Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

Gathering Swans

Choir Boy debuted with the warmly received album ‘Passive With Desire’ in 2017. After signing to Dais Records, Choir Boy followed up with the 2018 single, “Sunday Light” and a lovingly packaged reissue of the debut album on vinyl and CD. Choir Boy is Adam Klopp on vocals, Chaz Costello on bass, Jeff Kleinman on saxophone and keyboard, and Michael Paulsen on guitar. 

Salt Lake City’s indie pop favorites Choir Boy return after four years with the release of their new cosmic album, Gathering Swans. An emotionally powerful record, full of poignant heartbreak and gently steeped in pop nostalgia, Choir Boy push their distinctive sound further, while tenderly romancing the unsuspected.

Since the release of their well-received 2016 debut Passive With Desire, of which Slug Magazine’s Erin Moore declares to be “…packed with songs that are infectious by way of their sound, as well as their emotion…”, and their 2018 single “Sunday Light”, the band evolved from singer Adam Klopp’s project accompanied by a rotating cast of players into a solidified, permanent line-up featuring long-time collaborator and bassist Chaz Costello, saxophonist and keyboardist Jeff Kleinman, and guitarist Michael Paulsen. Following a series of tours with such notable acts as Cold Cave, Snail Mail, and Ceremony, Choir Boy began writing their new album. Proving to be a worthy successor, Gathering Swans builds upon Choir Boy’s infectiousness with unique pop sensibilities and impeccable polish.

The first single, Complainer, demonstrates Klopp’s angelic voice effortlessly floating within the heart-wrenchingly sombre melodies, that in a tender state, will surely render tears. Lyrically, the song poses a form of wounded optimism, declaring “Oh my life, what a pitiful thing to hear…But it’s not that bad…I’m just a complainer”. Tracks such as Toxic Eye undoubtedly present the touching “choral-pop” sound that has come to be a hallmark of Choir Boy. Repetitious, layered vocal hooks that fade into the background, allowing the absence between breaths to be filled with the serene melody that embodies the foundation of Choir Boy’s appeal, demonstrating that the ethereal moments between the bright choruses and memorable hooks are as equally crucial and unforgettable as the lyrical content itself. A slightly more solemn ballad, Eat The Frog, skillfully adapts Choir Boy’s taste for nostalgia and translates such desire into a fully mature statement. The propulsive drive behind Eat The Frog possesses the emotional equivalent to sitting atop a hillside, just outside of the city, gazing at the sunset on a warm Summer night.


Creative, sincere, passionate and glaring with intention, Gathering Swans paints a bright, hopeful, and deeply heartfelt image that will most assuredly attract anyone who accompanies Choir Boy upon their journey.

Original Release Date:
 May 8, 2020

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The impossibly talented 19-year old Utah musician Sammy Brue has just shared the latest song from his forthcoming album, “Crash Test Kid”. “Megawatt” is the fourth track to be released from the already critically lauded young artist’s sophomore album, Crash Test Kid. (June 12 via New West Records) . Having just completed tours opening for Michael Kiwanuka and Marcus King before the Covid-19 crisis, Sammy was forced to cancel his trip to SXSW, and has spent the past several weeks at home in Utah, where he’s been performing live on his Instagram Stories and recently took part in Consequence Of Sound’s livestream tribute to one of his musical heroes, John Prine.

Since writing his first song (a fingerpicked, autobiographical tune titled “The Woody Guthrie Song”) at the age of 11, Brue has released three homespun EPs, his New West full-length debut, I Am Nice and a 2018 EP, Down with Desperation . In the process, the Ogden, Utah native has been hailed as an “Americana prodigy” by Rolling Stone , a “wunderkind” by American Songwriter and one of the “teenagers shaping pop” by The New Yorker . Alongside this, Brue has performed at the Newport Folk Festival and played shows with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson and Hayes Carll; and toured alongside Justin Townes Earle, who has become a mentor of sorts.


Brue recorded his debut full-length, I Am Nice , in Muscle Shoals with Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and John Paul White of The Civil Wars producing. But for his new album he took a different approach, collaborating with Irish producer, singer-songwriter Iain Archer , who has worked with the likes of Jake Bugg and Snow Patrol.

released June 12th, 2020
All songs written by Sammy Brue and Iain Archer

Choir Boy debuted with the warmly received album ‘Passive With Desire’ in 2017. After signing to Dais Records, Choir Boy followed up with the 2018 single, “Sunday Light” and a lovingly packaged reissue of the debut album. Here’s the thing about Choir Boy singer Adam Klopp: his voice is so captivating, so utterly out-of-this-world that it’s easy to forget there’s a proper band co-piloting the project’s ethereal pop songs. In the three years since Choir Boy signed to Dais with their “Sunday Light” EP, the group’s core duo of Klopp and bassist Chaz Costello has grown to include guitarist Michael Paulson and saxophonist/keyboardist Jeff Kleinman.


The quartet’s Gathering Swans LP finds them at the peak of their melancholic powers, bringing Klopp’s acrobatic melodies into full relief alongside serious hooks and synth-laced power chords. . This band is truly bold to weave such a deep and creative sound. Choir Boy has a haunting and mystical nature with deep introspection into the intensity of feelings. What an honest approach to music

Photo by Kat Irlin

Flaunting a familiar, empowering ethos seen in bands like Haim and Muna, the Aces want to be respected for being a great band — not just a great “girl” band. Two years ago, the four-piece, made up of sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez and their friends Katie Henderson and McKenna Petty, broke out with catchy pop gem “Stuck,” but they had been making music together for over a decade. Singing about defying expectations (“Baby Who”) and wanting more than just sexual intimacy (“Physical”), the Aces mix catchy ’80s pop with classic rock undertones,

The Orem, Utah-based four-piece The Aces just introduced themselves to the world last month with their debut EP, I Don’t Like Being Honest. Chock full of infectious hooks, rock riffs, and plenty of swagger, the EP has already earned the band comparisons to the likes of Haim, the 1975 and Tegan and Sara.

We began writing this EP in Brooklyn in December of 2015 with our producers, Simon Oscroft and Dan Gibson. It was the first time we had written with them. The energy was so right and we vibed so well with them. We pumped out a couple songs so fast, one of them being “Stuck.” Those first few songs are where we discovered the “sound” of the Aces and everything has just flowed really nicely since. Cristal and Alisa have been going to Brooklyn to write on and off for almost two years now and all of the songs from the EP all came out at different points over that span of time. Once we had these songs down lyrically and melodically, then the real fun begins and Katie and McKenna come shred on the track. Then Cristal lays her final vocals, and Alisa gets to hit some drums. Sometimes the process is different, but this is how it usually goes.

Cristal and Alisa are sisters, so they met as babies [laughs]. Cristal and Ken [McKenna] met in kindergarten but became BFFs in fifth grade. Cristal and Al wanted to start a band so they told Ken she should ask for a bass for Christmas. She did, got one, and the Blue Aces were born. We played a show like a week later and just started playing all around our hometown. A couple of years later, Ken met Katie in junior high and she shredded the guitar so we asked her to play a show with us . “Baby Who” is literally our baby. We call it our little healer. We all have a special place in our hearts for that song.