In preparation for the final Twilight Concert, Lauren Gutierrez interviews James King of Fitz and the Tantrums!
The Deadly Rapture of Space is the first album released by a band that goes by the name of Westward. Studied and experienced musicians in their own right, the band was created by some of our own Salt Lake City locals: Andrew Marshall as lead vocals and guitar, Karl Grimm on bass and Matt Morrison on drums.
The intro to the title track is the static sound of astronauts talking to each other over a radio intercom and an announcer saying, “Most of the world waited 100 miles below, the crew had completed final preparations, the cabin was depressurized and the hatch open.” It immediately sets up the space odyssey that you are about to take part in. I imagined the guitar and drums breaking in as soon as they leave the atmosphere and enter the dark depths of space.
I can tell by the vibrato of the song “Drive’m” that their live shows are not something to miss. The chanting of the chorus, the electric guitar and the way Marshall delivers the lyrics sounds like a very theatrical and lively performance.
To give you an idea of the inspiration behind Westward’s sound, their musical influences are rock artists like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Jack White. Their fans have coined the term “cowboy space rock” to fondly describe their music and I can hear why. I felt like I was being transported to a distant rock n’ roll western with awesome instrumentals and sexy vocals. Case in point, listen to my favorite song on the album called “When I Give You Control”.
The guys have been working over the last three years to make a name for themselves, opening for various bands in different states and even went on their own 2015 Deadly Tour. Westward has played gigs at venues like the Utah Arts Festival, the Sundance Film Festival’s Indie Lounge and The House of Blues in Las Vegas.
They are now working on new material as they go on the 2016 West Coast Tour. If you want to check them out live they will be making a stop in Salt Lake City on Saturday August 6, 2016 at The Urban Lounge 241 S. 500 E. 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm.
“I had a vision I could fly around the world with a girl with blonde curls who swapped energy for pearls.” To anyone who visits Earth Tiger’s Soundcloud page, this will be the first thing you hear if you play their first track “Holiday.” Earth Tiger is a duo from New Zealand that doesn’t’ sound like your typical hip hop output—combining the flows of traditional rap with beats intertwining pop, rock, and electronic dance music. Their song’s infectious—the melodies will get stuck in your head until you have no choice but to play the songs again. While they only have two tunes available on their Soundcloud it’s more than enough to satisfy for the time being.
Earth Tiger was conceived on Christmas Eve around a campfire by friends Cruz Mathews and Tom Taylor who had a mutual love of old school hip hop. After collaborating with producer Alex Wildwood in a series of week-long recording sessions, the duo set up a home studio in a swamp house in the rainforest of Byron Bay. The natural surroundings of the rainforest invoked songs inspired by the energy it gave off. In their makeshift studio, they funneled their collection of earthly hip hop into an EP entitled Holiday set for release hopefully later this year. It is now in the mixing and mastering process via Nathan Sowter of La Petite Maison Studios.
The title track of the EP alone is an accurate representation of their music with its soothing beats with Mathews’ and Taylor’s smooth flows emulate the feeling of trekking through wilderness of the Down Under. The second track on their soundcloud that was released some months prior to recording the music of Holiday is the song “King Like Jordan.” While it doesn’t contain the same style of earthly ambience that “Holiday” does, it’s still just as catchy and laidback with a hook that goes “This my jam. This my jam. This, right here, my favorite jam.” The rest of the song consists of lyrics that express its listeners to stay motivated in exercising the mind, body, and soul.
To put it blatantly, Earth Tiger is straight up feel good music and as the first hip hop group I’ve heard out of New Zealand I pretty much got what I expected and then some. They may find themselves on the playlist of any outdoorsy types who go on nature hikes and attend the gym regularly.
Oh Wonder released their debut album, Oh Wonder, on September 4th in 2015. Immediately upon release, critics were raving, fans were screaming, and Oh Wonder embarked on a worldwide tour which only increased their ever-growing popularity. Oh Wonder is an upcoming indie-pop band based in London that is grabbing attention everywhere. The band is a duo, Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West. This album was made in a very non-traditional way. The two members wrote, produced and mixed each song in their home studio, and then released one song per month, beginning in September 2014. The official album was then released, along with two extra songs. Despite the majority of the songs being available before the album release, it still did extremely well in the charts across several countries including the UK, US, and Canada.
The album begins with Livewire, is a song about love that has passion within every word. The lyrics in the chorus “make me feel like I’m set on fire” is not dark or creepy, but rather entrancing. Technicolor Beat is a chill, electro-pop song that makes you feel calm with its simple piano and synth sounds, mixed with the pair’s vocals. Drive is exactly the song you would want to listen to on a drive as the sun sets with its nice backbeat and smooth strings. Lose It is a simple piano song with a basic beat and snaps, but the unique rhythm and lyrics such as “You got to give yourself a moment, let your body breathe” will make you want to just take a step back from life, and just dance for a moment. The Rain has melody that is reminiscent of old music while seamlessly combining it with newer synth melodies, and makes for a perfect song to listen to on a rainy day. Midnight Moon has a nice melody, some claps, and lyrics that will cheer you up. The album closes with Plans, which talks about times being tough, but yet it still conveys a feeling that everything will be alright and that the journey is worth it. Oh Wonder has a unique style, a unique approach to the music industry, and has a great future for them. If you are looking for a calming album that will make you feel happy, give this album a try. It’ll be worth it.
What do you get when you cross Pink Floyd, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Salt Lake City? A fantastic local band called Aspen Grove! Aspen Grove, the band formally known as Archeopteryx makes some dang good music! This album is full of soothing vocals, bad ass instrumentals and radical chord progressions. Only three songs long this album has a soul behind it and you can here the passion in every bar. It’s not every day that I get blown away by local bands but this one has something special. Even though at times the band has a tendency to vamp for a little to long it moves at a quick enough pace to keep me from having to strain my ears to enjoy it. Most measures build on the last and it climax’s and melodic restitution’s kept me on the edge of my seat. Very good local album 9/10!
Listen to there album or download it here!