November's Local Music Singles Roundup has some talented Utah locals that are guaranteed to mix up your music rotation.

Local Music Singles Roundup: November 2021

Local Music Reviews

Headphones in, the rest of the world out—we’re back again with a handful of singles to offer a temporary escape from reality. Check out these fresh releases from some talented Utah locals that are guaranteed to mix up your current music rotation. From the sensual bass in Nicole McMahan’s “Touch Me” to the husky hand drums in Young Spit’s “Rukundo,” these full sounds will feel like a blanket to your ears.

Arcangelo il Demoni
“Pierrot (feat. Cupid Come)”

Acid Cult
Street: 07.09
Arcangelo il Demoni =  Kono + Peter Murphy + Slow Dive

Arcangelo il Demoni’s new single, “Pierrot,” is an intriguing track that Nickolas Simone (the musician behind the name) describes as “a fusion between ‘80s Italo disco/synthpop, 16-bit game era type music, and ‘90s acid house.” After a one-minute intro featuring an exciting synth line and a bumping beat, Mario Zizumbo of the Salt Lake shoegaze band Cupid Come delivers a verse that sounds pained, buried in the mix and somewhat discordant, creating a uniquely eerie sound. The Italian chorus is haunting in the way Simone talk-sings in an unorthodox style, relating to Pierrot (a stock character of pantomime originating in the 17th century) in the way he accepts the inevitable disappointment that comes with pursuing art as a profession. “Pierrot” sounds almost nothing like any musicians in Salt Lake I’ve heard. Even if it’s not perfect, it feels fresh and full of potential. –Andrew Christiansen

Emily Hicks

Street: 06.07
Emily Hicks = The Band Perry + Miranda Lambert

With “Addicted,” Emily Hicks describes just how difficult it is to function in any capacity when you’ve recently acquired a new lover. More specifically, to leave the bed in the morning when they’re residing there is seemingly impossible. Hicks’ lyricism describes the warmth of this feeling with a precise homage that leaves the listener with that same soft and tingly adrenaline. The backing band to her light and pure-sounding vocals makes for a track that spews an innocence much like the sound of an early Taylor Swift album. The lead electric guitar doesn’t speak out of turn—it isn’t the honkey-tonk country with the slide spitting solos, but it’s not also the acoustic sound of a folk album, either. “Addicted” brings Tennessee energy to a Utah singer-songwriter soundscape and marries the two with a romantic, bubbly narrative. –Mary Culbertson

Nicole McMahan
“Touch Me”

Street: 08.06
Nicole McMahan = Mariah Carey + Carly Rae Jepsen

Nicole McMahan’s “Touch Me” opens with a steamy declaration: “Lightweight / When I take a good sip of you.” This sensuality—liquid, evaporative—guides the pop vocalist’s latest single. Revolving around staggered, pin-pricked synth harmonies and a serpentine bass sequence, the instrumental of “Touch Me” hits the sweet spot of unhurried, wave-like motion that marks the best intimate music. This elastic instrumental serves as the backbone for the single’s primary focus—McMahan’s vocal performance. Much of the track floats along sweet, whispered ululations, but as she propels into the song’s final chorus, McMahan erupts into a chilling, belted high note (a trademark of her fledgling sound) that releases the track’s accumulating tension like a dam floodgate; the sweet reward of the track’s titular request. “Touch Me” balances restraint and urgency, secret desire and ecstatic proclamations of romance and sexuality—a distillation of the competing forces present within the art of seduction. –Audrey Lockie


Street: 08.26
SOUNDR = Flyleaf + Hayley Williams

It doesn’t matter what you do now or who you’ve grown to be—you’ll never be as cool as you were when you were thirteen. This is what makes SOUNDR’s guitar schreeches and brainworm lyrics on “DUMB DUMB” such a delight. This year of our youths is a time when those first signs of life outside of your childhood peak through and you run headfirst into whatever you can see, emotionally tender toward a period of unadulterated you. “Bet you’re sorry darlin’ / Sittin’ on my doorstep / Waiting for what could have been,’’ SOUNDR sings on this anthemic, pop-punk rager. Not the least bit adolescent in its creation, the track unites SOUNDR’s stylistic contemporaries with modern flourishes both in the lyrics and production with a precision that’s soon to have you digging through old CDs, rediscovering your chatroom usernames and finally finding those prized UPROAR Festival tickets. –Aidan Croft

Young Spit

Street 09.01
Young Spit = Lil Tecca + Obongjayar

Based on his name, you might think Young Spit is going to spit some crazy raps, but his new single, “Rukundo,” isn’t crazy at all—it’s a calm, bedroom pop song about love with an African rhythmic twist (rukundo means love in Rwanda), and I can picture myself waking up to this song as someone I love clanks around in the kitchen on a sunny weekend. It’s not comparable to the blindly blissful love Tyler, The Creator sings about on “Glitter” and it’s not the passionately painful love that Rihanna recounts on “Love On The Brain,” but it might be tucked on a playlist next to Etta James’ “Sunday Kind of Love”—to be played as the sun pours in while you lie next to your sweet partner. The cover photo shows us the steady simplicity of this scene; the sweetness that rukundo can bring. –Harper Haase

“falling in love with my void”

Street: 09.01
zonekidd = atlas + Glass Animals’ Dreamland era

“falling in love with my void” is electronica that demands your attention. Upbeat but not overwhelming, the drumbeat and synthy piano uplift the voices of featured artists Arcvne and Mutebrat. As the backing track starts to expand and grow, Arcvne’s voice acts as a grounding agent, keeping the audience tuned in. Mutebrat’s verse especially impressed me: Lines like, “Mutebrat, I’m the one who charge it like a battery / Back then used to laugh at me” came across as clever and heartfelt. Both artists deliver confidence with an air of easy acceptance of who they are. After Mutebrat’s burst of liveliness, zonekidd knows how to come in for a landing, easing listeners out of the track with some airy vocals and fleshed-out synths. Their energetic trip into the void is a supernova—short lived, flashing behind your eyelids even after it’s done. –Jude Perno