It takes a village to raise a successful musician.
That, at least, is the gist of the answer you get from Kaneischa Johnson, Velour employee. At the heart of that support, too, is Provo’s Velour Live Music Gallery. Corey Fox, owner of the 5-year-old venue, has fostered his fair share of bands, too. His side projects include the Occidental Saloon, an art-based music video production, and last October’s Fork Fest, a local music festival held in American Fork. Between great taste and experience, he knows a good thing when he hears it. So we asked him to share with us his favorite bands and tell us why we should care.
Sounds like: 80’s modern rock, 70’s glam, arena rock (The Killers, U2)
It’s impossible to talk about the Utah Valley music scene without talking about Neon Trees. After rising to the top of the local music scene they are now making their mark on the world; within the last two years they were signed to Mercury Records, had a platinum selling single “Animal” which ended up winning the alternative song of the year at the Billboard Music Awards, have played Letterman, Conan, Fallon, Kimmel, and Leno three times. They’ve toured the US, Europe, and Asia and will soon be direct support for the upcoming Duran Duran tour. With all of these things happening they still haven’t forgotten their roots. They stop in at Velour every time they are in town and frequently praise the Provo music scene in their interviews.
Genre: Indie Jam-Rock
Sounds like: Pink Floyd meets accessible pop-rock
Fictionist has been in the local and national spotlight recently. They were in a competition to be the first unsigned band on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and made it to the top four. That competition gained them a huge amount of national exposure and has created interest from several major labels. You can expect big things from Fictionist in the upcoming year. Check them out at Velour this fall while you still can.
Genre: Folk Rock/Americana
Sounds like: Intimate folk-rock one second and in-your-face Southern rock the next.
Joshua is another veteran local performer making waves on the national scene. He surprised everyone a few years ago when he turned down a major label deal with Capital Records and releasing his album on his own label, Northplatte Records.Despite no major label support he frequently tours the US and Europe, has been featured in Paste magazine, and has played several high-profile music festivals, including Bonnaroo. He is currently recording his third full-length album with respected musician and producer Richard Swift.
Book on Tapeworm
Sounds like: Nothing else out there.
It’s hard to categorize Book on Tape Worm but some of the words that are used to describe their shows are magical, beautiful and breathtaking. In my opinion, there is no one in Utah writing better lyrics, melodies, and delivering them with a voice like Scott Shepard. Emily Brown (keyboard/vocals) and Cierra Black (cello) are the other key elements to this magical band. Book on Tapeworm’s debut album is set for an early 2012 release and will be well worth the wait.
Genre: Folk rock/Americana
Sounds like: Fans of Fleet Foxes, Bands of Horses, etc, will love Desert Noises.
Desert Noises were one of the young up-and-coming bands a year or so ago but have now grown into one of the most respected and influential bands in the scene. They are known for their high-energy shows and spot-on harmonies. Look for their debut full-length album this fall (It’s incredible. I already have it) and don’t be surprised if they are one of the next local bands to launch into the national spotlight.
The Moth & The Flame
Genre: Indie art-rock
Sounds like: Radiohead, The National etc.
The Moth & the Flame is another local band on the verge of taking off. They are pulling out all the stops on their debut album (set to release at Velour in November) and are sure to stir up a lot of national attention in the next year. Check them out on Sept. 23rd at Velour, opening for Indie legends “LOW”.