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Utah Local Music Spotlight

Even more songs to add to your library


  • Hannah Gulbrandsen
  • The Rubies

Another week, another list of songs from local talent that you really should include in your music library. From SLC to Ogden and everywhere in between, there's a never-ending archive of incredible music from bands in the area worthy of your playlists.

Caysen Wright and Dylan Squire, "Can't Move On": Starting the list out strong, this track is rife with emotion, flowing rhythm and addicting guitar tracks. The song begins soft and gentle before Wright's vocals come in at a higher volume about halfway through, showcasing his range and talent. Amidst the entrancing vocals you're hit with ripping guitar solos that add extra spice to the experience. Many of us can relate to the idea of not being able to move on from that one person who had you wrapped around their finger—and if you've dealt with that, this can be your anthem. If you haven't, that's okay, too (and honestly, lucky you), because this is still a great track to add to any playlist for when you want some great indie rock vibes coming from your speakers.

The Alpines, "Maybe": Indie-rock outfit The Alpines made their debut in an incredibly compelling way with their first song, "Maybe." It dropped earlier this year, and is the first single off the group's upcoming album, which is hopefully coming soon. "Maybe" is a laid-back, chill song, but that doesn't mean it isn't full of talent and interesting aspects. The soundscape is luscious, including enticing effects on top of Bri McCall's vocals. If you're into indie-psych vibes that you can dive into with some great headphones, this is the song for you. "Maybe" offers a respite from the busy, challenging lives we live each day. Throwing this song on after a long workday would be such a treat, especially as the weather gets warm and we drift into chill summer vibes. Hopefully we get more of the same vibes as The Alpines give us more tunes to dive into.

No Shooting Friends, Joseph, "Visions": No Shooting Friends, Joseph (NSFJ) are working hard to bring early '00s emo back into the modern day. If this was your vibe back in the '00s-'10s, listening to this group's music is like coming home. NSFJ take elements of this treasured genre, but craft the songs into work that is uniquely theirs. Much of their work is influenced by sci-fi, so a lot of ethereal effects are added in, making you feel like you're about to embark on a spaceship to an unknown planet, but with ripping guitar solos and epic drums playing while you launch into space. That feeling is compounded after seeing the artwork for the album, which features two spacesuit-clad beings next to a rocketship. Getting into this track specifically, though, it's very fast-paced, with driving drums and epic guitar riffs overlaid. I can't stress enough how the sound will transport you back to those emo kid days, it's amazing. There's a slight contrast with vocals from bassist/vocalist Jacquelyn Cerva; she sings lightly while the hard music propels behind her. Some tracks include these softer vocals, while some have screaming vocals, and some tracks are all or mostly instrumental. Much like space explorers heading to a new planet, listening to a NSFJ song is a new adventure to embark on, and that's just fun.

The Rubies, "You Can't Hide": The most recent track to date for The Rubies, "You Can't Hide" is an anthem for all the girlies. These badass ladies show up and show out with each new track they release, and this song starts out with a tasty bass line leading into sharp vocals that let listeners know the protagonist means business. The chorus gets intense with lyrics like "You can't hide / From the evil that's inside / You can't rid / Of the sins that you've done / When you look into my eyes / You can't hide." These lyrics paired with an alternative/rock vibe make for a fierce listening experience, you'll have this one on repeat a few times. The Rubies do their fair share of touring around town, but here's hoping we get more fun tracks like this in the near future.

Mel Soul, "Desperation": It's hard to put into words just how powerful and profound this track from singer/songwriter Mel Soul is. Honestly, get the tissues ready—you'll probably need them. If you're in the mood for something that's devastatingly beautiful, look no further. Soul always brings everything she's got to her songs, but this one hits particularly hard. Starting out with simple guitar picking and airy background effects, Soul starts to sing, painting beautiful imagery of visions of nature including snowy mountains and trees with strong roots. Soul's vocals are so intense and well-controlled, featuring just enough grit that gives the song a slight edge. The desperation comes through with the lyrics, "Mother Mary / Save me from the cold night / Mother Mary / Please keep my heart's warmth safe from the devil." Goosebumps, am I right? With each playthrough, you'll hear more subtle elements, discovering new heart-wrenching lyrics and all of the different ways Mel Soul can send shivers down your spine. But like, in a good way.