After a couple months off, fast-rising Utah quartet The Aces start their tour supporting 5 Seconds of Summer today in Toronto. With
debut album When My Heart Felt Volcanic earning major praise from outlets like NPR and NME, and The Aces selling out headline shows at venues like New York City’s Mercury Lounge, this tour with Aussie pop-rockers 5SOS—which will span the Midwest and East Coasts through November—will serve as a victory lap of sorts on a very good 2018.
After signing a deal with Red Bull Records, the Provo natives—sisters Alisa and Cristal Ramirez, along with childhood friends McKenna Petty and Katie Henderson—have become favorites of both the mainstream music establishment and the fashion world, showcasing their talents on Late Night with Seth Meyers and trend-setting websites like Refinery29. Even better, The Aces have remained true to themselves as they’ve rocketed to fame: yes, four women make up the band, and two of them proudly identify as queer. But don’t go calling them a girl group or a gay band.
“Our band has multiple identities,” Cristal Ramirez told Refinery29 earlier this summer. “And at the end of the day, we don’t need to complicate gender and sexuality ... we’re all humans who listen to music to connect and know someone else out there feels how we do about love.”
Speaking of young Utahns making waves, 19-year-old Logan producer Sam Kalt (AKA Samsonite) dropped a new song last week. The Utah State University student teamed up with rn and fellow Beehive State native Coco XL for the rollicking electronic romp "Ivory Tower", which Kalt worked on for three months before premiering it on the Soundcloud account of popular Spanish site Lost in Bangers. With jazzy horns and soulful vocals underlined by cheery samples, it’s a perfect back-to-school blast—and a shot across the bow from one of Utah’s promising up-and-comers.
With the summer season winding down, this week’s show calendar is a wee bit lighter but no less promising. Local singer/songwriter Sally Yoo brings her effortless style to Metro Music Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with support from Durian Durian and Marina. Yoo’s 2018 EP Tenderwas a sensual slice of keyboard-driven emotion—hopefully she’ll also play a few of the classic covers she’s surreptitiously posted on Soundcloud over the years. Even better? This show is free.
On Wednesday, Aug. 29, K-UTE Radio presents Florida duo Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih of SALES at In the Venue, with support from bi-coastal dream-pop band No Vacation. SALES’ latest self-released full-length, forever & ever, puts a cozy spin on electro-pop, using guitars and a drum machine as the foundation of the beats Morgan and Shih create in their Orlando bedroom studios. Pulling from popular influences like Beach House and The xx, SALES bring their lo-fi sensibilities out of the shadows just enough to captivate, earning a rabid online following for their understated DIY approach.
On Thursday, Aug. 30, don’t miss psych-metal standouts Big Business at The Urban Lounge, with support from Baby Gurl and Together Forever. Although Coady Willis and Jared Warren have pushed back against Big Business’ sludge categorization for years by injecting punk, acid pop, thrash and glam into their steel-plated grooves, recording and touring with the Melvins while opening for arena-ready titans like Tool and Mastodon will push a band into a certain pigeonhole. Luckily, Big Business’ duo format allows Willis and Warren ample flexibility: “The only limitation is the two of us,” Willis said earlier this year. “We make the songs we want to make as a duo. We have some metal allegiances, but we're not metal enough for some metal people while not indie rock enough for garage rock people. Our challenge has always been where we fit in, but our answer has been to not worry about fitting in."