One of the fastest-rising bands in the SLC music scene will finally be releasing its much-anticipated debut full-length album. But the excitement for Solarsuit fans may be short-lived, as the Holladay indie-rockers will soon be departing to serve a different audience this summer.
As is often the case with many Utah bands, all of the members of Solarsuit are LDS. And since they’re also just finishing up high school, mission calls have always been an inevitable part of Solarsuit’s future.
“We’re all LDS, and we found that it’s a really big part of our lives,” says vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Logan Nelson. “We think it’s really important to put forth time for that, and a mission is a time for us to grow up and mature and experience things that aren’t just Utah things.”
The group first came together in 2012, while the principal members—Nelson, Luke Barton (guitar/vocals), Ethan England (bass) and Matt Spurrier (vocals/keyboard)—were all in high school. They originally started out under the name Q&A, quickly earning recognition by opening for Imagine Dragons in March 2012, and released an EP.
They changed the band’s name to Solarsuit in early 2013 to match their new sound, and spent a year and a half going through drummers before landing on Porter Babcock that summer.
Solarsuit released their next EP, Twin Topic, in July 2013, while making their way around all-ages venues and underground parties to help build their audience. But the biggest bump the group received was being given the chance to open the 2013 X96 Big Ass Show—which featured headlining act Panic! At the Disco—an accomplishment that was hard fought for in a battle of the bands competition.
“It was insane,” England says. “We sold 200 hard copies of the CD, girls were taking pictures of us, we were singing things. ... And we’re just these dudes from high school.”
To get their full-length album off the ground, Solarsuit launched a Kickstarter campaign in December 2013, succeeding in raising the $8,000 they needed to record. They hit SLC’s Metcom Studios in February 2014 and quickly hashed out the album in daily eight-hour sessions, working with fellow musician Andrew Goldring as the producer, as well as engineer Clark Jackman, who worked on Twin Topic. And unlike in previous sessions, discussions and delays in recording were almost nonexistent.
“When we were younger, we got into more arguments about writing, and I think it just took some time for us to all get on the same page,” England says. “We all have different music backgrounds and tastes, and I think we’ve really synched in and dialed in what we’re looking for in our sound.”
The band has taken the diversity of their live show—which can include heartfelt ballads and bouncy anthems—and perfectly replicated it in a studio recording.
Besides Nelson’s already stellar performance on tracks like “Sweet Sinner” and “Sleeptalking,” the group vocals play out perfectly as a guide through a well-oiled machine of enthusiastic rock. This is one of those rare albums where you can hear that the band had fun putting it together.
While the group may be disbanding for a couple of years, they’re at least doing right by the fans to leave an album that encompasses their sound and career up to this point. And like many acts who came before them, this may not be the end—just a break until the next chapter.
Album Release Show
w/Mister Smith, Great Interstate
135 N. University Ave., Provo
Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m.