Local Music Singles Roundup: May 2023
Local Music Reviews
While you’re out peddling your speeding heart around the Salt Lake Valley, why not indulge in some local music? Our May Local Music Singles Roundup is here to pleasure the ear holes. Tune into some psychedelic low-fi for casual cruises or pump up the volume to some heavy metal. Plug in the headphones and press shuffle—you’re strapped in for the best of SLC’s music scene!
Allyjuando = Early Eyes + Clairo
In Allyjuandro’s “waves,” the duo of Juan and Ally Altuna combines their floating, jazzy sound with a dreamy, pop-rock progression to introduce you to their new EP, Imaginary Sunrise. The song brings back memories of cathartic summer nights and riding in the passenger seat of a friend’s car with the windows down. “waves” starts out longing and soulful before slipping into a funkier mood perfect for dancing around in your bedroom. Ally’s soft vocals bring all the pieces together as Juan’s bouncing bass makes you feel like your head’s in the clouds. The twinkling synth that joins in towards the end is just the cherry on top. “waves” sets the mood for an EP made for easy summer listening. I’d recommend this track to coffee shop frequenters, people who shopped at Claire’s in the late 2000’s and anyone who has way too many magnets on their fridge. –Elle Cowley
Ben Ra ft. Idan Jene
Ben Ra + Idan Jene = The Neighborhood + Drake
If you’re secretly a fan of slow club music like I am, “Lasers” is a good listen for you. The collaborative track between two well-paired artists yields a very slow and sexy beat. With their production on “Lasers,” Ra, a tasteful rapper, and Jene, more of a pop/R&B artist, teeter on the edge of dream pop. It’s definitely not shoegaze, but another side of the spectrum in the bedroom pop phenomenon that introduces more R&B influences into the genre. Ra and Jene perfectly scratch the catchy itch with a lethargic, boots+cats beat. A smooth synth establishes the song and layers of audio effects are shimmered throughout the background, adding provocative texture. Lyrically, the song tells the story of a laser-eyed “angel” dancing in a club. While not the first song written about this concept, you’ll still wish you were her by the end of it. –Mary Culbertson
Body Horror = (Sonic Youth x LCD Soundsystem) + Dry Cleaning
“Tower” conjures images of looking across the valley, standing above a million different stories you’ll never know. It’s a song that captures the feeling of being desperate for connection when you’re supposedly looking right at it. Vocalist and bassist Julie Boswell’s carefully reserved delivery of lines such as, “The past is so close to people like us / Purgatory playground made of dust” is a solid surface to land on amid the fluid, fun background. Rippling guitar bounces the song along while strong bass cuts through the noise, synths float over the top and it all comes together with a drumbeat that’s easy to throw your body to. Body Horror is a lively addition to the local punk scene. With a debut as strong as this, it’s clear they’re not a band to miss out on. –Alexis Perno
Doumie= Frank Ocean + Doja Cat
I knew as soon as I heard the opening guitar chords of “OCEAN” that I liked this song. The guitar strums peacefully with a reverb that mimics being underwater while the gentle flow of the instrument puts me into the same trance as waves crashing on the shore. The music matches the title before the vocals even begin. As the high-pitched, throaty voice takes its unique venture into the guitarscape, there’s a sense of surprise—Doumie rides atop the music, swaying with the guitar without getting pulled into its tide. The song picks up pace as a beat comes in but never loses the dreamy, underwater feeling. The mermaid-esque song brings a feeling of hot and sleepy summer days. “OCEAN” reminds me of a heavy golden sun over a calm blue ocean, and as I watch the gray snow falling outside, I am thankful for the escape. –Harper Haase
Hollow, I Am
Hollow, I Am = In Your Grave + the good parts of a Periphery song
Hollow, I Am unleashes “Broken Puppet” without a second of breathing room and doesn’t let up for four minutes. Its bitter, distorted sonic palette uses rhythm, not melody, as its guide. Tempos rise and fall, and unorthodox polyrhythms hang in the air like half-finished sentences as the band barrel through a series of unrelated half-songs. The song’s peak arrives just short of three minutes in, where an especially off-kilter, chugging groove underlies a feedbacking guitar shriek so unabashed in its discordance it made me grin and giggle. “Broken Puppet” would sound messy if Hollow, I Am weren’t so tightly locked in with each other. The track moves like a musical Exodia, a series of disconnected limbs coming together in hulking movements that, in their forced adherence to a Frankensteined march, create a body more powerful, more threatening, than an organic being could ever hope to be. –Audrey Lockie
Sego = LCD Soundsystem + Violent Femmes + Beck
Sego’s “TANDANG” is a masterful blend of indie/art rock and electro-funk grooves that treads the line between experimental and lighthearted. Frontman Spencer Petersen‘s deadpan vocals effortlessly lead the track, and his lyrics, filled with quick-fired words and abstract phrases, explore the feeling of an outsider looking in with a stream-of-consciousness style of writing. “High-speed slow boat / Birthday ozone / Flowers, powers, ransom, cowards,” goes the first verse. The song was recorded in Provo almost all in one day after a range of stresses from the weather, cars and a national tour. “TANDANG” sounds like a group of musicians eager to take a break from stress and create a pure, easily loveable and refreshingly unconventional tune that succeeds in blending several genres but still prioritizing fun—I imagine in recording, too—over anything else. –Andrew Christiansen
Read more Local Music Single Roundups:
Local Music Singles Roundup: April 2023
Local Music Singles Roundup: January 2023
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