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Home / Articles / Music / City Weekly Music Awards /  CWMA Band of the Year 2013 Page 1
City Weekly Music Awards

CWMA Band of the Year 2013 Page 1

L'anarchiste & Utah's best bands

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // May 1,2013 -

The phrase “dress for success” brings to mind power suits, not rock & roll panache. But imagine Elvis without blue suede shoes, Prince without a leotard or Freddie Mercury without a mustache.

For Salt Lake City-based sextet L’anarchiste, however, dressing for success means less flair and more professionalism: for instance, button-down collared shirts for their City Weekly Music Award performance at The State Room on April 27. The shift in style helped captivate the audience as they listened to the band’s brand of epic folktronica. “We dressed sharper than normal because we wanted to feel more professional, to have a more sophisticated image,” says bassist Alex Gilvarry.

An air of sophistication matches the aesthetic of L’anarchiste’s unique symphonic soundscapes, which draw upon a diverse assortment of instruments—from banjo to bass synths, from violin to kazoo, from trombone to hand claps. Any given song can go from quiet and thoughtful phrasings to a gigantic high tide of notes and emotion. This washing in and out makes sense when songwriter Rob LeCheminant talks about how he writes. “I visualize the motion of the music,” he says. “I love seeing the motion, and I try to capture that.” The “motion” is propelled by emotion—the core of LeCheminant’s songs.

L’anarchiste began as a basement-recording solo project of LeCheminant’s in 2011. The singer and multi-instrumentalist was once a university student in jazz composition with goals of penning symphonies, not indie-folk tunes. Things changed, but that deliberate, composed approach to writing remains.

“I’m more prone to being indulgent with songs now. Ones that are bigger, but can also get quieter, and with really interesting textures,” LeCheminant says.

A Sufjan Stevens concert in 2010 facilitated this ethos. “I realized I could write whatever I wanted to, because he had absolutely no fear of what people thought,” LeCheminant says.

LeCheminant recorded five songs for a self-titled EP, which was released Dec. 20, 2011. The album was a balance of concerted minimalism and took cues from various sources like Phillip Glass, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire and Local Natives. Some songs are articulated over a seven-minute span—“Stony” and “Iron”—something not many bands would dare to do. Even with epically long, huge-sounding songs, L’anarchiste never loosens its grip on the listener as the working parts ebb and flow.

LeCheminant grew tired of the solo shtick, and L’anarchiste became a band around the time of the release, with its first show in February 2012.

Soon after L’anarchiste’s first show, the band was featured on and played a gig sponsored by the U.K.-based blog at South By Southwest. Choose My Music launched a record label in 2012, and L’anarchiste was one of two bands initially signed. In 2012, L’anarchiste was also featured on KUER’s RadioWest.

L’anarchiste will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first full-length album, to be recorded at June Audio in Provo with producer Nate Pyfer (The Moth & the Flame, Polytype, Mideau). The album is scheduled for a September release.

Giant, as the album is tentatively called, will certainly live up to its maximalistic name. For instance, one song, “For a Moment I Opened My Eyes,” is more than 10 minutes long and is composed of 79 tracks—layered percussion, reversed sounds, glockenspiel, synth pads, etc.

The album owes something to classical music, the themes and variations of one recurring melody popping up in most songs. Each track stands alone, yet “talks” to the others. The instrumentation is robust, and there’s a mojo in the production that will warrant repeated exploration. L’anarchiste’s Giant is fresh in its charm and attention to detail, and exciting in its depth and complexity. It’s something that we can feel.

“More than anything,” LeCheminant says, “I want the music to have a visceral energy.” 

L’anarchiste: Grant Miller (trombone, trumpet, melodica), Erich Newey (keys, vox), Rob LeCheminant (vox, banjo, guitar, trumpet, percussion), Alex Gilvarry (bass, keys, vox), Morgan Broadway (violin, keys, vox) and Jacob Hall (drums, synths).

Next page: 21 more CWMA bands

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Posted // May 4,2013 at 16:02 I want to thank CWMA for giving the locals a chance to showcase their talent and fan base although I feel that some of the venues specially in the hip hop genre should have been a 18 for the simple fact that this is a competition for fans. I represent a artist that most of his supporting fan base is under 21 and the only chance they get to voice is thru online which does not count as much as on-site votes. Next year I hope you add this demographic to the shows for better attendence.


Posted // May 2,2013 at 16:18

Hey y'all- Marinade was and is honored to have been a part of the CWMA's. Although we did have a lot of the online vote, we didn't have the biggest turnout for our showcase. So I kinda had a feeling we wouldnt win. I am not surprised by the news and would love to congratulate L'Anarchiste for taking this thing home! LOVE LOCAL MUSIC! SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC! and Thanks for your support kids!! 


Posted // May 2,2013 at 12:13

YO. If we were to educate ourselves on the fact that the online votes did not count as much as the in person votes, understanding would be more solid. The state room was packed and all of the bands that were there that night kicked ass so I doubt that all the votes went to l'anarchiste, but I'm also sure city weekly knows how to count. They did a fan-tas-tic job and completely deserve the recognition. Also. . They seemed to have brought a lot of fans out to the show, really excited about the CWMA showcase they used social media and their voices to let people know about the show. So GOOD JOB for not just expecting everything to be done for you and also working hard and being prepared to get people to a show which is a comepetition. (duh. )

The amazing other bands in the showcases deserved the recognition they got (being nominated, having names and projects announced, put on the poll, ballots, marketing materials, announced on radio stations, in the papers etc. ) - and awesome showcases were put on and attended. The other bands do NOT deserve your negative attitude haters, and the disgrace you're bringing associating yourself with them. All of the participants have rad projects coming up or music avalliable for purchase and enjoyment. Let them know you loved listening to them and you're excited to see what they're doing next. I bet they'd appriciate it more than you trolling and 'defending' their online voting honor.

This is a local paper, supported by local businesses. Cool that they're taking time to support local bands and artists. Right? 


Posted // May 2,2013 at 11:08

As a competitor in this years CWMA, there are a few things I can add.

    Was the event disorganized? Yes. Why? Have you ever tried to organize 32 groups of musicians? It's like hoarding cats through a catnip forest. Things can always run smoother but that doesn't mean it was bad on CWs part. It was made very clear by Austen Diamond in several articles that the CWMA is a constantly evolving event. Every year there has been cries of favoritism, and every year they tweak it just a little more to make it better. This year they finally said, lets put this directly into the hands of the bands and fans.

    L'Anarchist is unknown!? Well, their 1,000 Facebook fans may beg to differ. Also, their shows have a great energy, and it's likely they could steal votes from any band they played with. That's the beauty of CWMA in this format; CW has virtually no influence. Online votes counted for a fraction of the amount that in person votes counted, and playing a large, nice venue like The State Room will always draw a bigger crowd. That part may have been luck, but they unquestionably deserve their win. Marinade may have three times the facebook fans of anyone else, but the in person votes didn't reflect that. My band didn't win, and that sucks, but going to other CWMA shows made it clear that it was anyone's win. The only people that truly have a right to say something is amiss are the ones that attended every single show and counted the fans for each band. Which a few people actually did! They work for City Weekly and tallied the votes to come up with a winner.



Posted // May 2,2013 at 08:47

Julie, there's a quote that's widely attributed (accurately or not) to Napoleon Bonaparte that goes like this: "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. "

I don't think there's any sort of conspiracy (though maybe a few small shenanigans in regards to which bands played with who and at what venues, capacity differences, genre gaps, etc), I just think this year's competition was very poorly managed.

I do feel there's a point to be made about the change in the format of the competition; I was expecting something similar to when King Niko won the competition (first round, semi-finals, finals).   Poor turnout surely could not be the issue behind changing from this format. I distinctly remember King Niko's finals appearanec, The Complex was packed. It was exciting and it was fun to see some of my favorite local bands compete in a bracketed system. It added a lot of suspense and excitement that, quite frankly, this year's competition lacked in large volumes. The individual shows also seemed very lack-luster, as if the CW staff or venue staff were just not all that excited about doing it this year. It was as if the whole thing was just going through the motions for the sake of doing it.   If that's the case, let's just not do it at all next year.   I'd rather have something big, fun and exciting (see again the year King Niko won as a good example), or no showcase at all, than something that feels like an overblown SLUG Localized. City Weekly is better than that.

If there are still butt-hurt bands/fans, well maybe Austen can arrange a Runners Up show and the winner can be forever crowned "Number 2", otherwise lets learn from this year and make next year's CWMAs a grand event again.

Anyways, just my two cents on the matter.