Roundup of SLC psych band scene | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Roundup of SLC psych band scene 

Casio Ghost, Von Masse, Muskies, The Lingo and more

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  • Tommy Krause

The 1960's seemed to be quite a time to be alive. I personally would not know, as I would miss them by three and a half decades, but looking back at the music of those days is always insightful. The counterculture, the civil rights issues and pop culture of the decade led to some pretty incredible tunes—especially when we talk about psychedelic music.

The decade saw a rise in rock music as well as tons of bright colors, flower power and, of course, copious amounts of hallucinogenic drugs. Psych music is characterized by the use of electronic sound effects, long instrumental solos and plenty of improvisation. Artists like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and many more paved the way for today's psych bands. SLC has a flourishing psych scene, and if this genre is your thing, you need to check them out.

Casio Ghost: It's safe to say that Casio Ghost is an SLC favorite, and not just when it comes to the psych genre—they released their first EP in 2021, and have been captivating the local scene since. This four-piece really knows how to bring the noise and put on great shows. Their brand of psych music is fused with surf rock, offering reverb-soaked rhythms and solos on top of clever electronic elements; "The band's sound combines modern garage and surf elements with psychedelic sounds of yesteryear," their website describes. Their 2023 release, Postmodern Blues, is some of their best work yet—it's fun, it's floaty, it's trippy and will perfectly scratch any psychedelic itch you may have. Casio Ghost plays around town on the regular, so follow them on their socials to watch for dates, and stream Postmodern Blues everywhere.
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Von Masse: Von Masse is an interesting group that has unfortunately been MIA for a while, but hopefully we'll hear back from them soon. In the meantime, they have great music for you to dive into when you need a little psych in your life. As described on their Instagram page, they create "audio-visual psychic manipulations." Their brand of psych is mixed with dream and shoegaze elements, creating a sound that's entirely their own. Their 2022 EP Voider takes you on an exciting ride that feels long-lasting, despite only having five tracks; the tracks are on the longer side as well, so that helps the journey not go by too fast. They posted the inspirations behind some of their tracks on Instagram, giving us insight on how the songs came together. "In the writing of 'Intersecting,' I focused on the ideas of connectivity we have with our world," they said of the song "Intersecting of Points." "All of our lives are determined by the links we make with other people. These can dramatically change the direction of our paths. We can directly map our life story to the people we intersect with at any given point. No one exists in a vacuum." As previously mentioned, Von Masse hasn't been seen around for a bit, but hopefully they'll be back with some more psych music for us to sink our teeth into. Stream Voider for now, though, and enjoy the journey.
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Muskies: What do you get when you mix folk, psych and sea shanty vibes together on a song? Say it with me everyone: "pike psych!" Muskies are a charmingly fun six-piece in SLC who lend their crafty fun to the psych genre in their own unique way. Muskies swam onto the scene last year and have been making a splash ever since (okay, I'm done with the fish puns...). They debuted with "Out on the Water!," the track that started it all. Its ripple effect (...or am I?) has had a lovely effect on the local scene—there's always more need for bands who bring their silly fun to shows. That's not to say that Muskies can't be taken seriously. On the contrary, in their music you'll find beautifully-crafted songs that offer new elements to discover upon each listen. Muskies have a few singles out that are streaming everywhere, so give them a listen.
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The Lingo: If Muskies bring the lighthearted, silly fun from the water, The Lingo serve up the fun in the sun. They only have one single out so far, but it's all about those desert vibes. If anything on this list sounds like it's out of the '60s, it's The Lingo's "Melted Coyote." There are no vocals aside from a few "ah's" here and there, but the song is still so full and rich without them, with reverb cranked to 11 and immaculate soloing. The next time you find yourself cruising through the desert, you'll want to throw this one on. It's the perfect soundtrack for a hot, summer drive.
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Psych Lake City: If you're a fan of the genre, you'll want to be sure to hit Psych Lake City in August, a festival dedicated to the genre with tons of amazing local bands. You'll be able to catch Casio Ghost as well as Magic Sword, The Shivas, Over Under, Mopsy, Antela and many more. There's three days of rocking starting on Thursday, Aug 8. Check out tickets before they're gone at

SLC is full of talented bands who play just about any genre you can think of. There's something for everyone, and there's plenty to be discovered. Take a listen if you haven't already.

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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.

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