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Music Blog

12 for '12: L'anarchiste

by Austen Diamond
- Posted // 2012-05-18 - Over the next week or so, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite emerging local bands. L’anarchiste starts things off.

As part of its ongoing local-music showcase, KUER’s (90.1 FM) Radio West featured this six-piece band on Wednesday. And Doug Fabrizio and co-producers Ben Bombard and Elaine Clark were nice enough to have me on again to talk about the band, as well as play a couple of tunes from a few of my favorite “emerging” local acts.

A podcast of the show can be heard here.

I settled on four bands, but it was no easy feat. And it got me excited about some of the up-and-coming talent in Utah. So, to continue to shine a little light on the scene, here’s a list of bands to look out for.

But, first, to put this in context, it’s best to define what an “emerging” local band is. For me, these are bands that are at an “impression” and “expression” phase, in that whether they are motivated by the visceral outlet of jumping on a stage in front of their friends or by finding an outlet to express their creative sensibilities, they are making music. They are beyond playing open mics --and covering John Mayer, thank god -- and have recorded their original music in some capacity or another.

However, with these bands, there is usually a chasm between what is being created and what their creative vision is. They are on their way, but, in general, limited in some capacity, largely due to a lack of money -- to be put towards recording time or really nice gear (the difference between a $400 Taylor and a $4,000 Martin acoustic guitar is huge, for example). The DIY home recordings that these bands often give away for cheap or for free aren’t quite the full expression of what they wanted, but are adequate enough to create a buzz. So, really, the best way to experience the music is live. The next phase for these emerging bands is “connection,” in that they are connecting to a larger audience, whether that be through touring, national radio play and so on.

Anyway, check out my list of 12 bands over the course of the next week, and keep checking in on them over the next year -- good things to come!

L’anarchiste:
I think the best way to describe this band is “effortful minimalism” -- sounds like an oxymoron, right? Well, it takes a lot to show self restraint. Think of Phillip Glass if he were a 20-something indie rocker. OK, that might be a stretch. But L’anarchiste takes cues from Sufjan Stevens as far as incorporating distinct tones, while also reminiscent of Bon Iver and Local Natives -- and, to a lesser degree, Arcade Fire - -with their use of counter melodies and interesting phrasings that come in and out like waves. This can be an articulation that requires the span of seven minutes of song, something that not a lot of bands would dare to do.

"Stony” from L’anarchiste EP. To hear more tracks, go here.

For instance, on “Stony,” you have this these two plucking melodies with accents from the trumpet, and then when the rhythm finally comes in, it’s a shaker and this call-and-response “ah” and “ooh” and hand claps. These are the fundamental parts that come and go as Rob’s beautiful tenor just sort of floats over the whole arrangement. So, what you have is a listening experience that can be either passive or active.

L'anarchiste is in the process of recording their first full-length album, set for a late-summer release.

L’anarchiste opens for Here We Go Magic at The Urban Lounge May 23.

Join City Weekly music editor Austen Diamond on Twitter: @AustenDiamond

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