Local Music Singles Roundup: November 2022
Local Music Reviews
November is meant to be spent with your loved ones, and most importantly, your favorite food and beverages. SLUG’s November Spirits and Distilleries issue is here to showcase some of the best, as well as some intoxicating local singles. So, pour yourself a glass of whiskey, get comfortable and put those headphones on. Much like the distilleries featured in this issue, these singles from Hoppy, Suchii, Mel Soul and more will get you buzzed and grooving.
Hoppy = Kipper Snack + Harry Styles
“Is It Wrong” begins with gentle electric and acoustic guitar as Colt Hopkins’ dreamy, tenor voice shares that he’s daydreaming about a past love interest. Satisfyingly, full drums and bass join in and Hopkins’ voice, sometimes layered with a higher harmony, provides a comforting presence. He shares a relatable sentiment of knowing that someone makes you feel alive while doubting if they still feel the same: “Wasted away since the day you left / I never learned to swim so I sink.” The last 45 seconds are the most rewarding part of the song, as Hopkins beautifully inflects his voice in a drawn-out falsetto, symbolic of someone who feels a need to embrace his feelings entirely. Hopkins’ voice is accompanied by a quick guitar solo and energetic drums before the song quiets to a serene acoustic setting, returning us to where we started. –Andrew Christiansen
Occult Cat Records
Lazer Kitten = Bjøn Torske + Drexciya
Lazer Kitten’s “Fur Real” makes good on the promise of its cover art—tropical pastels, laser-jetting cat eyes and stock photos of summery fruit beget the track’s lively house rhythms and transportive atmosphere. The staccato piano chords jolt at the opening, washed over in a windswept reverb as they melt into the track’s gelatinous bass line. The opening half of “Fur Real” is alive with motion, the synths shimmering and zig-zagging akin to Squidward’s famed modern dance movements. Each new synth, from the distorted squelches that enter after 30 seconds to the slinking guitar picking, further enlivens the track’s flexible strut before the elasticity melts away into a more focused drive in the final minute. With this slow descent toward (relative) calm, “Fur Real” avoids a predictable, rise-and-fall structure, opening at the peak of its ecstasy and slowly fading into liquid serenity. –Audrey Lockie
Mel Soul = Joy Oladokun + “Dirty Paws” Of Monsters and Men
Mel Soul is a trained singer and songwriter who has worked with a number of vocal professionals, which becomes obvious when you listen to her latest single, “Desperation.” The track is an example of Soul’s ability to vocally croon and bellow, all set to a foreboding, folk-acoustic melody, complete with the sounds of wolves howling in the background. She sings, “The snow falls from the mountain in his love / And I am a tree holding on to my roots / But his force is digging too deep.” As “Desperation” carries into the chorus, Soul extends her vocal range even further, singing with an emotive prowess as she pleads in a religious context for “Mother Mary” to keep her soul warm and safe through the cold night. Slowly, as more instruments are added, you can feel the intention and torment behind Soul’s pleas. This track will surely prove relatable and compelling to many, and solidifies Mel Soul’s position as a dynamic and accomplished Utah musician. –Jamie Christensen
Scott Lippitt = S. Carey + James Vincent McMorrow
In anticipation of Lippitt’s upcoming album release, this profound mostly-acoustic single, “Why I Always,” is a piece of prose put to music. It’s a simplistic, singer-songwriter track that digs deep into meaning and philosophy. Lippitt’s vocals float up to the stratosphere of the male vocal spectrum and give the lyrics a gentle delivery. One of the most impressive things is the way he’s able to capture this soft, airy tone of his voice and then harmonize with it through double tracks—one of my favorite things to hear in any genre. The harmonies decorate the introspective lyrics like glitter. Lippett sings about the way we see the inadequacies of our experience and existence before the beautiful parts: “It’s just a point of view / A different color / A different hue.” The song softly reminds of the fact that this kind of thought process is essentially a facade. –Mary Culbertson
Suchii = Dylan Sinclair + Walk The Moon + Robyn
Prepare your ears for the most happy-go-lucky, upbeat song of the season, perfect for late-night dance sessions in your room as the leaves change. “Fila Fila” whirls around in a melting pot of indie-glam, dance-punk, genre-bending grooves of decades past with a heaping splash of originality. Suchii riffs in repetitive pop-ish verses that illustrate crushing on someone in the age of digital facilitation, enthralled by the idea that while an attractive persona exists online, there is an intricate human behind the profile. Suchii’s skillful vocals are impassioned and arresting, the lyrics in the chorus changing the gender of Suchii’s Fila-wearing muse after every repetition. The joy in his powerhouse melodies connects the listener to a pillar of queer expression and is reminiscent of the addictive rush of young love. “Fila Fila” is a song that surely brightens the darkening days ahead, bringing feelings of infatuation and self-love all at once. –Ashton Ellis
VivianRoyel = Sweet Valley (Sopranos S1) – Toro y Moi – Molly Nilsson (Zenith)
VivianRoyel’s latest track, “We V Ok,” is all over the place upon a first listen—However, it does grow on you. It’s sporadic, disoriented and a little congested. There’s a lot that could have been cut out, and there is an attempt to cover seemingly all bases of genres and musical influences, which really is unnecessary for a song that isn’t even three minutes long. It’s as if you’re trying to separate your trash from your recycling. The lyrics are confusing, with bits and pieces tricky to decipher, but the ones that you can hear are clever, such as “I’m hotter than a Cheeto.” Sounds trite, sure, but ask yourself: Have you heard anyone compare themselves to a Flaming Hot Cheeto? Personification at its finest for the year 2022. With additional songs, VivianRoyel can produce a cool EP that will be worth checking out! –Kassidy Waddell
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