Salt Lake City Band Cinders’ Latest Release Will Give You Something to Dance About


“Growing Up” (Courtesy of Cinders)

By Frank Gardner, Assistant Arts Editor


Salt Lake City indie-pop trio Cinders first came onto the scene with the release of their single “Last Year’s Winter” nearly six years ago, in 2015. Their latest song, “Growing Up,” is a perfect showcase of the band’s evolution and contagious, upbeat sound.

The Band

The men behind the music, Montana Smith (vocals/guitar), Adrian De La Cruz (bass) and Brad Bennett (drums) didn’t start off with quite the same sound we hear in “Growing Up.” Over the course of their two full albums “Cinders” (2016) and “Looking Forward to Looking Back” (2018), they’ve ebbed and flowed between vibrant pop and melodic indie anthems.

Although there are definite notes of influence from bands like Neon Trees, Grouplove, or Walk the Moon, Cinders retains unique energy and sound. It’s impossible to listen to their music without wanting to dance and some of their more existential lyrics keep you dialed in, relating to every word.

Cinders Band Members Montana Smith, Adrian De La Cruz, and Brad Bennett (Courtesy Tyler Soucy) | Photo by Aimee May Photography

The Music 

In some ways, Cinders echoes the sound of other notable bands that have come out of Utah, like Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees. It’s the same sound you might have jammed out to if you graduated high school in the last ten years. It’s a sound that has a place in the hearts of many who grew up here.

In addition to the warm reception their music has received from locals, Cinders’ influence extends far beyond the Wasatch Mountains. Over the past few years, they’ve played in venues all across the United States and have even done a few shows abroad. Their passion for music is clear in their live shows and their ability to energize crowds with their incredible performances.

Growing Up 

The accompanying music video for their latest release is an encapsulation of the message of the song: growing up is not what it’s cracked up to be. The video shares the story of a small teddy bear leaving behind his childhood to go to school, grow up and realize his responsibilities. He trades his red sweatband for a tie, mustache and glasses — taking a job plugging away in a cubicle. After a long day’s work, he sees some kids skateboarding, loosens his tie and joins them.

The song’s lyrics ring all too true for those of us who grew up listening to this kind of music, reminding us not to give in to the monotony of adulthood. The music in this single deviates slightly from Cinders’ older music and seems to mirror more closely the music of Twenty One Pilots, who the band says has inspired some of their music.

Salt Lake City is proud to have a band like Cinders that we can rock out and relate to. Their artistic progression has always left fans wanting more and “Growing Up” proves there is definitely more to come. The band plans to release another single, “Afternoon” next month which can be found — along with “Growing Up” and their full discography — on their website, Spotify, and Apple Music.