Photo by Lucy Blackmur
The Backseat Lovers begin to play their Omeara show amongst whoops and cheers from a crowd that is packed wall to wall. From the middle of this bar-venue hybrid you can feel the explosion of energy from the crowd as they instantly recognise the opening riff to the first song of the set, joining frontman Joshua Harmon in singing the lyrics. This set the tone for the rest of the night, where the audience joined in so enthusiastically that the gig almost felt like a collaboration between the band and their fans. Hecklers declaring their love and attraction to the members were met with laughter from everyone, and a highlight of the night came when they brought a fan onstage to play guitar for the entirety of ‘Out of Tune’, much to the delight of the audience. The Backseat Lovers present themselves as a typical indie band, but this is underpinned by a sense of genuineness, real love for music and appreciation of their fans. It makes them a joy to watch, as their happiness at following their passion becomes infectious, especially when it’s reflected by an equally passionate audience.
The four-piece originating from Utah are made up of Joshua Harmon, Juice Welch, Jonas Swanson and KJ Ward. They released their first single in 2018 and have been growing a fanbase ever since, with their first album When We Were Friends coming out in 2019. Their latest release, ‘Slowing Down’, was met with just as much love from the crowd as any of their older work, showing the consistent quality of their discography.
Although the gig followed many of the traditions of indie music, and just of concerts in general, a pleasant surprise came when they decided to play their crown jewel song ‘Kilby Girl’ in the middle of the setlist. Bucking the tradition of playing your most popular song as an encore felt like a nice touch in keeping the gig feeling fresh, and creating a sense of subversion for the ready-made concert formula. The fairly consistent energy levels seemed to rise even higher after the band’s most recognisable song rang out through the crowd, further invigorating fans that were all on their feet already.
The Backseat Lovers really come across as ones to watch out for in the music industry, in a time when more traditional indie bands seem to be on the out. They provide a breath of fresh air, with an optimistic attitude matching that of their music.
Edited by Talia Andrea, Music Editor