MUSIC PICKS: NOV 12 - 18 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

MUSIC PICKS: NOV 12 - 18 

Hobosapien Releases Self-Titled Punk Debut, Beehive Instafest Back for Round #7, Salt Lily Mag's Virtual Instagram Shows, and more.

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  • @happyvalleyrockers

Hobosapien Releases Self-Titled Punk Debut
It feels rare these days to find a ripping punk outfit among all the jangly, groovy indie boy bands popular in Utah, but Hobosapien is just that striking, rare kind of band. Active since 2018, Hobosapien just released an EP that proves their status as killer punks. The nauseatingly noisy self-titled debut howls through four wicked tracks, plunging right into the madness with opener "Y." The song is pure garage rock, played fast, hard, loud—in a word, unbridled. The EP certainly feels like something that this writer hasn't seen or heard around in the last few years, which is a good thing; despite (or maybe because of) their youth, they have the vim and vigor of a much more established band. Following "Y," "Maestroo" is the tamest song on the album, lifting off with a feedback-buzzing bassline and snappy drums that last most of the spare runtime, until the last 30 seconds begin to wriggle with a little more unruliness. "Fire Warning" is unhinged, with a tight, surfy little rhythm carrying the song as the vocalist screams like the best of demented frontmen—though whether that's Thomas Okelberry or Jake Allen taking screaming duties, it's hard to tell, as it seems they often switch off on the mic. The final song, "A Pinegrove," is one of the most compelling songs on the album, though it sounds a bit unfinished. Fast as hell, it shimmers sharply with some reverb in the back while subtle basslines and racing drums accompany distorted, phantasmic vocals to the lo-fi explosion that finishes off the song. This is one band that would be killer to see live, and though it seems they've been playing a few small shows in the areas outside SLC, here's to hoping they can play a biggie when the pandemic lifts. Don't miss out on this fantastic new EP, and go listen wherever you do your streaming.

Beehive Instafest Back for Round #7
If you're looking for more safe virtual shows, look no further than Beehive Instafest—#7 specifically. The Instagram exclusive day-long streamed fests have been going on throughout the pandemic, featuring a long lineup of local artists every time, and consistently the emo folk punk of Petr Chubak, who helps to organize and promote the events. The monthly-ish fests ask for donations via Venmo or PayPal to the owner of The Beehive, a local hub for important parts of SLC's underground music scene, and a business that obviously has struggled during the pandemic. Beehive Instafest #7 starts off at 1 p.m. on Nov. 14, streaming from Chubak's personal page @petr_chubak on Instagram, to then be followed by NIL Ø at 1:30 p.m., Skyler Chubak at 2 p.m., Shane Augustus of the band Problem Daughter at 2:30 p.m., New Orleans-based Rob Taxpayer at 3 p.m. and Portal to the God Damn Blood Dimension at 3:30 p.m. (they are as scary as they sound). Each of these artists will take their turn performing from their own Instagram page, and all of their handles can be found on Petr Chubak's page, along with the set list and info for donating to The Beehive. After a short break, the fest picks back up again with Matt Pless at 5 p.m., followed by Ash Bassett of Breakfast in Silence at 5:30 p.m., more folk punk from the delightfully named act Chuck A. Brick at 6 p.m. and some ska antics from the large, vigorous group Show Me Island at 6:30. The night is rounded out at 7 p.m. with performances by another folk punker Elliot Pullen and the experimental hardcore of Vantana Row at 7:30 p.m. Keep up with @petr_chubak for details on all these artists and news about future Instafest shows.

Salt Lily Mag's Virtual Instagram Shows
If you're terrified of going out after the super spreading event that was Halloween weekend two weeks back, then here we give you the virtual shows of fellow music-trackers Salt Lily Magazine. The locals-only magazine provides a voice to and unique coverage of up-and-coming locals under the radar's radar. In their Instagram's signature floral aesthetic, they've been posting playlists of favorite local songs and organizing live-stream sets by local artists over the last few months. September featured increasingly popular favorites like local folk hero Branson Anderson and the indie pop bands Fake Nice and Cardinal Bloom, while October's lineup featured trad punk rock from American Humor, atmospheric pop from Lunar Spirit and the melodies of soloist Cherish DeGraaf. For November's series, they've got just as many talented acts to look forward to watching virtually. After First Daze open it up on Nov. 6, Nov. 11 will feature the high drama of Detzany, whose Oct. 30 single "Cruel World" is catchy right out of the gate and promises much for the artist who's been dropping similarly dark and dreamy R&B electronica tracks all year. Detzany's dark side of the moon will be balanced by Angie Petty's sultry, jazzy pop stylings on Nov. 20—and she's been just as busy this year, releasing vintage-crackling singles like "Nowadays" and "Feel It All", which features Jay Warren. Cera Gibson closes out the month on Nov. 27 with her good-girl-gone-goth grooves. She's been busy, too, with a May single "Idea of Me" complementing an otherwise busy year of live and live-streamed shows. Don't miss this powerhouse-filled line up, and tune in on Salt Lily's Instagram or YouTube at 7 p.m. to catch each performance. Follow @saltlilymagazine for updates and more coverage.

Sindar - MCKENNA FRANDSEN
  • Mckenna Frandsen
  • Sindar

Sindar's Splintered Light
There's something to be said about the poise that metal bands in particular exhibit. Whether they're the kind that go mad with chops or take it slow and easy, good metal sounds like balancing on a thin line amidst chaos. The duo of Kona Ossana and Christian Lucy, who make up Sindar, walk that line well, while also following another tradition of heavy guitar music, in that the mythology of the famous fantasy series Lord of the Rings is referenced in their music. Other bands have famously referred to the series, including Led Zeppelin, Megadeth and Rush. For those not deeply versed in the mythology, it takes some Googling to find that their atmospheric, 10 minute opener and single "Aiunulindalë" is a reference to the Tolkien book by the same name, which functions as something of an origin story for all the tales that come later about Tolkien's Middle Earth. The track meanders through many different genre expressions, from airy jazz moments to thundering drum crescendos to shoegaze-esque dreaminess. Though the band cites roots in post-black, doom and death metal, their softer sides are quite present, namely the reliance on dense yet hazy atmospherics that shimmer throughout, recalling Sindar's claimed influences: the doomgazers Alcest and Opeth, and drone pioneers Earth. Over its 12 tracks, the duo cycles among these influences, even expressing some folk tonalities on songs like "Master of Fate." It's hard to pick standout moments on a work that's grand and dramatic at all turns, and with such masterful songwriting that paints vivid imagery even on mostly instrumental tracks, or among signature unintelligible metal screaming (the aptly titled "Rise of the Uruk-Hai" which narrates the "unnatural birth" of the terrifying Tolkien creatures). Released Oct. 21, this is one impressive debut from a local band worth turning to especially for lovers of the gentler variants of doom—and whether Tolkien is your thing or not.

Clayton Smalley - CHELSEA EVANS
  • Chelsea Evans
  • Clayton Smalley

Clayton Smalley Releases Some Country Classics
One golden star in the Utah country scene is Clayton Smalley, an ex-Californian who calls Utah home now. He's following up his 2019 EP Whiskey Sunrise and a few 2020 singles with yet another EP, Dirt Road Therapy, which takes a few steps forward production- and songwriting-wise compared to the past work. In both releases, Smalley deals in classic country themes, though Whiskey Sunrise was altogether more romance-fueled and a little more melancholy than Dirt Road Therapy, which finds Smalley reflecting inwardly on his past and present. Opener "Two Lane Time Machine" features clever lyrical turns that use an old, totaled truck as the vehicle for reminiscing about a past that's long out of reach. The fanciful wish for a "two lane time machine" keeps it from feeling like a sad desire to go back to old sweethearts and first cars, though. It's an interesting spin on the way trucks are usually objects on which country singers project longing, loss, heartbreak and a whole slew of other emotions that somehow find their way out in the vehicle's cab. "Modern Day Merle" is another homage to classic country totems, by way of referencing famous outlaw countryman Merle Haggard. It seems, in tracks like "Phoenix Rise" and the title track especially, that Smalley craves the freedom of impulse, the kind men like Haggard gave way to, and the kind that's hard to get for good—which he laments in "Phoenix Rise"—and easy to win at least for a little while on a long drive by oneself ("Dirt Road Therapy"). Finally, on closer "I Never Let a Good Time Get Away," he admits to his lack of inhibitions when it comes to whiskey, cigarettes and partying, but these admissions to debauchery and partaking of "hair of the dog" are somehow wholesome and not damning, conveying instead the good old-fashioned freedom Smalley wonders at throughout the album. For classic country fans, this is an impressive and heartwarming work to look out for when it drops Nov. 20. It's also available for pre-order on iTunes.

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