Local Music Spotlight November 2023 | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Local Music Spotlight November 2023 

Spice up your library with these songs from locals

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Michelle Moonshine - BEEHIVE PHOTO
  • Beehive Photo
  • Michelle Moonshine

Whether you're chilling, driving, working or exercising, you need great tunes to listen to. Sometimes you get to the point where your library feels dull, or that you've heard everything in it a million times over. Never fear—new music is here. Add these songs as a refresher for your music library, and support great locals along the way.

Umbels, "Nightcap": "Nightcap" is the perfect song for just that—putting on to unwind, loosen up and get those stressful feelings from the day out the door. Mere seconds into the song, you're greeted with smooth-as-whisky guitar and drums that bring a little funk, but in a low-key way. The reverb and soft vocals make for an interesting journey; a lot of cool sounds are thrown at you, but don't overstay their welcome. Popping this song on after a long day to relax is a recipe for bliss.

Tidelands, "High": Singer/songwriter Emilee Holgate has always been writing. She started as a kid, but being a young adult fueled more songs, until she eventually created a music project with her husband Thomas. "These days, a lot of my songs are inspired by my journey with mental illness, failed relationships and self-discovery. As a 20-something-year-old, life changes really fast, and I feel like I'm constantly finding new parts of myself. I like to write about that; it helps me make sense of it all," Holgate told Analog Trash in 2021. "High" is one such song—a beautifully done indie-electro tune that immerses you in the soundscape. The sound is full, and the song is very well produced, making you want to listen again and again. It's been a while since we've heard from Tidelands, so hopefully they make a return soon to fill our ears with all of their moody princess pop jams.

Michelle Moonshine, "Oh So Many Days": American roots music is music for the soul. Sometimes you need to go to the basics of acoustic instruments and a pretty voice arranged in a not-so-simple way to feel better about the world. You can do that with any of Michelle Moonshine's songs, but "Oh So Many Days," is a standout. There's a reason the track is the most played on her Spotify page—its beautiful, longing, oftentimes heartbreaking sound draws you in and doesn't let go. The music itself holds so much emotion, but then the vocals come in and really take it to a whole different level. If you've ever missed someone you care about deeply, this song will resonate with you, as it has so many others. "Oh So Many Days" comes on Moonshine's most recent album Sad Spaghetti Westerns, and if you like that one, there's a good chance you'll like the rest of the album, so go check it out.

Wicked Bears, "Underwater," "The Darkness": Some people don't like to listen to albums as a whole, but in the case of Wicked Bears' most recent album, you have to listen to "Underwater" before embarking on the rest. It sets the tone, and is just so fun to listen to—especially for Utahns, because it's a direct shout out to us. Well, Salt Lake City specifically, but the rest of us can enjoy and pretend the Bears are talking to us directly. "Good evening Salt Lake City / We are coming to you live from Underwater!" you hear immediately as you press play on the opening track. With it comes a lively, energetic, punk-inspired sound that will have you jumping up and down and headbanging instantly. The pop-punk trio released this fun romp of an album earlier this year, and it quickly became the group's most popular work to date. If you're someone who needs a dose of high energy music to get you up and moving, "Underwater" will get the engine started while the rest of the album revs it.

New Distraction, "She Does What She Wants": So far, "She Does What She Wants" is New Distraction's only song—but that's okay, because it's a damn good one. The exciting, dynamic song incorporates a variety of sounds in one place; in the three-minute run time, you'll hear alt/pop/rock vibes, with some hints of reggae thrown in. On the surface, that may sound like a jumbled mess with no direction, but trust me, people: It works here. The different sounds taken from different genres might take you by surprise as you're listening, then make you immediately want to play it again so you can catch it one more time. If you have the aux cord at a party and throw this on, no one will complain. Well, there's always someone who complains, but most people will probably find something to like in this song.

Alicia Stockman, "Recipe for a Merry Christmas Eve": Christmas doesn't have to be all Mariah, all the time. There's plenty of good Christmas music out there, including from our very own Alicia Stockman. "Recipe for a Merry Christmas Eve" is a modern holiday tune providing a heartfelt reminder that some traditions never go out of style. Stockman's folk-meets-Americana style is perfectly fitting for a cozy holiday jingle, but it's also not something that's overly "Christmas-y," so those who aren't the biggest fan of holiday tunes can get in on the fun as well. Throw this on while you're wrapping presents, or chilling by the tree with family, and you've got yourself a great time.

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About The Author

Emilee Atkinson

Emilee Atkinson

Ogden native Emilee Atkinson has spent her life obsessing over music and enjoying writing. Eventually, she decided to combine the two. She’s the current music editor of City Weekly.

More by Emilee Atkinson

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