A new folk-pop duo has just entered the Salt Lake music scene, and one member, Libbie Linton, has a master's degree in biological engineering.
But, more important, when it comes to music, Linton is a singer-songwriter who plays guitar as well as ukulele, banjo, mandolin, keyboards and bass with Salt Lake City-raised Spencer Harrison.
Together, they are Mideau (pronounced "Mid-oh") and the first time most Utah audiences saw them together was when Linton and Harrison opened for prominent Utah County singer-songwriter Mindy Gledhill at Provo's Velour on Nov. 30. (As a solo artist, Linton opened for the Doobie Brothers at a 2010 Red Butte Garden concert.)
The two began a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to make their first album and raised $11,891 from 337 backers.
The new album, produced by Nate Pyfer, Linton's friend from Logan High School, will be released soon.
Harrison and Linton answered questions about goals, inspirations and what they would name Princess Kate's child:
How are you inspired?
We draw inspirations from everything. Science and discovery, literature and current events. All these things seem to show up in our work. At a macro level, we draw most inspiration from personal experiences, the people around us, nostalgia, and the progression from young and innocent to older and more complex.
What's the goal for your forthcoming album?
We would like this album to be a shock to people in a "why haven't I heard about this already?" kind of way. We've worked for it to be a strong, unique blend of music, and we certainly hope for it to reach ears far and wide.
What are your most memorable experiences in music?
Linton • In my backyard growing up, we had cut down a huge pine tree and laid sections of the stump upright. I remember as a 5-year-old leaping from one stump to the next while singing "Tonight You Belong to Me." I still sing that song at shows and think about my youth every time. That is especially strong when I have had the chance to play at large shows like at Red Butte Garden. My 5-year-old self would think that singing that song to thousands of people is awesome and terrifying.
Harrison • On a few choice occasions, I have been the music to sing people to calm and then sleep. It's not so much being the soundtrack to sleep I love, but the moments where my voice has been what allows someone to disconnect from whatever troubles them. At least enough to relax.
If you could list one or two things on a tour rider that must be backstage at a show, what would they be?
If we were being good and thinking ahead, some blend of lemon-citrus tea with licorice root, and if not, Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
What is the most musical thing in the world?
If you could perform one song for President Barack Obama, what would it be?
We'd sing whatever he wanted us to sing. Without a request, we'd play one of the songs off the new record so we could have a possible chance to brag to people that President Obama tapped his foot to a song we wrote.
What are your plans for 2013?
We want to keep pushing ourselves and working to create new songs and sounds in 2013. Releasing the record, and then supporting it with touring and content, is a big activity for 2013.
What would you name Princess Kate Middleton's child, and why?
Orange. It's unique, unrhymable, and apparently famous Brits have a thing for naming children after lunchbox fruit. Either that or Anne.
So, the world didn't end on Dec. 22. What are you most thankful for?
Family and friends who support and criticize. Who love enough to tear down and push to new heights. The experience of learning something fresh, seeing a new sight, joking about the way things are and hoping for the way things might be. And other forms of art that express the human experience, and help us cope with times when things are unstable, and conversely that become the backdrop to joyful memories. We'll also be thankful that the world didn't end before we got a chance to have people hear the new album.
Mideau with Polytype and Lake Island
When • Friday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m.
Where • Velour Live Music Gallery, 135 N. University Ave., Provo
Tickets • $8 at door
Also •To listen to Mideau, go to http://www.facebook.com/MideauMusic