Local band VanLadyLove finds success with pop-folk sound

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Opening for a well-known band changed these performers from solo artists into a band of their own.

VanLadyLove got its start posting song covers on YouTube but eventually morphed into a band creating original music. (Photo courtesy Katherine Loveless)

The formation of VanLadyLove was not planned, but after opening for Parachute, these local artists decided to combine their talents to form a new band.

According to VanLadyLove’s website, “If you ask VanLadyLove front man, Travis Van Hoff, what a touring musician needs, he’ll tell you, ‘a van, a good lady and a little love.'”

Van Hoff first picked up the guitar when he was 15-years-old and started writing music shortly after. He recorded his first album when he was 18.

“I was 16-years old when I decided that this is really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Van Hoff said.

The group first started when a couple of friends got together to record and post song covers on YouTube. They focused on turning  upbeat popular songs into something with more of a folk-like sound.

“Our first show was when we opened for Parachute up in Salt Lake,” Van Hoff said. “That’s kind of when we realized that this was actually going to become a band. At that moment, we decided to really start pulling things together and getting permanent members of the band so we could start playing shows and promoting VanLadyLove.”

Since that first show, VanLadyLove has opened for artists such as Dave Barnes and We Shot the Moon; they’ve also played Sundance. The band now has five permanent members.

Chris White, the band’s drummer, said there wasn’t a clear genre at the formation of the band.

“We’ve kind of evolved our sound over the last year since we became a band,” White said. “It started out doing folky covers of pop songs like Katy Perry or Maroon 5, but about mid-summer we decided to start writing our own music. That’s when we really started figuring out what our genre was.”

Sam Schultz, the owner of popular restaurant Sammy’s, described the band’s sound as pop-folk.

“They are starting to write some really unique music,” Schultz said. “People are catching on to that. It’s a style of music that you have to get used to and then you start falling in love.”

Schultz knew the members of the band as solo artists. He hosts local bands and performers at his restaurants. VanLadyLove has performed multiple times at all three Sammy’s locations.

“I think it’s a good time for them,” Schultz said. “If they can keep that folky sound with a pop twist, the future will be awesome for them.”

The band is currently recording their first full-length album that they expect to release in the spring of this year.

VanLadyLove is perfoming two shows in Park City on Friday, Jan. 25.

The band will also open for Tyrone Wells on Mar. 7 at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo.

For more information, visit VanLadyLove’s Website.

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