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Alessandra DeAgostini

Local band The Solarists making waves with danceable indie rock

By Spencer Sutherland, KSL.com Contributor  |  Posted Jun 19th, 2017 @ 3:06pm


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Editor's note: KSL.com does a weekly feature on local musicians/bands in the community. If you have an up-and-coming band/musician in mind, feel free to email your submission to fjolley@ksl.com. Please include a contact email for the artist, if available.

PROVO — Over the past few years, Provo has been churning out great bands, and The Solarists are determined to keep the streak going.

Much like Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons, The Solarists have a knack for mixing weighty composition with danceable hooks. The band’s debut EP Strange Love has been racking up hundreds of thousands of plays on Spotify and the group’s live show has started grabbing attention.

The Solarists officially formed in 2015, with Clint Purser (lead vocals, bass, saxophone), Nate Wall (lead guitar, vocals), Kaua Sproat (rhythm guitar, vocals) and Justin Dunkley (drums), but its origins date back to 2007, when Dunkley and Wall started jamming together in junior high school.

Over the past two years, the band has become a staple in the Provo music scene and has even shared festival stages with the Cold War Kids and JR JR.

“The scene is really great here, everyone is super supportive of each other,” Purser said of Provo. “We know lots of bands that are doing really great things.”

Though the band is firmly rooted in danceable indie rock in the vein of Young the Giant, Walk the Moon and Hippo Campus, The Solarists are not afraid to pull from heavier influences — especially Wall, who infuses heavy riffage into the band’s sound.

“Nate loves Tool and Led Zeppelin. He grew up listening to that stuff,” Purser said.

But Wall is not the only one whose fingerprints — or reed work — find their way onto the recordings. On occasion, Purser, who began college as a jazz studies major, throws in the most polarizing of rock instruments, the saxophone.

“We love to include sax as much as possible, and it's easy because we have an in-house player,” he said. “We are working on making it fit our vibe. We'd love to have really distorted saxophone, or sax with lots of cool effects on it in the future, kinda like St. Vincent on her track Marrow."

However, the band’s newest track, “Dream Girl,” leaves the saxophone on the sidelines as it heads straight for the dance floor. Though the song is an instant party starter, it’s not necessarily representative of where the band is heading sonically.

“We like how dance-inducing ‘Dream Girl’ is — the way a crowd can relate to it and immediately start moving,” Purser said. “It's crazy when a room full of 300 people are jumping along to the music we wrote, but the song is a little too simple musically. We are trying to find a place where our music is relatable but still complex enough to be enjoyed thoroughly. But we like the overall direction.”

Right now, the band said it is musically heading in the direction of its new EP and are giving fans a sneak peek in the form of free downloads on its website.

“The best way to hear more about what we’re doing is on our Facebook or Instagram pages," Purser said. "And the best way to support us is to join our email list, which means we will send you some free, unreleased music.”

Fans can also support The Solarists in person. The band has upcoming shows on June 23 and July 21 at Velour in Provo.


Spencer Sutherland

About the Author: Spencer Sutherland

Spencer Sutherland has been writing about music for various Utah publications for more than a decade. He is also the author of the forthcoming graphic novel Worst. Missionary. Ever. Email him at spencersutherland@gmail.com.

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