BYU musicians take Indie Fest stage

Muninn plays at the Provo Indie Fest on Jan. 19. (Joe Carson)

Muninn and Hbd, two BYU groups that participated at the Indie Fest in Provo, are newcomers to the Utah indie scene. They’ve both performed at a few events recently and are working to get their names known through music videos, song releases and live events like Indie Fest.

Joseph Carson and Josh Bird formed Muninn in September 2018. In Carson’s words, the band’s music is “a little bit of techno, a little bit of rock and roll and a lot of funk.” Carson studies broadcast media in the communications program, and Bird studies supply chain management at the LDS Business College. 

“People have compared us to MGMT and Cage the Elephant, but that may just be wishful thinking,” Carson joked.

Bird and Carson decided to form Muninn because they shared their love of music while serving missions together for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan. At one point, Carson asked, “What if we started a band when we got back?” and that’s what happened.

Joseph Carson, left, and Josh Bird, right, pose during one of their band’s gigs. (Joseph Carson)

“Playing live music in front of people is the most fun thing we’ve ever done,” Carson said. “It’s such a blast. Even though it’s hard to be a student and working, we knew it had to be a part of our lives again.”

Carson said Provo is friendly to bands hoping to break into the music scene.

“Most Provo venues are really open to new bands,” Carson said. “If you get in contact via Instagram DM or calling them up, they’ll give you a spot. That is how you connect with venue owners and get things going.” 

In the words of Nike, Carson said people have to “just do it.”

“Don’t do it because you want to get big. Do it because you enjoy music and want to do it in front of people,” Carson said.

The band Hbd is the brainchild of senior advertising student Lily Bridgewater. The name means “Happy Birthday.”

Lily Bridgewater is the lead singer of Hbd and a senior in the BYU advertising program.(Lily Bridgewater)

I love my birthday. I love birthdays, and I think they’re the best thing in the whole entire world. I wanted to make music that makes people feel celebrated,” Bridgewater said.

Bridgewater describes her music as synth-pop. She said she wanted to start a group because of her love for music.

“I love music,” Bridgewater said. “It’s been the dream forever to make music. It’s little pieces of my heart and soul that are sent out into the universe, and it’s so cool to have people respond to it.”

According to Bridgewater, the band’s goal this year is to play a show every month, but nothing is officially booked yet.

Bridgewater said starting a band was worth it for her because she gets to live her dream every day. She said it takes some work to balance everything, but it’s not impossible.

“There’s no reason why you can’t do it,” Bridgewater said. “Start writing. Start creating. Don’t get in the way of yourself. It can be scary to get involved in things you care so much about, but you just have to do it.”

Jensen Sharp
Hbd serenades the crowd at Indie Fest. (Jensen Sharp)
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