MUSIC PICKS: JAN 27 - FEB 2 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks

MUSIC PICKS: JAN 27 - FEB 2

iDKHOW at The Depot, Washed Out at Metro Music Hall, Beeson at Kilby Court, and more.

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LAUREN WATSON PERRY
  • Lauren Watson Perry

iDKHOW at The Depot
Longtime Salt Lakers may already be well-acquainted with the star power of I Don't Know How But They Found Me—or iDKHOW for short. But if the name isn't ringing a bell, it will once you hear the stuff. On their debut RAZZMATAZZ, which came in 2020, they dial the electricity up to 11, channeling the style and glitz of the kind of pop that straddled the late '70s and early '80s—while they also channel the deeper inner workings of the duo's history. Ryan Seaman and Dallon Weekes used to make music together as the SLC-famous group The Brobecks, whose wacky, weird and funked-out style is somehow still tangible in this new stuff all these years later. Perhaps they don't want those comparisons to old work anymore, but an old die-hard is writing this piece, so they're getting them. The simple presence of swaying, jazzy, melodramatic tracks like "From The Gallows," the delightfully charming "Nobody Likes The Opening Band" and the buzzing synths on "Clusterhung" are, after all, direct throwbacks to their bygone indie-rock experimentations. There are songs on the album that are all new and fresh, though, like the groovy "Sugar Pills," the hooky-as-hell opener "Leave Me Alone," the sweet and tender "Kiss Goodnight" and the big punch of Weekes-signature bravado on the title-track closer; there's even some sax on that last one. History or no history, iDKHOW certainly proved themselves with the album, and you can hear proof on the SLC stop of their Thought Reform tour on Friday, Jan. 28 at The Depot. Doors are at 6 p.m. for the all-ages show, and tickets are $27.50 at depotslc.com.

Washed Out at Metro Music Hall
Many probably know Washed Out as part of the soundscape of the early 2010s, where saccharine dream pop reigned. The contribution by Washed Out's Ernest Greene to this wave of woozy, often synth-driven music was altogether slinkier than others, a sound represented well on the cover of 2011's Within and Without—an apex example of soft-core aesthetics popular on Tumblr and the budding Instagram of the time. The songs on that album matched the vibe of the cover's two lovers, embraced on wrinkled white sheets—the lyrics, like the lovers' hidden faces, are unintelligible, and the beats are rhythmic, infectious and emotionally familiar, more likely to make moments freeze in memory than to make one shift into dancing. Endlessly chill, with oceanic motifs and drums and rippling synths at the backbone, it was especially Washed Out's famously hazy track "Feel It All Around," which soundtracked Portlandia, that placed them at the apex of what was quickly becoming a genre of vibes—as in, chillwave. Greene found more success with the 2013 album, Paracosm, which produced such hits as "It All Feels Right" and "All I Know," the latter of which exemplifies Greene at his most upbeat. And while 2017 found the artist hiccupping into experimentalism and sampling on Mister Mellow, on his 2020 latest, Purple Noon, he's returned to form—though to an even more lax extent. His stop into Metro Music Hall will come alongside the softly grooving duo of Brijean. See both acts on Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets to the 21+ show are $25 at metromusichall.com.

LAN KELLEMS
  • Lan Kellems

Beeson at Kilby Court
A lot of promising new music is packed into this night, plus some recent participants of the most recently wrapped up Velour Battle of the Bands. Opening up the night at Kilby Court is Casio Ghost, a sweet little surf band that fuses their melodies with light psych influence, enough to keep it funky but not too wild. On their recently-released, self-titled EP, tracks like the opener "The Other Side" muse on the surprising turns that life can end up taking, warmly completed by tinkling, electric keys. They don't sound identical or anything, but the EP is pretty reminiscent of the casual innocence of Smith Western's swinging indie pop, though Casio Ghost have their own lackadaisical hue. They'll be joined on stage by Cardinal Bloom, who just won the Velour Battle of the Bands last month with their balanced blend of crunchy guitars and delicate song progressions—everything about the band feels painstakingly constructed, and that's probably what lent to their stellar BotB winning performances. If you want a taste of their winning songs, make sure to stop in and hear stuff from their 2021 EP, To Love Someone. The night will be rounded out by Beeson, another Battle of the Bands favorite. While so far her online discography is richest on SoundCloud, more widely available singles like "Syrup" illustrate her appeal—with honeyed vocals akin to Lourde and spare but punchy production, her sound feels like the kind that's ready to take off. The all-ages show is this Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. and tickets are $11 at kilbycourt.com.

JOE LEMKE
  • Joe Lemke

Augustana at The State Room
For Augustana's Dan Layus, this might be a weird time to take the act on tour. That's mostly because the most recent work from the artist was a chronological guide through Augustana hits since their 2006 debut All The Stars and Boulevards. Titled Live, and recorded during a livestream event, the album contains hits such as the unmistakable "Boston" and songs from 2008's Can't Love, Can't Hurt like "Sweet and Low" and "Twenty Years," to name just a few really recognizable songs. The artist spent more of the aughts as a defining member of an alt-rock genre that was growing increasingly radio-friendly with their approachable angst and sincerity—songs like "Boston" really swelled to the perfect heights of drama, suiting it to all kinds of the era's romcom needs. Performed solo by Layus, the livestream's subsequently recorded album is Augustana's first live album, and following the precedent of its recording, Layus will also be touring solo. Like the live performance that premiered on the web, this tour will undoubtedly be an intimate encounter with the artist and the best of Augustana's songs. He'll be touring alongside a more contemporary type of crooner in John-Robert, who combines modern beats with his own sentimental style. See them both on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at The State Room. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets to the 21+ show are $25 at thestateroompresents.com.

Son Volt at The Commonwealth Room
A family affair of sorts is coming through to The Commonwealth Room, by way of the '90s classic Americana act Son Volt and their opener, Jesse Farrar. Farrar is related to Son Volt's Jay Farrar, his uncle and also a famed member of Uncle Tupelo, an alt-country act he formed with Jeff Tweedy before their disbanding in 1995. That year found the older Farrar forming a new band, the dusty Americana-fueled Son Volt, and seeing their debut album Trace find critical acclaim and success on year-end lists. Since that debut, the band has released several more albums, endured a hiatus and lineup shuffles with Farrar still at the center, and have all the same cozied up closer to that original Son Volt sound. On their latest, Electro Melodier, that sound is the same, and Farrar explores everything from his own decades-long love story to the past few years' social unrest, embellishing Son Volt's country rock signature sound with roots rock spirit. In a review of the album, Paste Magazine noted, "It's been said that Farrar has been making a version of the same album over and over since Son Volt's 1995 debut ... but that's a simplistic perspective. What's true is that his sound is unmistakable, no matter what direction he steers Son Volt's music." It's also not a bad thing for bands to chase something that's working for them, and Son Volt's music sounds as warm and comforting now as it did in '95. As for the younger Farrar, he's spent his time as the vocalist and bassist of the prog string band Old Salt Union, and will be joining solo on this tour ahead of the release of his first solo album The Art of Leaving. See them this Tuesday, Feb. 1 at The Commonwealth Room at 8 p.m. The 21+ show is $32 at thestateroompresents.com.