Local Music Singles Roundup: May 2022

Local Music Reviews

This May, get your fix with our 2022 Bike Issue Local Music Singles Roundup! Take a ride with these six musicians as they celebrate their new releases and gear up to be wheel blown away. Crank that stereo and start peddling toward a better month with these local tunes! 


Book on Tape Worm
“Wherever Your Dreams May Take You”

Self-Released
Street: 02.22
Book on Tape Worm = Sufjan Stevens’ Mystery of Love + Greer

The soundtrack of any romance or coming-of-age film would benefit from “Wherever Your Dreams May Take You.” Mesmerizing and straightforward, this song conveys a powerful story. Throughout the lullaby, the harmonies and lyricism serenade and uplift the listener. Initially, it sounds like an intelligible love ballad, but with more listens, it tells a dreamy story of platonic devotion. “You can wake me up and call for me / Because wherever your dreams may take you / I’ll be here when you return.” In the final minutes of the track, the rising vocals and resounding acoustic guitar reflect the feelings of adoration and future goodbyes. “When you’re grown / With a family of your own / You can always come back home.” Make sure “Wherever Your Dreams May Take You” is on your bedtime playlist. –Birdy Francis


Braxton Royel
“*ME!”

F*CK OCTOBER
Street: 03.04
Braxton Royel = Young Thug + Cybervision Simulcast’s Sewer City + Early Three 6 Mafia

Less a traditional song and more a hunk of extraterrestrial avant-hip-hop filtered through a rusty, modded-out ham radio, Braxton Royel’s “*ME!” churns and warbles along its rattling, synth-led beat. The vocals arrive in sputtering bits and bouts, with Royel’s adlibs bouncing around each other in melismatic shrieks, grunts and chugs. The central vocal track skirts intelligibility as the emcee boasts his artistic prowess and details his playboy escapades. Royel’s delivery is full of slurs and grumbles, sputtering out disjointed phrases and hiccuping on words—the imprecise confidence of someone who’s too high to even see the lines he should be coloring within. Along with the toxic slime flowing through the song’s rickety beat and Royel’s maniacal cadre of overdubbed alien vocal takes, “*ME!” wallows in subterranean, sci-fi griminess, straddling the gap between hip-hop’s cosmic future and the hazy memory of an SNES dungeon level. –Audrey Lockie


Brother Chunky
“You Better Run”

Self-Released
Street: 02.17
Brother Chunky = David Crosby + Gordon Lightfoot + R. L. Burnside

Brother Chunky’s new single, “You Better Run,” is a swamped-out, muddy blues march about the reaper, the devil or our own inner demon. “Don’t you buy what he is selling / Don’t you listen to the stories he’s telling / once he gets you down to that place / You won’t come back ever the same.” Brother Chunky blossoms out of “You Better Run” with a classic, guitar-picking folk ballad that plays out like the Mississippi Delta. The pace of “You Better Run” stays steady with a wicked tone that never waivers. Michael Barclay Jr., the man behind Brother Chunky, delivers a delicious treat that can’t be consumed all at once: The folk part of the track may intrigue you, the blues might scare you and the funk Barclay sneaks in will have you shimmying in your shoes. “You Better Run” is a warning, but the only thing to be afraid of is a blues-fueled party you may want to stick around for. –Russ Holsten


Genevra Munoa
“Lover”

Self-Released
Street: 03.11
Genevra Munoa = Maggie Rogers x Shania Twain 

When people think of the word “Lover” in relation to modern pop music, Taylor Swift comes to mind, but local artist Genevra Munoa has her own, jazzy spin on the idea. Her new single, ‘“Lover,” is mesmerizing. Is this because of the way her vocals are both twangy and hypnotic? Or because of the laidback, layered production on the track? I wager all of the above. Upon my first listen, it reminded me of the ancient myth that mermaids or sirens lured sailors to the sea with their songs. In that vein, the single fits, with Munoa’s voice luring in its listeners. On the other hand, it can instantly transport you to a jazz speakeasy—can’t you picture it? A dark smoky room with red vinyl seats and a single spotlight on a tiny stage. “Lover” is breathtaking, and not something you would expect to come out of SLC’s indie-dominated music scene. It’s catchy, yes, but also undeniably smooth. It’s jazz-pop at its finest, and my favorite local track of the year so far.  –Palak Jayswal


Homephone
“Pistachio”


UPHERE! Records
Street: 04.08
Homephone = Jerkcurb + Mega Bog 

Ysabelle Stepp and Joseph Sandholtz deliver an ethereal, punchy single for their upcoming album release as Homephone, Melon Collie (out on May 20). The Salt Lake City duo does not give up too much personal information online, but this track is pure gold with an electric-pop, dreamy tone that encourages you to groove and sway. Stepp’s mnemonic voice is like a Pop It—mechanical, relaxing and relieving of a craving. The musicality, too, is something distinctive, quick, effective and damn catchy with subtle beats and synths. The lyrics are impressive. I still have the beginning lines dancing in my head: “People only kiss / when their eyes are closed / If they open up / Why, I’ll never know.” I look forward to the complete LP because this band is talented and all-around perfect for any type of listener … except metal, though that’s another tale to tell. –Kassidy Waddell


Violent Unrest
“Lucretia My Reflection”


Street: 02.24
Self-Released
Violent Unrest = Blitz + Sick of It All  + Fury

I can only imagine the feeling of elation in the practice room when Violent Unrest locked in on the riff that serves as the hook, wall and supporting stud that single “Lucretia My Reflection” hangs upon. A simple riff that lasts four bars and repeats continuously through the song, it creates an energy that only the best riffs can. Singer Paige’s vocals take their time, enunciating every barbed and incisive lyric. When the few bridges hit, the guitars’ textured and melodic layers and the vocal cadence complement one another. Violent Unrest’s earlier releases all feature more complex guitar work than standard hardcore, but “Lucretia My Reflection” feels like the logical evolution of those prior releases. It will be interesting to see if they continue on this more riff-based and melodic trajectory. –Peter Fryer

Check out more on some of these artists:
Localized: Book On Tape Worm
SLUG Soundwaves Episode #379: Brother Chunky