Canyons

Last Thursday, one of the teams I work on had a team-building party type thing.

When they set up the potential dates (before they even decided what we were doing), my boss said she couldn’t make one of the days because she was playing a free show in downtown Salt Lake City during the lunch hour. But that turned into “we’re going to see Heidi’s band play and the company is providing lunch!”

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So many of my co-workers and I sat awkwardly in folding chairs and listened to Canyons (not The Canyons, Canyons Band, Canyons SLC or Canyons 801). And they were pretty good. They’re a little funky and a little country. They call themselves “assertive folk.” They actually reminded me of Ani DiFranco.

I was kind of unimpressed by Secily Saunders, the guitarist, although I’m not sure she was trying to impress me. Same with the drums.

Kenyatta Kennedy, however, was impressive. Sometimes. One of his basses had five strings and the other had six. I wasn’t always paying attention to him, but I made it a point to watch him work. And I’m not sure I would need more than four strings most of the time to do what he was doing. Not that I could always do what he did without a ton of practice, but the point is that he was another example of why I don’t understand why some people feel like they need more than four strings.

I’m not saying this because she’s my boss, but Heidi was a much better singer for their music than Secily. She would do better with ’90s alt rock or punk than Heidi, who doesn’t naturally seem to have much grit in her voice. Both are fine, they’re just different and suit different genres. Kenyatta also sang a little and sounded really good on the funkier stuff.

They did a decent cover of The BeatlesDon’t Let Me Down and a better-than-original-but-still-only-meh cover of Katy Perry‘s Dark Horse. The verses were just written poorly and I’m not sure there’s anything anyone can do to make them better aside from totally rewriting them.

Their best stuff was original and they played near the end. Although not in the order I would have put it. Their best song Heidi later referred to as Locked Out of Heaven. She also said she wasn’t sure the lyrics were appropriate for a work function, but I didn’t notice. It felt like it needed a sing-a-long or call-and-answer with the audience. The penultimate song had a little clap-a-long in the first half, but lost it in the second half. If you aren’t going to get up and dance, you need some other audience participation. Locked Out of Heaven could also use some brass, but maybe just in a studio recording.

Speaking of which, they have one EP on Spotify right now (theoretically they have another one for sale) titled Sometimes Late at Night. That Spotify band page also has an album from a screamo band and an EP from an electronic band, so you can ignore those. The only songs I recognized from that EP were Pages and January.

I’ll just wrap up by saying I’d see them again, but I might feel awkward since it’s my boss’ band and I don’t want to look like a suck-up. But I can recommend them to you.

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