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Harper's Jar - "home is a roach motel" | Premiere

Noted cow band Harper's Jar has been one of the Twin Cities' most revered and most mysterious bands of the last few years. Despite all the (deserved) attention, they still haven't released a full-length record. That is about to change.

Today, we're happy to (sort of) premiere the second single off the debut record from Harper's Jar. "home is a roach motel" keeps things mostly within their wheelhouse, but fortunately, that is one of the best wheelhouses known to man. In an interview with Radio K, the band said that this song is the one that they're most proud of, and it shows. While the overall palette may be similar, it subtly reinvents the expectations fans/listeners may have built up over years of relentless gig-attendance. It lives up to the more colorful, more flavorful sonic universe the band promised. This sounds like a song that will inspire the next generation of DIY punks to start their own bands and flourish in their own realms of noise. List…
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Thank You, I'm Sorry - "How Many Slugs Can We Throw Against the Wall Until We Question Our Own Mortality" | Sunday Single

Every once and a while, we extend our "local music" coverage to include bands elsewhere in the Midwest when they have a strong connection to our lil' scene here. Usually, this just means it's a Wisconsin or Chicago band signed to a MN label; in this case, it's Thank You, I'm Sorry.

Until recently, TYIS was the solo project of Chicago singer/songwriter Colleen Dow. They wrote an EP of acoustic demos, the malta house demos, and released it online in March of 2019. It was really great. Now, to kick off 2020, they are releasing a re-recorded version of these demos, simply re-titled to The Malta House.

Titled after the tiny Illinois town that Dow lived in while writing these songs, the EP is a hauntingly beautiful look inward at the struggles of mental illness and functioning in an inherently flawed society. If the EP's lead single, a re-done version of "How Many Slugs Can We Throw Against the Wall Until We Question Our Own Mortality," is anything t…

Zaq Baker - "Down For Whatever" | New Music

Zaq Baker is getting ahead of the curve. He's released "Down For Whatever," his newest melancholic ballad, in the middle of January instead of July, when I can guarantee that it will soundtrack a montage in a summer romance movie. Or something like that.

Baker's songwriting emphasizes the timelessness of love. "Down For Whatever" was specifically crafted to represent the feelings of a youthful affection, but it functions outside of the concept of age — it could just as easily have been inspired by characters born in any decade. The arrangement is instrumentally spare, laying bare the dual vocals of Baker and Lydia Pelletier. It lends itself to the song's story, giving voice to both of the young lovers.

Fans of exceptionally genuine piano-rock have much to be excited for, as "Down For Whatever" is the first of a trio of videos teasing towards the spring release of Baker's sophomore record, Good Kid Manic Summer. See? It sounds like the title …

Fox Theory - "New Beginning" | New Music

(Cover art by Micha Rose)
Sometimes bands reinvent their sound from album to album. Maybe after a few years on, after an album or some EPs. Fox Theory operate on an entirely different level.

After only one release, last December's River Kids EP, Fox Theory have pivoted from off-kilter indie to a more emo-oriented sound. On the surface, it seems like a twinklier, riff-driven version of the sounds they had been playing with. Everything has been sonically upgraded, giving the trio a much more robust sound. Gone are the synth-parts of yore.

On a deeper level, the song goes further into a very specific feeling that far too many newer DIY bands have been through. It would be a fair guess that the titular new beginning refers to the fact that, well, it's a new year/decade. But, it's far more anxious than that. Guitarist/vocalist Jack Daily details a reluctance to step into something new — in this case, the local house show scene. By referencing the unsettling Alan Resnick classic &q…

Team Killer, Tommy Touchdown, Con Davison, & Double Grave | LMR

Team Killer - "Morn" & "Woops" (self-released)

Sometimes, I'm frustrated with bands. I see them rip a sick gig, or hear glowing recommendations from other bands, but I have no way to enjoy their music outside of shows. It's selfish, I know. I just really want to be able listen at any given moment. Team Killer were one of those bands. The quartet built up some healthy DIY buzz over the last year or so and finally they're releasing their first recorded music. It was worth the wait (shout out to NATL PARK SRVC for turning me onto them).

The first of two new songs, "Morn," is a surprisingly tuneful piece of foggy rock. It sounds like a shoegaze version of the Strokes filtered through a reverb pedal. "Morn" is also better than virtually anything the Strokes has done in a decade, so jot that down. Nothing is quite clear - vocals, synth, and guitars all wash in and out of focus. However, Colby Boek's drums pound throughout with the fo…