Welcome to the first ever Rhombus Local Music Compilation. We’ve included some (but by no means all) of our favorite local artists in hopes of exposing you, our readers, to the great musical talent right in your own backyard. Featuring previously unreleased songs by the Vibrant Sound, Mudbison and Drew Danburry, plus great music from a slew of other local artists, the music contained here represents some of the best the Provo scene has to offer. You may not love every song we picked, but if you find just one great new band, we’ll feel pretty good about ourselves.
Great thanks to Jess Smart Smiley for creating the original cover art for the compilation, and to all the bands for contributing their music. This project has been a labor of love more than anything else, so we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. We hope to do it again soon. Let us know your thoughts in the comment space provided below. As always, thanks for reading. – Steve Pierce, Editor
To download the Rhombus Local Music Comp for Fall 2009 as a ZIP file, click here.
1. Drew Danburry, “Artex Died In Truth Or Consequences, NM”
This prolific local folkie tenuously balances catchy tunes with his enthralling storytelling in a way that makes for one of the most compelling live shows around. “Artex” will appear on his upcoming 2010 release.
Like what you hear? You can catch Drew live at Velour in Provo on December 2nd with Local Natives and Desert Noises, or learn more at his MySpace.
2. Mudbison, “Mama Nix”
Indie-eclectic outfit Mudbison have been through a number of changes over the past year – between a myriad of line-ups and a notable sonic expansion, the band is certainly growing in more ways than one. Frontman Spencer Russell is undoubtedly one of Provo’s most ambitious songwriters and remains unafraid of tackling anything from strange subject matter to unorthodox song structure.
Like what you hear? You can see the creative madness live at Velour in Provo on December 4th, when Mudbison takes the stage with Columbia recording artist (and Spencer’s brother) Isaac Russell in a very special show. Also, check out their MySpace for more tracks.
3. Cody Rigby, “Paper Bullets”
It’s no secret that Provo has a thriving indie-folk scene, and Cody Rigby is right in the middle of it. The moaning organ augments Rigby’s lonely croon on “Paper Bullets,” creating a perfect storm of folk perfection. Bob Dylan would be proud.
Like what you hear? You can learn more about Cody at his MySpace.
4. Shark Speed, “Cast Off Dance Off”
If you haven’t seen Shark Speed’s very unique concert posters hanging around Provo, you probably haven’t been looking. Each featuring a picture of different person holding a message board that announces the show, the posters are clever but nowhere near as enjoyable as the band’s music. Blending a myriad of styles into a unique sound, Shark Speed are a group all their own. You have to hear it (and preferably see it) to believe it.
Like what you hear? Catch their can’t-miss set at Velour’s Cowboys and Indies 4 on Friday, November 20th, and listen to more songs at their MySpace.
5. Desert Noises, “Building Glass Walls”
These Joshua James prodigies bring a towering, sonically amplified folk sound to the table, much like a musical lovechild produced by Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses. Featuring gorgeous vocal harmonies that can lull you right into musical ecstasy, Desert Noises sound more like an indie rock choir of angels than three guys with a couple guitars.
Like what you hear? As mentioned above, Desert Noises will take the stage at Velour on December 2nd with Drew Danburry and Local Natives. You can hear more tracks from their 2008 self-titled debut at their MySpace.
6. NightNight, “Mother Nature”
NightNight is kind of like Provo’s very own supergroup – they’re the Plastic Ono Band without Yoko Ono’s incessant shrieking. (Metaphorically, at least.) Featuring an all-star line-up of Provo talent (including McKay Stevens of the Vibrant Sound, Scott Shepard of Book on Tapeworm and Nate Pyfer of Code Hero), this super-side-project strips down their normal electro-pop sound on “Mother Nature,” a song recorded for the Utah TAP project in 2008. Featuring cascading backing vocals and a spare acoustic guitar, NightNight pay tribute to our planet in one of the best ways possible.
Like what you hear? Check out some of NightNight’s more electronic cuts at their MySpace and catch them at Velour on December 7th.
7. Seafinch, “It Might Be You”
The songs of Seafinch troubadour Asher Seevinck may be some of only religious music to ever get a resounding endorsement from the Rhombus staff. Subtly weaving messages of faith and hope into killer guitar-based indie-pop, Seevinck makes you feel better about life without even trying. You literally won’t know what hit you – but you’ll like it.
Like what you hear? Listen to more Seafinch tracks at their MySpace and buy their best-selling debut EP, Who’s Going to Hold You in the Evening, on iTunes.
8. Cory Mon & The Starlight Gospel, “River”
Mixing elements of blues, jazz and gospel, Cory Mon creates musical fusion that takes hold of your soul, and commands your foot to tap and head to bob. While the soulful backing vocals can quickly transport the listener back to the heyday of 1950’s R&B, Cory Mon’s gospel-tinged blues remain as relevant as ever.
Like what you hear? Have your musical soul commandeered by more sweet blues action at the group’s MySpace.
9. The Whistling Petes, “Lemon”
Chances are you haven’t heard of the Whistling Petes. We don’t really blame you, because they’re fairly new. However, they do have the auspicious honor of being the only band on this compilation fronted by a female vocalist. (Message to all our female musician friends: return our calls next time, please!) While “Lemon” is a different song than most you’ll hear on here, it’s kind of like pouring sugar right into your bloodstream. The catch melody and bouncy guitar-work make it hard not to love this song.
Like what you hear? Check out more Whistling Petes on Facebook.
10. The Vibrant Sound, “Let’s Get It On”
Here at Rhombus, we love all of our music-making friends equally. But, truth be told, we are pretty much ecstatic to be able to share the Vibrant Sound’s excellent cover of this Marvin Gaye classic with you on this compilation. Melding all the soulful awesomeness of the original with fresh rhymes by frontman McKay Stevens, the Vibrant Sound definitely got it on in a whole new way on this track. If this song doesn’t make you want to dance, we may have to check you for a pulse.
Like what you hear? Listen to the Vibrant Sound’s original tracks (which are pretty great in their own right) at the band’s MySpace and pick up a copy of their new LP, Downtown, over at Northplatte Records.
11. The Archer’s Apple, “Bang Bang”
There’s not much we need to say here, except to give you a very serious warning – this song will get stuck in your head. Like, for weeks. You don’t really have a choice. If you let it into your brain even one time, it will consume your life for an unknown amount of time. So prepare yourself, but definitely listen to the song anyway. It’s pretty much awesome.
Like what you hear? Catch the Archer’s Apple at a house show with Drew Danburry and Sayde Price on Thursday, November 19th. Get more details at their MySpace.
12. The Yaks, “Reduce”
Who says garage rock died with the ‘90s? Even though these eclectic Provo stalwarts recently went on a self-imposed hiatus, you can still enjoy their excellence via this recording, which may or may not melt your face, if for no other reason than the killer harmonica solo. Yeah, it’s that good.
Like what you hear? Unfortunately, the Yaks are no longer performing together, but you can remember them fondly by listening to more tracks on their MySpace.
13. Empirates, “Disco Lights”
From the frantically hammered opening chords of “Disco Lights,” it’s apparent that Empirates are cut from the same Brit-rock cloth as popular acts like Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. Though they rock harder than most bands in the folkified Provo scene, Empirates took the crowd at BYU’s recent Battle of the Bands by storm, bringing home the title and laying the foundation for a promising career. Needless to say, we’ll stay tuned.
Like what you hear? Listen to more Empirates tracks at their MySpace and keep your ear to the ground for upcoming shows.
14. Seve Vs. Evan, “Lady Lady”
Local electro-poppers Seve Vs. Evan are practically royalty in the Provo scene at this point. Combining keyboard riffs and synth lines that wouldn’t feel out of place on an MGMT record with light-hearted lyrics, this duo has all the ingredients necessary to make you dance in ridiculous ways you’ll undoubtedly regret in the morning. And yes, that’s a good thing.
Like what you hear? Don’t miss Seve Vs. Evan’s Saturday night set at Velour’s Cowboys and Indies 4 on November 21st. Get ready for the show by checking out their MySpace.
Trackback from your site.