Backseat Lovers celebrate album release with a Saturday night show at Velour in Provo
By: Ty Bianucci
One of Utah’s hottest bands, The Backseat Lovers, will perform at Velour in Provo on Saturday, January 26 in front of a sold-out crowd to celebrate the release of their first full-length album When We Were Friends.
Opening for the Lovers is another trending name in the Utah music scene—Sammy Brue and the Grinders. Blue Rainboots will then hit the stage before the headliners make what will be their fifth appearance at the venue since the band’s conception less than a year ago. In June, they won Velour’s Battle of the Bands—just a year after front man Josh Harmon and guitarist Jonas Swanson met each other waiting in line for the music hall’s open mic night.
Doors open for the concert at 8 p.m. while the new record will be released officially at 10 p.m., at which time it will be available on all major streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music. Copies of the CD, along with t-shirts and stickers, will be on sale at the event as well through the band’s merchandise company Shaggy Badger.
Last summer saw The Backseat Lovers pick up steam after every show they played. They released a five-song EP titled Elevator Days in June, but wasted no time laying down the tracks for their new record. They recorded at Pale Horse Sound in Sugarhouse—the project that ultimately became When We Were Friends. By October they began releasing singles from the new self-produced record. In late January, the first single from the new album, “Maple Syrup,” had over 130 thousand listens on Spotify alone, peeking a glimpse into the band’s potential.
After spending the summer building a following in Utah County, Swanson borrowed his dad’s work van in November and the Lovers hit the road for their first gig out of the state of Utah. Hoping to build on the momentum they had gained, they played The Basement in Rexburg, Idaho, which is nestled underneath a cookie shop in the college town. Too cold to sleep in the van, the four bandmates slept in the green room of the venue, gaining valuable lessons in life of The Road.
The four-hour drive to Rexburg will mark the beginning for The Backseat Lovers, who have big plans for the new year and beyond. They are currently in talks with festivals and other club owners to put together a tour. So far, they have five gigs lined up from Provo to Logan and two shows in Southern California to round out the winter. They have the itch to get as many out-of-state gigs as they can. The Lovers’ drummer, who goes by Juice says the band is ready to “break out.” Harmon nods and admits the group does not want to be pegged a Provo band that calls Velour home base.
Harmon, whose dream was to play Velour and Kilby Court, has now set his sights on a much bigger dream—playing Red Rock Amphitheater within two years. Maybe the band will open a show at the iconic venue, Harmon jokes when he realizes he might sound crazy.
Nothing is out of sight for the Lovers, though, who have witnessed an almost frenzied level of support for a band looking to get their break. Three of the four just graduated high school last year, which speaks to the modest bright-eyed enthusiasm they employ. It starts with the ambitious lead singer Harmon, who at 19, asserts the confidence and charisma of someone who has been there and done that. Swanson, the one churning out riffs, is 18, bassist Ethan Christ is 19 and drummer “Juice” Welch is the elder statesman at 22 years old.
The Backseat Lovers are young, talented and have shown an innate ability to captivate a crowd. Saturday night will be the next big stride in their forage for rock relevance.
The full tracklist for The Backseat Lovers’ When We Were Friends
- “Watch Your Mouth”
- “Pool House”
- “Kilby Girl”
- “Davy Crochet”
- “Maple Syrup”
- “Sinking Ship”
Here is the band’s tentative tour schedule for the winter:
February 2 — Provo, UT @ Bill’s Warehouse
February 15 — Pomona, CA @ The Fox Theater Pomona
February 17 — Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
February 22 — Provo, UT @ BYU (charity event, details TBH)
March 15 — Provo, UT @ The Rad Shack
March 16 — Logan, UT @ Whysound