“Hot new band” and “Provo,Utah” are probably two things that rarely fall into the same sentence. Unless you’re talking about The Moth & The Flame who actually do hail from Provo, Utah and did just released a buzz-worthy first album.
Brandon Robbins and Mark Garbett came together to begin writing music as The Moth & the Flame after having been members of another band together. They performed live for the first time as a fill in act for another band and it was at that fateful show they garnered the attention of Nate Pyfer, another local musician who was impressed enough to offer to produce Robbin and Garbett’s first album. And so, The Moth & The Flame began what would become a year’s work with Pyfer on their self-titled first album which was released 11.11.11.
Hearing “How We Woke Up” on Soundcloud serves as a teaser for the potential of rest of the album. The band has a unique and smooth take on a brand of atmospheric pop that has the ability to pull the listener in. The Moth and the Flame make music that wraps around you. It draws you down with a smooth arm and holds you underwater where you discover you can breathe just fine after all. Atmospheric but never boring, the band manages to really take firm hold of their sound and use it as a brush on a canvas they themselves have woven.
Their Facebook page cites multiple influences and one can hear bits of these (Vampire Weekend, Coldplay, Muse) in the music they’ve posted so far. It’s intriguing and interesting and lush. Their live act has garnered enough of a following that when they announced their record released the band booked and sold out not one but two successive record release shows. And they’ve attracted some great assistance for the release, Scott Wiley (Neon Trees) engineered the album and Mike Rosekelly (Kaskade) mixed it.
Even without the name dropping, this band is worth checking out. The album is available as a hard press CD only at this time; A bold move for a new band and an interesting one. Mark tells me that they are a highly visual band and designed a concept around the album to include cover/packaging art work and even an “installation of anthropomorphic giants” up to 20 feet tall to promote the album. These giants were displayed prominently in their native Provo then removed from their installation and moved to the venue for their record release shows. Check out a couple of pictures of their creations below.
Because of the strong attachment to the art and the concept of the album, they’ve chosen to offer only the hard copy of the CD for now. In this day of instant gratification, fast downloads and disposable (and often nonexistent) packaging, it’s refreshing to see a band take such interest and pride in how they are presenting themselves. And what’s more…judging from the work I’ve heard so far, buying the CD isn’t a risk but a reward.
Can’t wait to hear more from these guys. Who knew what they were growing out there in Utah?