By Richard Provost
Every year, Salt Lake City Weekly looks to find the best music being made in the state of Utah. People like Alana Boscan of Diabolical Records, Court Mann of the Daily Herald, and many others – including past winners – make up a nominating committee that listens to local artists all year and submits a list of nominees to City Weekly. The magazine then opens voting up to their readership online to determine who will be named the best musicians in Utah.
According to Salt Lake City Weekly, this year “set an all-time record for participation in City Weekly’s Best of Utah Music 2016,” with “more votes [cast] than in any previous year.” Check out which artists with ties to the Provo music scene received some credit.
The Aces (Formerly The Blue Aces) – Best Pop Artist
Last week, The Aces participated in Les Femmes De Velour 5 – Velour’s annual celebration of female musicians in Provo – playing to a sold-out audience. An all female group, the four members of the band have been playing with each other since high school. They were recently featured on BYUtv’s 12 Bands of Christmas, performing a soulful rendition of “O Holy Night.” The driving “Save Your Breath” from their album Gave You My Heart is a Reach Provo favorite.
The National Parks – Band of The Year
According to City Weekly, frontman Brady Parks says the band is “Honored, humbled, excited, all of it. There is so much musical talent in Utah that being named Band of the Year is really a big thing to us. We can’t stop smiling.”
Their Band of the Year win doesn’t come as a surprise to us. They’ve been making a splash ever since they started their musical career in Provo with an epic guerrilla marketing campaign in 2013. Since that time they’ve played Provo’s Rooftop Concert Series and have been touring extensively. Last January they sold out Velour Live Music Gallery alongside Brumby and Westward The Tide – evidence of their growing appeal. Their latest release, Until I Live, improved nicely on their signature scenic-folk sound, incorporating lovely pop elements that added energy and punch to their style. As their music continues to climb the iTunes charts, it’s only a matter of time until The National Parks have built a substantial national following. Keep an eye out for a new music video from them soon.
While City Weekly’s list of winners was dominated primarily by bands based in the Salt Lake scene, it’s important to note just how many Provo artists took second or were mentioned as Staff Picks and Reader’s Choice nominees. This is evidence of the scene’s growing appeal – and our increasing ability to reach listeners outside Utah Valley. Artists who received one of these honors include:
- RKDN, known for their catchy single “Silver” received an honorable mention for Best Pop Artist. Provo artists dominated that category this year.
- The Love§trange spoke to us last month about their nomination for Album of the Year. They were this year’s runner ups for their work on I Liked It, No I Didn’t.
- Provo producer Nate Pyfer was runner-up for Best Local Producer. Pyfer has worked with The Moth & The Flame, The Love§trange, Fictionist, Mideau, Kaskade, and Lindsey Stirling. He was also a member of Joshua James’ band on tour a few years back. He currently works at June Audio.
- Corey Fox was runner up for the Reader’s Choice award, “Finishing only nine votes behind [Talia] Keys,” says City Weekly. The owner of Velour Live Music Gallery, Fox is well known in Provo. He’s worked tirelessly to support the arts here, continually booking and promoting local acts and shows. Velour is participating in Provo’s celebration of International Women’s Day next Tuesday. City Weekly called Velour “One of the best all-ages stages in the state.”
- Muse Music got an honorable mention for Best Comeback after closing their doors in late 2015 and moving to their new location on Center Street.
Make sure to check out the full list of winners over at Salt Lake City Weekly. Make sure to check out the lyric video for “Monsters of the North” by The National Parks below.