Nine hours outside the industry hustle and bustle of Los Angeles lies an unlikely music hub: Provo, Utah. Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, The Used and Joshua James are among the bands that have called this place home. Now a new band has emerged from the town, excited to make their mark: VanLadyLove.
The band's name comes from the three things frontman Travis Van Hoff needs as a touring musician: A van, a good lady, and doing what he loves. His bandmates—Jordan Clark, Chris White, Caleb Loveless and Steele Saldutti—agree.
The band first came together after winning a contest to open for Parachute.
Clark had just graduated from The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona and was working for a studio in L.A. when Loveless reached out to him about getting a band together.
Loveless had recently met Van Hoff and thought he had a great voice for a frontman. They began writing songs and putting them on YouTube as an acoustic act but decided they needed to bring on more players.
"I called Travis," Loveless recalls. "And I said, 'I think we've got something here. You better move back to Utah.'"
They brought on White and Saldutti to round out the five-piece and set out to perform for a crowd of more than 1,000 people.
From there, the band recorded its first EP, Love Matter, which was released last February. The group's sound is a blend of folk-pop and electronic music with inspiration coming from the classics such as Led Zeppelin and The Beatles as well as Radiohead, Lights, Father John Misty and Justin Timberlake.
The record explores themes such as relationships, self-understanding and making art for the sake of art.
"Whenever we write lyrics, we just aim to get out the human element and find a way to express that," Clark says. "Because everyone can relate to those experiences."
One person in particular related to its songs: the star of TLC's Sister Wives, Kody Brown. He happened to be in the crowd at one of its shows in Vegas and came up to the band after the concert to talk about an opportunity he had on his show. A few months later, the band was filming a scene for the series.
The group appeared on the season finale of Sister Wives to play their hit "Neverland" at the Brown Family's Commitment Celebration. Six of their songs are also featured on the series.
Now that they've earned enough attention to be featured as a New Music Seminar Artist on the Verge, the band has come to a crossroads as it begins its first full-length album.
"We are trying to decide whether we want to go the indie or big label direction," Loveless explains. "We've been talking to a lot of entities, and we'll talk more when we get to New York for NMS."
"But the main thing for now is to have our doors open," he continued. "We're locked and loaded with material, the equipment and ability to tour, videos, everything. We are ready to go with whatever road we chose."
VanLadyLove will perform at 10:30 p.m. at Drom in New York City on June 9 as part of the New Music Seminars Artists on The Verge Series. Check out their music below!