By Davis Blount
This Saturday, July 25th, the Utah Music Association will present the first ever Timpanogos Music Festival. Over 30 different acts will be performing throughout the day on three different stages. An event like this is an incredible opportunity for local residents to see the kind of talent that is on display all around them. From funky jams in the afternoon slots by artists like Amber Lynn and Joshy Soul to the beat-heavy mixes of Provo Yacht Club’s own Codon to close the night out, this festival will have something for everyone.
We’re going to give you a set-by-set rundown of the artists performing and who you need to see when! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the first time slot.
12:00-12:30 Plan Z vs. Amber Lynn
The schedulers wasted no time in troubling festivalgoers with how to divide their time between stages. Should people go and enjoy the soulful, make-ya-wanna-say-hallelujah hits put on by Amber Lynn? Or would the audience be better off listening to the inaugural set of Plan Z, an electro-pop side project of VanLadyLove’s own Steele Saldutti? Analog Provo has to give the nod to Amber Lynn. Still fresh off a victory from Velour’s Battle of the Bands in late June, Lynn and her band are poised to deliver another unforgettable performance this weekend and really kick this festival off right.
12:30-1:00 Gardiner Sisters vs. Comfort Cage
In this block, we have a David vs. Goliath situation. Whether you know it or not, you’ve heard a song by the Gardiner Sisters. Their creative covers of popular top-40 hits have made big waves on media outlets like Spotify and iTunes, bolstering a nationwide fanbase for the trio. Comfort Cage, on the other hand, is coming out of relative anonymity to perform at the Timp Music Fest. To date, the only thing that the band has released thus far is a 3-song preview playlist available on Soundcloud. The EP, however, is not without promise. Despite what seems like good songs from a new, up-and-coming band, Analog Provo is excited to see The Gardiner Sisters perform their hit songs and sing along to the clever takes on chart-topping songs.
1:00-1:30 Strange Familia vs. Jarom Rasmus
Strange Familia has built something of a reputation for avoiding direct spotlight when performing. Typically relying on soft ambient lighting or masks to cloud their identity, this band lets their music speak for itself. It will be interesting to see how this band changes their aesthetic to cater to an open-air pavilion in broad daylight as they perform to what will presumably (and hopefully) be thousands. Jarom Rasmus, on the other hand, lets his looks add to the vibes he puts out. His curly blonde locks and horn-rimmed glasses nicely compliment the Jason Mraz-y easygoing music that he has released. Analog Provo cant wait to hear more from Strange Familia… something tells us that their falsetto laden songs will compliment the mountainous background nicely.
1:30-2:00 I/O vs. Junior Mathematics
I/O and Junior Mathematics are two largely unproven bands who are looking to make a splash at Timp’s first ever music festival. I/O has a feel similar to the band Ra Ra Riot (or a more mellow Devo, depending on your age): with spinning synth, smooth bass, and drum rolls that sound like American Bandstand, this writer is glad to hear that I/O didn’t keep their promise on making 2014 their last year as a band. Junior Mathematics is a self proclaimed “indie rap” group that does acoustic covers of songs and has one of the band members rap a few bars at about the 2:00 mark of each song. Much like John Donne’s poetry, the end result is a seemingly incompatible grouping of genres that don’t always have the expected payoff. Analog Provo’s vote goes to I/O, but we also hope that Junior Mathematics will be able to wow audiences and prove our analysis wrong.
2:00-2:30 Joshy Soul vs. Claire Elise
At this point in the day, attendees will likely have made their way back from the food truck stands refreshed and ready for another helping of awesome live music. This matchup ought not to disappoint. Joshy Soul has a relatively elusive musical repertoire. A purported soul artist, Joshy proudly sports high-fashion pieces to most of his shows and PR events. Though Analog Provo has not yet heard any of his music, we are tempted to go check him out just to see the clothes he sports. The only problem is that Claire Elise is competing for his spot. Claire’s past releases have been nothing short of breathtaking, and we have it on good word that the artist will be bringing a number of new songs to the surface in the next few weeks. Who knows, maybe we will be able to hear a few of them earlier than expected? Analog Provo cannot wait to hear Claire Elise’s set for the Timp Music Fest and see what this artist has up her sleeve.
2:30-3:00 Cory Mon vs. Hema Jr.
Cory Mon presents a earthy, roots rock vibe all their own to the Timp Music Fest this year. Imagine if the Expendables (no, not the movie) and Flogging Molly were to join forces. You would find something near the kind of music that Cory Mon is putting out. Influenced equally by Irish roots and a supposed laid-back life philosophy, this band is making some pretty cool jams. Hema Jr. has been described as the John Mayer that would have been… if it hadn’t have been for John Mayer himself. Just a man, his acoustic guitar, and an occasional female vocalist who is equally talented, Hema Jr. croons songs that will be certain to be a hit among the female members of the crowd. For this block… it’s a toss up. Both Cory Mon and Hema Jr. are poised to put on awesome performances and ought to entertain everyone in attendance.
3:00-3:30 Queenadilla vs. The Sash
Queenadilla wants you to remember the first rule of music: Rock n’ roll, first and foremost, is supposed to ROCK. Delivering high-energy jams that are sure to get the audience on their feet and dancing, Queenadilla ought to expect that a lot of new fans will fall into their hands after a performance on such a big stage. The Sash sounds like it could be Marvel’s next blockbuster film about a gypsy woman endowed with crime-fighting powers, but alas, this is not the case. They are, however, an indie outfit from Mapleton that makes folky songs to sing along to. While they show promise, Analog Provo will be headed to the Wicked Audio Stage to see Queenadilla perform their set. We can’t wait to see what they’re capable of.
3:30-4:00 Seve vs Evan vs. Na-G
There are few times in the Timp Music Fest where two artists are so unalike as to the pairing of Seve vs Evan and Na-G. Seve vs Evan, an experimental rock duo of some notoriety in the Provo/Orem area, have been honing their sound to the point where it is almost completely indescribable. Truly, what are they? It’s like Ben Folds doing covers of Weird Al songs but somehow has an amazing payoff as each song unfolds. Against all odds, Seve vs Evan’s infectious music has captured the hearts of many local music fans. Na-G, on the other hand, is one of Provo’s newest (and most ambitious) acts. You can hardly take two steps in Provo anymore without running into one of Na-G’s impromptu performances. He wants everyone in Happy Valley to know that he is chasing “Neon Dreams” and that he wants his music stuck in your head. Crafted by sampling popular artists, Na-G machine gun raps over the verse of popular songs and then lets the sampled artist take over again for the chorus. Once again, we find ourselves in a toss-up: whether you pick Seve vs Evan or Na-G, you certainly won’t regret being there for these performances.
4:00-4:30 Festive People vs. James Gray Dawson VIII
With lyrical rock vibes similar to The Fray, Festive People has an EP filled with songs that encourage listeners to learn the words and sing along. Coming off of a big performance at the Stadium of Fire, Festive People are brandishing a newfound swagger that ought to translate well for this Saturday. James Gray Dawson VIII has a sound similar to Utah’s former comptetitor on The Voice, Ryan Innes. Dawson’s smoky blues and soul voice will go a long way in stirring audiences and delivering an awesome performance. This is another tough choice, but Analog Provo will have to give the nod to James Gray Dawson VIII by a hair.
4:30-5:00 TheLoveStrange vs. Church on Sunday
Karl Strange and the rest of The LoveStrange have gone to painstaking lengths to drum up an air of mystery surrounding them and their band. Make, however, no mistake about their music: for all their theatrics, the music doesn’t suffer one bit. Church on Sunday is a duo of acoustic guitar players with one beatbox player who play slightly comedic songs about a variety of subjects. Despite the laughs that may be shared alongside Church on Sunday, Analog Provo thinks that you’d be crazy to miss The LoveStrange take the stage and perform.
5:00-5:30 House of Lewis vs. Jade Demure
Another interesting pairing comes at the 5-5:30 slot. House of Lewis, an in-your-face hip hop crew that aren’t afraid to get silly are paired against Jade Demure, a singer-songwriter with a charming voice. Though Jade Demure is sure to have an awesome performance that will have crowds swaying and singing along to the songs, House of Lewis just seems like too much fun to pass up on. The duo seems like a more tolerable LMFAO with their air of silliness that begs you not to take them too seriously. Not to mention, House of Lewis has made friends with some of the more powerful names in the Utah hip hop community. Who knows, maybe Mimi Knowles will grace the stage and sing alongside these charismatic rappers?
5:30-6:00 Two Nations vs. Static to the Sound
Two Nations is a band with a lot of hype and not much of a social media presence. Having merited high marks and sparkling reviews from some of Provo’s most respected artists, there must be something to this group. Static to the Sound is vaguely reminiscent of Secondhand Serenade, a down-but-not-out singer whose piano ballads adequately capture the roller coaster that is young love. To satiate our curiosity, Analog Provo will definitely be checking out Two Nations’ set to see what all the noise is about.
6:00-6:30 Mojave Nomads vs. Mark Smith
Mojave Nomads are an Ogden-based group of young rockers who are ready to strut their stuff. After watching a brief acoustic set of theirs at Gezzo Hall a few weeks back, I was convinced that this band had what it took. Mark Smith may be one of the most common names in America, but this artist’s take on bluegrass and Americana music is anything but. The twangy vocals and tight harmonies of Mr. Smith make him a sure-fire shot for an enjoyable performance. While Mark has piqued our interest, Analog Provo will be rocking out to the Mojave Nomads performance for this block.
6:30-7:00 Ashley Hess vs. New Shack
Ashley Hess and Amber Lynn (reviewed above) just dropped a jaw-dropping mashup of Tori Kelly covers that you need to see. It doesn’t take long to see that this artist has chops. To be quite frank, we are spoiled here in the Provo area. There are so many female acts with so much talent that oftentimes, it is easy to forget how lucky we are. Fresh off of the release of their new album Shadow Girl, New Shack is bringing a sound all their own to the Timpanogos Music Festival. After a casual listen, Analog Provo is excited to hear New Shack perform some of their new songs Saturday evening.
7:00-7:30 Foreign Figures
If you have ever heard a Foreign Figures song, you likely spent the next few days absent-mindedly humming it to yourself. This earworm of a band is certainly a can’t-miss performance. On July 31st, the group will be having a single release party to unveil their new single, “Fire.” Could attendees of the Timp Music Festival possibly get a taste of any new things that are in the works?
7:30-8:00 Static Waves
Ladies and Gentlemen… make sure that you do not pass on Static Waves. Fresh off of their performance at this month’s Rooftop Concert Series, this band is doing big things. If you haven’t heard the Static Waves EP, you are seriously depriving yourself of some infectious music. Make no mistake: by the end of this 30 minute set, fans new and old will be buying tickets to this band’s next show.
8:00-8:30 Red Yeti
Red Yeti represents just about everything that is good in rock. Red Yeti is making their own sound in a genre that is super-saturated with wannabes and tribute bands. With fast-paced, white-knuckle anthems to slightly softer, more lyrical songs, this band has it all.
8:30-9:15 Oh, Be Clever
Making music that is equal part club banger and song to sing along to in the car, Oh, Be Clever is sure to put on a fun show for everyone in attendance. As the sun sets behind the beautiful mountain backdrop, this band will make sure that their beat-heavy pop songs keep the party going into the night.
VanLadyLove represents everything that is good about Provo’s local music scene: a trio of likeable guys who refuse to be put into any box or even any genre of music. A blend of electronic, indie folk, rock, you name it, VanLadyLove is doing it. Lovers of just about any kind of music will find something that they like with the songs that these guys are putting out.
10:00-11:00 Provo Yacht Club
To close out the night, Provo Yacht Club’s CODON will be performing a number of his mixes for the crowd to enjoy. Though it is difficult to foretell what kind of songs he will be playing, Provo Yacht Club is well-known for their killer parties. For all the night owls in attendance, the beats by Codon will be a great end to an incredible day of music.
So, there it is! Analog Provo wishes the best to all the artists and can’t wait for an awesome day of music. Thanks to the Utah Music Association for their help and for the many corporate sponsors for their support of local music.