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Are Former Tides A Timp Music Fest Oddity?

Post-hardcore band Former Tides may not sport the typical Provo sound, but they’ll be sharing the stage with some of the city’s biggest names this weekend.

By Mike Romero

While Provo could be considered musically diverse given the relative success of musicians from the city, that diversity tends to come in the form of innovation/variation within two specific genres: folk-pop and synth rock. This trend has been noted in our interviews with artists who may fall outside of that mainstream Provo sound – like the space rockers in Telesomniac, heartland-shoegaze singer/songwriter James Junius, and and several groups from the Provo punk scene.

There’s a reactionary movement taking place in the scene right now. Musicians in Provo are taking it upon themselves to challenge the Provo music stereotype. The budding Provo Punk Collective has brought acts from the east coast to Muse Music. Hip-hop artists like Jamesthemormon, Na-G, Mimi Knowles, and T.Fitz are racking up thousands of streams and making big waves within the city and without through high profile collaborations and music videos.

This Saturday, some of the biggest names in the Provo music scene will be sharing the stage with national acts like Silversun Pickups, Zella Day, The Moth & The Flame, and Grizfolk. While most of the local acts playing the festival undoubtedly fall within the parameters of folk-pop and synth rock, one band in particular is trying to make space in the the public eye for alternative forms of rock music. Former Tides is that band, and they’re bringing their brand of melodic Post-hardcore to the Timpanogos Music Festival stage.

Luis Cardenas of Former Tides. Photo by Laura Lee Images.

“It’s hard not to feel like the odd man out with the music that we play – especially around here in Provo,” says Former Tides guitarist Luis Cardenas. “There’s a defined Provo sound and mold that many bands seem to want to fit in. Not that that’s a bad thing. There’s some real talent and great songwriting there. That’s just not us. Can’t exactly say if there’s a demand for what we’re doing, but there’s always a demand for something different – something honest. Especially when people notice that everything around them starts to blend into that same Spotify playlist. We’re just trying to put out quality music, quality songwriting. Something you can sing along to but that will also make you feel something.”

Former Tides is similar in style to Issues, a popular electronica influenced metalcore band out of Atlanta, Georgia – screams and all. The band was specifically contacted by event organizer Tyler Monks to play at Timpanogos Music Festival. “We were definitely stoked to be asked to play and at the same time pretty shocked due to our genre,” says Cardenas. “Not that we’re so different from every other band playing, but at the same time when you put our songs and a Silversun Pickups song side by side and you can notice the gap.”

Lead singer Devin Barrus performing at a Former Tides concert in 2016.

Is Former Tides nervous about how they’ll be received at the festival because of this difference in sound? Yes, but not too nervous. “[Nerves are] always present when you expose something so intimate as an artist to a new audience,” says Cardenas about the band’s music. “We’re confident that some people will dig it, though. The worst that could happen is some people walk away when we start playing. If they’re not into it, that’s all good. Someone else will be.”

In a best case scenario, however, Former Tides is hoping that people will welcome the diversity. Cardenas hopes people stick around to give them a sincere listen and a real chance. “As a band, we’re always looking for that one person that was in the audience to come up to us afterwards to congratulate us on the set. If they’re making that effort to tell you how good you did, then you’re doing something right.”

It’s cool to see that those in charge of Timpanogos Music Festival are willing to take a risk on sonic diversity. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. If Former Tides’ set lands well with the audience, it may open up opportunities for more diversity on stage next year. Keep an eye out for our recap of the festival next Monday.

Make sure to like Former Tides and Timpanogos Music Festival on Facebook. The festival is this Saturday, August 27th. Tickets range from $10 to $60, and are available online here. You can watch the music video for “The Misery in Apathy” by Former Tides below.

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