lies / Promises with intent to kill.” Surrounded by four other, stellar tracks, “Weaponized” makes a firm promise for Snake Eyez as a prominent new voice in SLC hardcore, seething with vitriol and passion. –Audrey Lockie

Learn more about artists featured in our July Local Music Singles Roundup on SLUG Soundwaves:
Episode #385 – AMEA
Episode #377 – Early Successional