Hifi Sean of Soup Dragons fame is back. You need to hear this!

Hifi Sean and David McAlmont's 2023 album Happy Ending is brilliant

Hifi Sean and David McAlmont connect Bollywood and 1989 Manchester on their brilliant, trippy album Happy Ending

Sean Dickson and David McAlmont have a history

Never mind Hifi Sean's long-haul trucker scowl!  He's creating some of 2023's most delicate beats

“Hifi” Sean Dickson comes directly from the Madchester era, a founder of 90’s fan favorite The Soup Dragons.  If Scottish, Hifi Sean brings Manchester’s baggy sensibility to the songwriting, which he delicately marries to McAlmont’s textured, smoky vocals.

Hifi Sean may look more like an angry logger than musician! Just call it smoldering intensity — he’s an in-demand DJ and producer with a catalogue of his own solo material. He originally collaborated with McAlmont on Dickson’s 2016 solo debut Ft. McAlmont sang on “Like Josephine Baker.”

Hifi Sean and McAlmont kill on Happy Ending

Hifi Sean and David McAlmont released "Beautiful" in January of 2023

Happy Ending opens with the title track’s soulful psychedelia on “Happy Ending.” Most of the songs stay in this smoother funk channel. Cuts like “The Fever” and Bollywood strings on “Beautiful” and “Diamond Dust” are better suited for Thursday night Threekend cocktails than the dancefloor.

Later comes “All in the World,” which is purer hot disco adrenalin.

Now check out the marriage of those disco beats with the swooning and outrageous “Real Thoughts in Real Time,” more Hot Chip than Manchester.

For different reasons, I loved just about every song on Happy Ending. Buy HiFi Sean’s debut Ft. and Happy Endings at Plastique Recordings‘ Bandcamp page.

McAlmont and Dickson (McHifi?) promise more tunes to come

Even better news than this year’s sparkling collaboration is the assertion that more is to come. You get a nice background on Hifi Sean’s journey and his connection to McAlmont in this profile in The Scotsman.

McAlmont has worked with a lot of talented musicians over the years. But he goes out of his way to say that he intends to make more records with Hifi Sean.

“…I want to reassure the audience that invest in Happy Ending that there’s more of us, that we’re not just gonna do this and then suddenly there I am next to somebody else – that’s not what this is and so the only way to prove that is to do the next album as soon as possible.”

The Scotsman Sessions #350

THAT is some good news!

The long road of Hifi Sean

Guitar pop fans unite behind Sean Dickson's Soup Dragons!

We can’t possibly wrap this sparkling review without a quick flashback to The Soup Dragons‘ 1992 smash, “Divine Thing.” I spun this bubblegum power pop 1,000 times back in college at U92.

The Soup Dragons (Hotwired) – “Divine Thing”

Listen to these 3 jangly soft 70’s indie tunes by the band The Angles!

The band The Angles released their debut March 3

The music of Brooklyn’s Ashwin Prasanna has been circulating for awhile, now landing as the debut of his jangly soft 70’s band The Angles. I basically fell in love with Prasanna’s self-titled debut The Angles — an old romantic’s comforting melodic jangle with shades of 70’s soft rock.

Prasanna is a meticulous manager of his sound, playing most instruments and self-producing. His gorgeous indie pop debut is a grower! Here are 3 reasons you need to download The Angles.

The band The Angles: Indie pop perfection

How could there be a more delicate rendering of indie pop than “Moon,” the leadoff cut from the band The Angles? The guitar line’s blissful jangle introduces Prasanna’s deft vocals, sweet as Stuart Murdoch. On the chorus, he sings, “I wish you the mooooon,” followed by Tree Palmedo’s exquisite, too-short trumpet line to bring the song home with a bit of chamber pop flourish.

I’m hypnotized by the look in your eye.
I got no appetite.
I’m gonna get my teenage kicks tomorrow.

When I realized
With all my might
Contorting everything,
I’m gonna leave behind that shtick tomorrow.

I see your face outta nowhere.
I’m an angry guy.
I go outside and call friends.
I wanna take you underground tomorrow

The band The Angles: The soft 70’s beckon!

The intimacy of songs like “Emulsion” capture Prasanna’s gentle vocals enveloped in his bedroom pop arrangements. We also get to hear how the band The Angles capture that 70’s aesthetic, opening with organ, Prasanna’s falsetto and a tender guitar. Instead of an overbaked solo, we get a walkway worthy of Steely Dan.

The organ, guitar and cooing background vocals lend the melody a spacy soft 70’s lilt.

The Angles’ Prasanna does it all

Ashwin Prasanna is The Angles

Prasanna plays nearly every instrument on an album that easily drifts between Teenage Fanclub and Bread’s softly crooning David Gates.

Here is “Knitting Without Needles,” a melody which also reflects Television quite sweetly.

You need to hear more to appreciate The Angles! Even if you haven’t heard of The Angles before reading this today, I highly recommend you buy Prasanna’s debut at his Bandcamp page!

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics + full audio stream!

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics and a stream of the full song here

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics are easy enough–you can find them anywhere. But where can you learn more about the lyrics, listen to the song and – BONUS – hear the obscure alternative disco song you’ve never heard before?

Right here, so keep on reading and listening.

Jessie Ware Free Yourself Lyrics

Ware returned to her dance roots during the pandemic with the album What’s Your Pleasure? I remember listening to it at the time and reading Ware’s goal with the album, “Will this make people want to have sex?” It didn’t. Good enough tunes but I wasn’t really hooked.

Cut to 2023 and I’m trying to resist the temptation to buy new release That! Feels Good! The songs are ridiculously catchy, they’re just a bit of a sugar rush. My favorite of the album so far is “Free Yourself,” in which Ware once again shoots her shot with sensual lyrics and beats.

Free yourself
Keep on moving up that mountaintop
Why don’t you please yourself?
If it feels so good, then don’t you, baby

At the same time, maybe the song is about climbing an actual mountain and the cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise.

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics are all about climbing a mountain? Or are they?

This is probably not the case, as she continues:

Don’t stand there waiting all of your life
For the night to come and find you
The clock is ticking, baby, now is the time
For someone to come and hold you

Jessie Ware Free Yourself lyrics not nearly as cool as the hook

For the year 2023, this is pretty tame stuff. I mean it’s been almost 35 years since The Divinyls and 40 years after Madonna. These days you have to produce more than ribald lyrics, and Ware delivers!

I love how she marries old school disco, the ELO strings and kind of a baggy Primal Scream beat. And her voice has never sounded better. “Free Yourself” honestly churns better than the much-discussed title track. Order Ware’s album from her website.

The bonus disco song you never knew you needed

Scottish band Texas wrote the best disco song that you need to listen to right here!

I’ve been waiting to write about “Mr. Haze” by Scottish band Texas for almost two years.

You’re probably thinking, “nothing says disco like Glasgow, Scotland.” For a moment, suspend disbelief. “Mr. Haze” was the second and criminally neglected single from the 2021 Texas album Hi.

In this case, the venerable Scotts sampled Donna Summer’s 1977 “Love’s Unkind” and transformed it into something completely their own and completely brilliant.

The Very Best of Texas comes out June 16. Pre-order now on the band’s website.

Kilby Block Party SATURDAY lineup. Find set times and listen to 14 bands right here

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup by stage

The Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup promises a blowout before Sunday night’s lineup featuring Pavement. I’ve scouted out every Saturday band from renowned to obscure. You can hear samples of most of every band below.

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: Topline takeaways!

Here are some quick expectations for the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup:

  • Saturday will have higher highs than Kilby’s Friday night lineup. If The Strokes’ Casablancas throws himself into it — and that’s an open question — the jog from Weyes Blood at 6:25p to RTJ at 7:35p and The Strokes at 8:45p could be a hoot.
  • Get to the venue early on Saturday! I’m excited to see Salt Lake City’s Kipper Snack for the first time. They play shortly after 12p noon. If you’re not there by noon, DO NOT miss Tamino at 1:20p and Grace Ives at 1:35p.
  • Couple of Saturday conflicts, starting with dual start times for Alex G and Wallice at 3:25p. Those two will probably split the audience by age. Also, Osees and Run the Jewels both play at 7:35. I’d really like to see both. However, Osees will play a late DJ set at the Urban Lounge Saturday night.

Here is my recommended Saturday plan. Listen for all these bands below. As always, IMMV.


12:15 Kipper Snack
12:45 This looks like Break #1 for me
1:20 Tamino
1:55 Grace Ives
2:30 Tanukichan
3:25 Alex G (May cross over to see Wallice)
4:15 Break #2
5:15 Indigo De Souza
6:25 Weyes Blood
7:35 Run the Jewels
8:45 The Strokes

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: The headliners

The wild gamut from Alex G to Weyes Blood to Run the Jewels is going to blow some minds. Let’s have a look at (my) headliners in order of appearance. We’ll start with Alex G’s afternoon performance.

Alex G

Alex G brings his musical genius to Salt Lake City May 13

It’s actually not the easiest thing in the world to find an image of Alex Giannascoli.

I think part of that is the Elliot Smith mythos, a mystery partially burst with recent network TV appearances. Alex G has become an increasingly influential part of the indie folk/lo fi rock scene for the larger part of a decade, particularly since Beach House (2015) and Rocket (2017).

The Pennsylvania native once again charmed critics with 2022’s God Save the Animals. I didn’t immediately buy it after listening last year, but I think I am basically alone on planet Earth on that take. Here is “Miracles,” which includes the touching lyrics:

“‘I have fears that I have not addressed,’ she says
Some things from my past make me feel powerless, well
Baby, I pray for the children and the sinners and the animals too
And I, I pray for you

Weyes Blood

One of my most anticipated performances, Weyes Blood headlines the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup

Natalie Mering had been releasing music for nearly ten years before sinking the music industry on her iceberg with 2019’s Titanic Rising. She returned all the stronger in 2022 with And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow. It’s a delicate throwback to pastoral soft 70’s – but punctuated with Weyes Bloods’ powerful emotion and earnestness. In her promotional material, she actually describes her heart as a glow stick.

A friend of mine in NYC, not easily impressed, was blown away by Weyes Bloods’ performance at Brooklyn Steel this spring. He noted particularly the lighting and set, with some in the audience “moved to tears” at the show’s end. I’m ready to have my cynical cold heart warmed in Mering’s ambience. And, joking aside, this is woman who knows how to write pure melody.

This is the opening track from her current album, “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody.”

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels likely to play RTJ classics and new material from Killer Mike at the Kilby Block Party

I previously speculated we could get RTJ5 just in time for the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup takes the stage. Bad news: That’s a No. Good news: Killer Mike is putting out his first solo release in a long time, Michael, on June 16. That’s pretty awesome!

Michael Render will be touring major metros with the Midnight Revival Choir starting in July. I have to believe we’ll be treated to Run the Jewel classics and previews of Michael when RTJ plays Saturday night.

Have you heard “Don’t Let the Devil?!” El-P guests along with thankugoodsir and it’s super good.

The Strokes

Why am I so skeptical of The Strokes?  They will probably be great!

I feel it’s important to manage expectations with The Strokes.

Julian Casablancas and company have been touring for awhile now, to decidedly unenthusiastic and at best, mixed reviews of their commitment to entertainment. Which version of The Strokes will show up in Salt Lake City during the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup? Hard to know.

I’ll go back and experiment with 2020’s The New Abnormal. Most of us, though, will be hoping for competent performances of Is This It and Room On Fire.

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: Supporting Acts

Part of the joy of this year’s KBP is not just the big name acts but the introduction we get to dozens of strong independent performers, many of whom I am hearing for the first time. If you’re similarly looking for an introduction, then read on.


If there is one artist you hear for the first time during the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup, make it Tamino

I am absolutely wrecked hearing Tamino tonight for the first time.

When someone is out there creating music like this and it doesn’t cross my radar, I simply feel inadequate. He hasn’t exactly labored in obscurity – Tamino played several shows at SXSW in 2019. Although in my defense, the Belgian-Egyptian music scene is not super strong.

Tamino’s hypnotic vocals are unearthly. Cairo’s Nile FM (this is an actual radio station, at the evenly numbered MHz 104.2 FM) identifies him as the grandson of Egypt’s “legendary Muharram Fouad.” Last year he released the album Sahar but I want you to hear the song I just sampled, 2017’s “Habibi.”

You cannot NOT hear Jeff Buckley singing. I am dead.

I will absolutely be at the Utah Fairgrounds at 1:20pm to hear Tamino early in the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup.


Osees, formerly Thee Oh Sees, play Kilby and then a DJ set later Saturday at the Urban Lounge

John Dwyer’s long time project Osees, aka Thee Oh Sees, have lived a dozen or more musical lives. From freakout to psych rock, I actually like his current thread which is closer to pure punk.

A Foul Form came out last August although I didn’t catch it then. This is pretty good! It’s on the tolerant side of the hardcore spectrum, which is about the sweet spot for a 50-something white guy like me.

Songs like the freaky surf of “Perm Act” and punk blasts of “Funeral Solution” and “Scum Show” could be a wild part of the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup.

Indigo De Souza

Indigo De Souza has just released All of This Will End

North Carolina’s Indigo De Souza is all rough edges and blunt, confessional lyrics. De Souza has a great sense of dreary melody, a bit like Dana Margolin of Porridge Radio. De Souza just released All of This Will End two weeks ago and I enjoyed the several tracks I’ve downloaded.

The artist profile on Bandcamp quotes De Souza saying, “I was finally able to trust myself fully.” I don’t really know what that means but it sounds good!

On “You Can Be Mean” she disses on a Luva like Taylor Swift would, but with 100x more venom.

Caroline Polachek

Caroline Polachek will do Caroline Polachek things at the Kilby Block Party

I actually kind of liked parts of the song and video for Caroline Polachek’s “Welcome to my Island,” at least the images of her running through a construction site. (Hey that’s what Weyes Blood serving her coffee!) But its hard for me to take the former Chairlift singer too seriously, and I’m definitely not the target demographic.

Here’s “Welcome to My Island,” which I realize while listening and not watching, loses some interest without the construction video and throwing up blood or coffee.

Dreamer Isioma

Dreamer Isioma will bring a mashup of R&B, rhythmic and Afrobeats to Kilby

Dreamer Isioma continues the suave Freak&B of 2021 debut Goodnight Dreamer on April’s Princess Forever.

Early single “Love & Rage” shows how Isioma deftly combines funk, Afrobeats and a rhythmic indie palette. Princess Forever is also a deep concept album – rarely a necessity – that envisions Isioma transcending an apocalyptic something-or-the-other in an alternate universe.

Best to focus on the Chicago native’s beats, as here on “Touch Your Soul.”


Looking forward to Wallice during the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup!

Behold the sardonic, self-deprecating indie pop of Wallice!

Just a single EP under her belt, last year’s cutting 90’s American Superstar, Wallice grimly mocks her career trajectory on “Rich Wallice.” The LA artist absolutely shreds on “John Wayne” (actually I don’t know if that’s her on guitar!?) and on the imagined end of her career arc on the EP’s narrative closer “Funeral.”

After a couple of pandemic hits, Wallice Hana Watanabe spent part of the year opening for The 1975 and I can totally hear it. For Rolling Stone AU, Wallice describes hours of added music and dance rehearsals to prepare for her big break.

I dig the way she shifts from 2nd to 5th gear about 1 minute into the EP’s opening cut, “Little League.”

Grace Ives

Grace Ives impresses with ease on her two albums Janky Star and 2nd

Synth pop marvel Grace Ives is the author of last year’s Janky Star. Endlessly entertaining, Ives specializes in 2 minute pop gems that show off her breathy vibrato. Sometimes working in a dream pop space, other times breaking into a Cars twee power pop, Ives delivery always matches the material perfectly.

She soars on “Butterfly” from her 2019 debut 2nd.


Tanuchikan brings dream pop to Salt Lake City

You can hear the Cranberries influence on Tanukichan’s 2023 sophomore release GIZMO. I don’t know that the reference is good or bad, it’s just there. Particularly on songs like “Been Here Before” and “Take Care,” Hannah van Loon sounds like the late Dolores O’Riordan, minus the yodeling.

I appreciate Tanukichan’s crunchier dream pop to the poppier dream pop. Album opener “Escape” is more of a Lush soundscape.

Kipper Snack (Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup local feature)

Here's a Salt Lake City band I'm excited to get to know.  Be at the Kilby Block Party to hear Kipper Snack

Loving everything I’ve heard from Salt Lake City’s Kipper Snack, whose Insta says the band is half finished with “a real rock and roll album.” Last year Kipper released Pretty as a Flower, whose seven tracks look like an EP or mini album. Tracks fall somewhere between indie folk and high desert alt country.

Check out this impressive number, “Stick It With Me.”

Other standouts include “No Surprise” and “Mama.” Kipper is getting some well-deserved attention this year. Besides their opening slot for the Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup, they’ve played Soundwell, The Depot and Kilby Court. Kipper is a band to watch.

I’m also going to include a video. Readers of this site know I focus on audio. But I was so struck by the tenderness of this video shot during the pandemic. I hope whatever rock and roll Kipper releases soon includes this purity of spirit.

Also include the pedal steel, I want this young man to show off more pedal steel.

Kipper Snack at Studebaker Studios in Provo

Anais Chantal (Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup local feature)

Salt Lake's Anais Chantal opens the Kilby Block Party on Saturday

Anais Chantal released Where Do I Go?? just a couple of months ago. Salt Lake’s Chantal drops between soul and torchlit piano ballads. This is difficult territory to stand out! Chantal has the voice to pull it off, although not all of the melodies here cut through for me.

The opener “CLASSIC” captures Chantal’s presence and range perfectly.

Hippo Campus

St. Paul's Hippo Campus sound more like The Killers than MN forebears The Replacements

Bright indie pop not wildly removed from The Killers, the Minneapolis veterans have been around since 2013. Hippo Campus last month released the Wasteland EP, from which the fan favorite seems to be “Yippie Ki Yay.”

Kilby Block Party Saturday lineup: Other bands playing

I could have and maybe should have broken out The Moss and Josh Doss separately. Links provided for all.

Kilby Block Party FRIDAY lineup. Get set times for all 19 bands right here!

HEADS UP NEW INFO!! Organizers have released set times for the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. Listen to the bands’ songs — and plan your Friday wisely. Here are start times:

A few blink impressions of the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup:

  • My only real conflict Friday is Jean Dawson and NoSo. That’s a tough choice. It may come down to what I’m ready for at 2pm…do I need a warm up? Sample both artists below.
  • Ritt Momney is the only obvious tax writeoff. What did those guys do wrong to get lined up against Japanese Breakfast?! I’ve also included songs for Japanese Breakfast below.
  • We’re promised 90 minutes of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. That implies current hits and plenty of back catalogue. I guess you’ve got to give the kids what they want. Again, listen to the YYY below.

Here’s my plan and personal recommendation for Friday.


1:35 Julie
2:15 Jean Dawson? But NoSo is SoGood
3:00 Honestly I may take a break here
4:05 Deerhoof
5:00 Cuco
6:10 Japanese Breakfast
7:30 Frankie Cosmos
8:30 YYY

That’s my plan. But I want to give you a lot to think about here. And listen to.

The Kilby Block Party Friday lineup blasts out of the gates with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Japanese Breakfast and Cuco. Have a listen to the headliners + some of the supporting acts that are opening an amazing weekend of music.

Kilby Block Party Friday lineup: The headliners

One of the two biggest names to play all weekend in the Kilby Block Party lineup are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But they’re just a starting place in the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. Read on to sample the YYY’s music but also some of the lesser-known bands playing on opening night!

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs lead off the Kilby Block Party lineup in a big way.  Hear their songs and read about them here!

2022’s comeback kids exploded into relevance again with their single “Spitting Off the Side of the World” featuring Perfume Genius on album Cool It Down. The album appeared in many 2022 top 10 lists. Salt Lake City won’t be disappointed when they hear songs like “Fleez.”

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – with Karen O on vocals, Nick Zinner on guitar and keyboard, and Brian Chase on drums – are known for their early art school aesthetic and post-punk energy.

Their debut album, Fever to Tell (2003), features the breakout single, “Maps,” which remains one of their biggest hits. The band’s successive albums, including Show Your Bones (2006), It’s Blitz! (2009), and Mosquito (2013), showcase the YYY’s emerging electronica and garage rock sound.

I’m excited to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play for the first time.

Japanese Breakfast

It's possible I'm more excited to see Japanese Breakfast than anyone else in the Kilby Block Party lineup

Michelle Zauner and Japanese Breakfast are one of those acts that I enjoy on every level…lyrical, visual and brainy…all while delivering the hooks. I also succeeded in getting my daughter, 17 at the time, to listen to 2021’s Jubilee. I got her to pay attention to “Tactics” in the car one day, and she added it to her Spotify playlist. Father of the Year!

It’s wonderful how “Tactics” unfolds like a Paul Simon song — then the chorus blossoms into something aching and completely her own:

So I had to
Move a great distance from you
Cross a sea, keep you from me
Move a great distance from you
Cross a sea, keep you from me

Michelle Zauner’s bestselling book Crying in H Mart comes out in paperback today. The memoir recalls her isolated upbringing in Oregon as a Korean-American, drifting from her heritage as she grows older, reconnecting to her mother’s values upon her death.

One of my dearest friends in high school was Korean-American. I think of her sometimes listening to songs like “Paprika” and “Kokomo, IN” and wonder what has become of her.

Look at the day-by-day breakout of the Kilby Block Party right here


Check out songs from sneaky headliner Cuco here.  DO NOT MISS his show at the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup

I’ve already written quite a bit about Cuco.

Bedroom pop guy, he’s the real deal, I hope you take time to hear him during the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. I can remember the exact place and time I was falling in love with Cuco last year. I was re-seeding grass in my backyard, about to get on a plane for a college reunion, listening to the pure pop bliss of “Sweet Dissociation.”

Cuco’s multi-lingual album Fantasy Gateway didn’t get nearly the attention it deserved in 2022. So first, buy it from Cuco’s website. Then be there Friday for one of the late afternoon Kilby Block Party set times. Be there to hear Cuco’s magic brought to life!


The Deerhoof album Miracle-Level comes out just in time for their show in Salt Lake City

This week, the Deerhoof Miracle-Level album drops. The San Francisco post-punk legends are nearly 30 years and 19 albums into their career. The entirety of Miracle-Level is recorded in Satomi Matsuzaki’s native Japanese language.

The band previewed Miracle-Level last fall with “My Lovely Cat” and then in January with the spiky melody experimental pop number “Sit Down Let Me Tell You a Story.”

I don’t imbed many videos — this is a website for reading and listening. But the video from a performance of “Sit Down Let Me Tell You a Story” at Tokyo’s Ebisu Garden Hall is pretty awesome.

While I’ve listened to them over the years, I’m not going to pretend to be a Deerhoof expert. But they’ve earned their status as headliners, however they’re classified in the Kilby Block Party lineup.

You can buy the Deerhoof Miracle-Level album plus Deerhoof merch when you scroll to the bottom of the band’s home page.

Kilby Block Party Friday lineup: Supporting acts

Just because you haven’t heard of every band in the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup doesn’t mean you should skip straight to the familiar names. In fact, the buried lead for the Kilby Court concert…it’s that you have multiple, stellar bands playing in “supporting act” slots. It’s pretty remarkable, so read on-and listen.

Let’s have a look at a few standouts.

Kilby Block Party set times: Frankie Cosmos (7:30p)

Greta Kline and Frankie Cosmos play the Kilby Court Block Party 2023

I listened to quite a bit of Inner World by Frankie Cosmos last year.

The blithe indie pop is perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Many of the songs fronted by Greta Kline are light, economical, almost twee. They’re also not afraid to turn up their amps on the 90-second blast of “Magnetic Personality.”

More typical is Kline’s introspective pop like “Empty Head” and “After Shock.”

Inner World is one I intend to catch up on before the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup takes the stage. Order your copy from Sub Pop. Get Frankie Cosmos gear like a clever “Empty Head” hat at their website.

Kilby Block Party set times: NoSo (2:15p)

Korean-American Abby Hwong, aka NoSo, will be one of the acts that surprises you in the Kilby Block Party lineup

After releasing songs for four years, NoSo released their debut full-length with last year’s Stay Proud of Me. I have an Evernote (I’m such a dork) from August of last year marking “Parasites” as one of my favorite songs of the year.

Stay Proud of Me is replete with shimmering guitars, a little bit of Roxy Music cool and Abby Hwong’s low vibrato which can’t help but evoke Stevie Nicks. The album has so many good tracks–everything is good! For this post, I’ll stick with album-opener “Parasites.”

Get ready for the treat that is NoSo and buy Stay Proud of Me from Hwong’s website.

I could have – maybe SHOULD HAVE – included NoSo in my favorite songs of 2022. Here they are!

Kilby Block Party set times: Jean Dawson (2:15p)

If you haven't heard Jean Dawson's 2022 Chaos Now, be sure to see him play the Kilby Court Block Party!

I’ve gone down a Jean Dawson wormhole today and all I can say is, “How did I miss him last year?”

Dawson’s third album Chaos Now defies category and description, a quality in music I adore. The Mexican-American’s fierce lyrics over the trip hop, power guitar and distorted riffs may overwhelm the block party Kilby Court is planning Friday night!

I’ve listened to about half of Chaos Now, including repeating “Positive One Negative One” about six times. Make sure your neighbors are gone and blow out the windows!

I am downloading Chaos Now before May. But kids these days, they don’t always make it easy. Dawson’s website is pretty cryptic and he has no presence on Bandcamp. You can download Chaos Now from some of the larger purveyors like iTunes and Amazon Prime.

Mark these words: Dawson will upend what you expect from most of the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup.

Kilby Block Party set times: The band Julie (1:35p)

Noise rocking, shoegazing Los Angeles band Julie will be an absolute riot in Salt Lake City this spring

LA’s experimental youngsters Julie may be another tasty surprise in the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. The band interchanges noise and a punishing shoegaze with complex time changes. Think Sonic Youth at 20-years-old. Julie are Alex Brady on bass and vocals, Keyan Zand on guitar and vocals and Dillon Lee on drums.

Check out “lochness” from 2021’s Pushing Daisies. Julie rocks!

Go to Bandcamp to buy Julie’s latest, Pushing Daisies from 2021, or last summer’s heavier single “pg.4 a picture of three hedges.”

Kilby Block Party set times: Lucius (3:10p)

Lucius bring their delicate harmonies to Utah for the block party Kilby Court has assembled at the Utah Fairgrounds

Until writing this paragraph, I had never heard the impeccable harmonies of Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, aka Lucius who are part of the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup.

I’m now officially interested to hear them play their fourth album, Second Nature, part Donna Summer, part ABBA. Lucius also isn’t afraid to produce a dancy Americana number that wouldn’t sound out of place on stage with Tay Tay.

Besides matching outfits and hair, the calling card for Laessig and Wolfe are their harmonies. Here they show off on “Dance Around It” with support from producer Brandi Carlile and guest Sheryl Crowe.

Buy Second Nature at the band’s website, unironically located at ilovelucius.com.

Across the weekend of the Kilby Block Party, here are my three favorite bands to play. Have a listen!

Kilby Block Party set times: Momma (1:30p)

Listen to Momma's hit "Bang Bang" here and find out about their Salt Lake appearance this May

Momma have slightly loopy asymmetrical energy a bit like The Breeders. They released a full length, Household Name, last summer…and then the hopped-up “Bang Bang” on March 1. You can’t deny that hook!

You can download “Bang Bang” from Lucky Numbers Music. Find last year’s Household Name at Polyvinyl’s website. Some of Momma’s other back catalogue and merch is available at Bandcamp.

Kilby Block Party set times: Westerman (3:00p)

Will Westerman releases his second album just as he appears at the Kilby Block Party 2023

Will Westerman from Athens, Greece, made a splash with his 2020 debut Your Hero is Not Dead. His sophomore release An Inbuilt Fault comes out in May, so we will see Westerman just as he returns with another album of minimalist folk. The taste here is “Petralona.”

Buy 2020’s Your Hero is Not Dead from Partisan Records. Pre-order Will Westerman’s upcoming An Inbuilt Fault from the artist’s website.

Kilby Block Party set times: SLC’s The Plastic Cherries (12:20p)

Salt Lake City's Plastic Cherries are among three SLC bands playing the Kilby Court Friday lineup

I ran across a new friend on the Twitter earlier this year who helped me with the local music scene. I pledged to do a better job covering the 801 this year.

The Plastic Cherries would undoubtedly be among the bands he would recommend on Salt Lake’s Uphere! Records. They credit their influences as glam, soft 70’s and shoegaze. I don’t necessarily hear the gaze but I totally dig the soft rock and DIY sound.

Look for Salt Lake’s own Plastic Cherries with one of the earliest Kilby Block Party set times, the perhaps not enviable 12:20 open. Here is “Waking Up” from 2021’s full-length Sunshine. Dig it!

The Plastic Cherries promise a second album at a date TBD but you can buy Sunshine today at Bandcamp.

Kilby Block Party set times: SLC’s Homephone (12:55p)

Dream pop/bedroom pop act Homephone support this year's Kilby Court Block Party

Another home grown favorite, Salt Lake’s Homephone were busy in 2022 releasing multiple singles ahead of full-length Melon Collie. Ysabelle Stepp and Joseph Sandholtz 70’s-infused dream pop include touching lyrics on songs like “Pistachio.”

People only kiss
When their eyes are closed
If they opened up
What would happen, I don’t know

Buy Melon Collie from Homephone at Bandcamp. Homephone is also releasing new single “NIGHT WALK” on Friday!

And finally…Alice Phoebe Lou

Sex positive Alice Phoebe Lou sings about getting it on on her latest album, Child's Play

Berlin’s Alice Phoebe Lou sings about getting sex, having sex and making booty calls for sex.

Her songs aren’t explicit per se but…I guess…sex positive. She released her fourth album, Child’s Play, with little fanfare at the end of 2021. Since then, Alice has released just one song, “Shelter,” earlier this month.

The tracks on Child’s Play are sweet, if feckless. Here is 2021’s “Care.”

Check out Alice’s entire collection at her website.

Even more bands from the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup

Okay we’ve profiled and listened to most but not all of the bands with Friday Kilby Block Party set times. God willing, and depending on the interest (share this with your friends!) I’ll offer similar rundowns for Saturday and Sunday, so keep checking back.

Here are the remaining Friday bands you’ll see at the Utah Fairgrounds on Friday, May 12: