Local Music Singles Roundup: May 2021
Local Music Reviews
As you dive into the world of Utah biking with our 9th Annual Local Bike Issue and take your own cycles out onto the streets or the trails, these four local singles can give you the pep you need to carry your ride through its final leg—from the polaroid pop of Cardboard Club’s cover of Franki Valli‘s classic hit “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” to the sunshine-laden trap found in MOD’s “Twin Flame,” the late-night house vibrations of ER‘s “All Night” to First Daze’s breezy folk. Invite some—vaccinated—friends over and enjoy the May sunshine.
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”
Cardboard Club = Future Islands + Alvvays
In covering the pop classic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off you,” Cardboard Club place themselves in competition with Frankie Valli, Lauryn Hill and Heath Ledger—no easy fight. To the group’s credit, their synthheavy rendition expands the sugary charm of the original into a wall-to-wall candy shop. When the track reaches its iconic chorus, the instrumental explodes into a web of elastic synths that bend like strings of taffy while Christian Banner’s vocals discard the whispered sweet nothings of the verses and embrace the desperation of the lines “If it’s quite alright / I need you, baby” with a yelping, emo-tinged strain. Cardboard Club’s cover doesn’t deconstruct or reinvent its source material, but it does find a unique comfort in the boy-next-door innocence of Valli’s timeless romanticism. –Audrey Lockie
ER = Fisher + OBAŸASHI
Techno house music often evokes visions of sweating bodies thrashing to a never-ending barrage of high-tempo bass and repetitive lyrics, but ER’s latest single introduces a sprinkle of phantasmic nostalgia. Sampling from an iconic 2011 Latin electronic hit, “All Night” maintains the genre’s energetic reputation by incorporating classic snares with acid-sounding oscillations. The combination could easily descend into chaos, but steady kick drums throughout the song provide a grounding cadence. Just when the beat reaches a predictable rhythm, bass lines slow to a suspenseful pulse only to be triggered by futuristic record scratches. The crescendo of delicious techno jabs is short and sweet as the song settles into a final, solitary beat. –Avrey Evans
Self-Released Street: 02.05
First Daze = Indigo Girls + Death Cab for Cutie
First Daze’s “Bruce” is an intimate track in which you can tell it’s been through refinement. The performance here is the best we’ve seen from the three-piece yet. Vocalists Taylor Lines and Gui Pelaez lead this cozy and folk-y track. It’s difficult to make two voices mesh together when they’re singing the same thing in the same register, and they nail it on “Bruce.” The track captures the sort of imperfect energy of live performances—it’s the reason why some musicians can’t move on from demo tracks, as they create a too-perfect and ultra-produced version of the song that takes the life completely out of it. “Bruce” overcomes this, and consequently feels like the band is right there with you in the room. –Mary Culbertson
Darkest Dawn Records Street: 03.14
MOD = Drake + August 08
I personally love phone call intros in songs because the tracks always turn out to be memorable like Marvin’s Room by Drake, and Twin Flame by MOD is exactly that. MOD’s voice naturally follows a rolling rhythm, and the chorus is the best part. It kicks off with the lullaby of “roses are red, violets are blue” with a melodious twist, “I know you love it / cause you’re like me too.”. It’s filled with the obvious crush he developed on whomever inspired the track: “I know all of your secrets / I know you’re a genius / I can read a thesis / Hotter than venus / Acting like a phoenix.” It’s a cute R&B song and one you should dedicate to your boo, or twin flame. –Kimberly Portillo
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