What comes to mind in Utah? It could be anything, though much of it indescribable. The landscape in Dixie, just above New Mexico is a particularly majestic aspect of this great state. And don’t by any means forget the fifty-eight percenters, the Mormon Church. But further toward Sundance, Utah lies some of the foundation that brought film and music lovers alike to a little something called SLC Punk. Yes, though music carries with it such devilish persuasions as monogamy, the gyrating motion of the hips and experimental thought, it’s found a way to flourish in this the state where Thelma & Louise found everlasting friendship. Here we’ve found three groups that redefine the traditions not only of their fellow Utahns, but modern music itself.
A bit of time has passed since Alex attended his alma mater, Utah Valley University, but it was there that he met the friends who would help him spark a small but significant period of creativity. In his own words, Alex described his music by saying that “noise, especially ambiance and reverb, is really powerful and can easily have an effect on the person listening. So lately my projects (at least while solo) have implemented a lot of these effects because I find them to be so layered. I think it’s really cool to listen to a song that you can pick apart and hear new things, sounds, words, and ideas in the songs everytime you listen.” His free-to-download EP, Whispershells, is exactly that. Though sometimes difficult to discern between noise and layered ambiance, Mortician Magician is a bold spill of solo creativity that is sure to bring about a change of perspective for any artist that Alex crosses. This sonically inclined graduate is a healthy dose of D.I.Y. experimentation when compared to other acts in the area.
The Kid You Naughts
These four unsigned students of Brigham Young University often reflect the brighter and more whimsical side of their surroundings. David (Guitar, Vocals), Quinston (Accordion, Keyboards), Tappen (Bass) and Robert (Drums and Percussion) come together to form this folk-infused rock outfit and are set to release a new EP in mid-March. The Kid You Naughts sound a lot like Modest Mouse, particularly due to David’s refreshingly careless singing style. Upon hearing tracks like “Rat On A Cheeto” and “Don’t Snack On My Cheese,” one begins to comprehend just what the music scene sounded and felt like in and around BYU. Throughout the history of the College Music Scene series, it stands in stark contrast to places like Portland or Brooklyn, but reflects equally beautiful locations like Orlando, Florida where the similar sounds of Dodger and Band Marino were profiled.
Good Morning Maxfield
Though it has since faded into collegiate obscurity, Good Morning Maxfield was the under-appreciated birthplace of Stuart Maxfield’s musical career. These days Maxfield has just released a new album with his current project of higher profile, Fictionist. Invisible Hand just recently graced the BTR caverns and fortunately so. These subtle and sensitive musings are proof of the appreciation he has received with Good Morning Maxfield. Need more? While attending Brigham Young, Maxfield received a scholarship from The Faith Centered Music Awards as recently as late 2008. According to the organization, “We decided to go with a name that represents rock ‘n’ roll, forming a band and entrepreneurship, in addition to being a strong student” – mission accomplished. Be sure to keep your ears peeled for great rock tracks from this, the latest and greatest work from a student BYU can be more than proud of.