As we enter into the peak of the Utah summer heat, chill out and cool off with six selections from July’s Local Music Singles Roundup!

Local Music Singles Roundup: July 2023

Local Music Reviews

Chill out and cool off with July’s Local Music Singles Roundup! Whether you’re into FËRN’s surrealist shoegaze or Miah Summers’ hazy bedroom pop, there’s truly something for everyone. Tune in this month to hear six talented local artists from across the valley battle the heat wave with lilting melodies, breezy synth progressions and a healthy dose of escapism. Just add a piña colada and it’s all you need for a wet, hot Utah summer!

“Astro Coffin”

Street: 06.21
FËRN = Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats + Salem’s Pot

FËRN’s “Astro Coffin” sounds like the warped thoughts of a night stalker drifting through the side streets of the city at 2:00 a.m. looking for victims. “Astro Coffin” starts and ends in a slow burn with a stoner, sludge wall of sound that stays constant throughout the track. It’s in the middle where things get interesting. Out of nowhere an active, swirling psychedelic guitar cuts in and coils around distant echo vocals that spill out in an incoherent whine, like an inner monologue in a poisoned brain. FËRN does a masterful job creating tension and matching it with an unsettling mood. The track is built to make you nervous with all its creepy, slippery delights. “Astro Coffin” feels like the best kind of horror movie where danger hangs in the shadows, and it left me craving more. –Russ Holsten

“Angelic Tendencies”

Street: 04.07
FERRARI$MOKE = They Hate Change + Quinton Barnes

The latest from SLC hip-hop mainstay FERRARI$MOKE is a breezy slice of southern-inspired proto-trap that reasserts the MC’s place as one of the strongest wordsmiths in the city. FERRARI stays solid in his tried-and-true technicality, pulling off more one liners and innuendos than you can count in the track’s brief runtime (the “Medusa, Madonna” line stands out as especially grin worthy, as does “I love her waist / She love my bass / I told her goal that shit go right together”). He starts nonchalant, extolling the goddess-like beauty of his lover in a casual, triplet flow. 45 seconds in, his rhythms pick up the pace, rambling over breath pauses as he doubles down on the intensity. Before we even hit the two-minute mark, the beat bottoms out into a half-time stutter of itself while pitch-shifted echoes of FERRARI’s raps rattle around the mix. He came, conquered and dipped while you were still putting together the pieces of the puns he left behind. –Audrey Lockie

“fool’s opal”

Street: 05.05
foxparkk = CMTEN + Traditional Synthesizer Music by Venetian Snares

“fool’s opal” reminds me of my early pandemic obsession with videos of people hosting single-occupancy raves from their balconies; it’s rhythmic, glistening with energy and an undercurrent of loneliness. The hypnotic synths, persistent kick and spacey vocals of the first half of the song lulled me into a false sense of security—I assumed the vibes of this track would be closer to “mint” off of foxparkk’s 2022 album reboot—but I was largely mistaken. As the song progresses, all of these seemingly subdued elements slowly build into a glitchy mess. Chopped up drums and stuttering vocals propel the track’s climax into an emotional space reminiscent of the lovesick emo bangers I spent my early teen years immersed in. “fool’s opal” ends on a more positive note than those break up–centric, distorted guitar laments, as foxparkk finishes the crescendo with a cathartic burst of beclouded, hesitant hope. – Lillith Pernichele

“Still Standing”  

Street: 06.13
Kimi  = Rihanna x JoJo

“Still Standing” is an ode to resilience from Kimi. Set to a laid-back R&B track, it’s the perfect mix of production to highlight Kimi’s vocal range. It’s reminiscent of early 2000s tracks from artists such as Rihanna, Drake and a hint of JoJo (and even has the capability of resonating like “Too Little Too Late”). Kimi has a knack for slowed-down, acoustic R&B songs—“Still Standing” is exactly that. She consistently showcases her ability to explore more challenging topics—standing tall after hardships—in a successful sonic format. There is a time and place for music to be in your face, but her subtle approach lets the music speak for itself. “Still Standing” is remarkable too for its honest lyricism. Kimi doesn’t beat around the bush, singing, “Some days it feels like I have no more breath / Some days it feels like I got nothing left / But I’m still standing.” –Palak Jayswal

Miah Summers

Street: 05.19
Miah Summers = Tyler Holmes + Oneohtrix Point Never (Age Of) + serpentwithfeet

“Wool” opens with a chorus of shimmer harps so bright it could blind, like ripping your blinds apart on a hot summer midmorning. The ecstatic shine is short lived and quickly disperses into a more muted glow, with Summers building the song around a four-chord electric piano progression and his slurred vocal mantras. “She’s the only one I see / And she’s flying through the air / She’s the dust upon the sill / She’s everywhere,” the artist croons, cycling through a series of surreal praises á la Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me.” Other than subtle bass swells or an occasional, multi-track layering of auto-tuned vocals, “Wool” possesses no direction in its musical and lyrical narrative; instead, we’re floating through Summers’ head, dipping from thought to thought like a leaf drifting down a low-tide stream. Like in love, we’re born into giddy hope and end in the stasis of warm, deep comfort. –Audrey Lockie

Stardance Riot
“Hard To Say”

Midvale Records
Street: 05.28
Stardance Riot = Smashing Pumpkins + Weezer

Stardance Riot’s debut single is a seven-layer bean dip of musical talent and painfully true lyrics. This four piece provides a promisingly balanced sound that resembles a young Billy Corgan, who joined Weezer’s self-titled blue album instead of going fully progressive rock in the ’90s. “Hard To Say” integrates a taste of all my favorite rock attributes—catchy melodies, crunchy guitar riffs and poignant, highly relatable lyrics. “Kinda wonder what it’s like without you / I never even liked being around you,” they sing. Stardance Riot’s personal introspection and emotional turmoil in their lyrics deliver a mix of vulnerability and intensity, with the latter coming in the last third of the song. After a short pause comes an unsuspecting dynamic shift from the previously softer and delicate moments to an explosive and cathartic crescendo. Stardance Riot has a chemistry that mingles and intertwines between each other to elevate their finely tuned sonic palate. –Sage Holt

Read more Local Music Singles Roundups:
Local Music Singles Roundup – June 2023
Local Music Singles Roundup – May 2023