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Harper's Jar - "Thank You Ancestor Finger" | Album Review

There is no way to describe the anticipation that built up before Harper's Jar released their debut record. The band had already left an incredible mark on the Twin Cities DIY/DIT community with the Paperhouse that could be felt everywhere. Almost every conversation about local music over the last few months has somehow pointed to Thank You Ancestor Finger. I was even invited to attend a show by another band on the bill just so I could see what they described as "one of the best bands in Minneapolis." That band, of course, was Harper's Jar. Like everyone else, I'd listened to Harper's Jar debut EP Ode to a Luna Moth and was instantly transfixed with the band's blend of brooding '80s alt-rock and the cutting side of '90s grunge. When the record's first single "Dandy Golden Blue" dropped last November, I was beyond excited to see what was to come next. 
With all that momentum behind them, the trio of Devin Ware, Alex Dunn, and Kyle Kenn…
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Fox Theory - "Mallory" | Sunday Single

(Cover art by Michaela Rose)
Fox Theory are back with their second single of 2020. Following the trend set by "New Beginning," "Mallory" is an exceptionally catchy emo-punk song with profundity hidden inside.

Most of the lyrics are the same, repeated constantly throughout the track. The invitation "Marry me, Mallory / every time I close my eyes" only grows in genuineness with each recurrence. It doesn't matter if it's an expression of romantic dedication or something more figurative. Over an ecstatic riff, Jack Daily never lets his voice match the musical intensity, instead remaining subdued as he offers devotion.

"Mallory" segues into a magnetic verse section about a minute in. Harris Worthman's drums go from driving to almost pummeling. However, the song remains at a gentle simmer. Daily mourns the melting snow and another "day of defeat." He switches the tone back to optimism with the aphorism "Life's about the lit…

Ear Coffee's Heavy Hitters | Winter 2020

As I spend more and more time inside due to what's going on outside, I've been finding that I've started to rely on that shot in the arm, a coffee with a little something extra added in, in order to get going. Since I rediscovered my love for heavy (dare I say extreme?) music over the last year or so, I thought it would be an ideal time to start up a column on metal, punk, and hardcore I've been wanting to write about for a while. Minnesota (and its immediate neighbors) churn out some amazing heavy music, so there's no reason not to check in every few months to talk about some of my favorites. There were a bunch of releases put out the tail end of last year that I hope to add to future editions, but for now, we'll stick to what was put out in 2020.
Former Worlds - Iterations of Time
Upon hearing the first single for Iterations of Time, I sent Wes a string of random descriptors before actually providing context that I was talking about the music of Former Worlds. …

Allergen - "Last Year" | New Music

(Cover by Téa McLawhorn)
One of the last objectively good things to happen before everything started collapsing as a result of a global pandemic was the release of Allergen's "Open Letter." The need has never been greater for new music. From the heavens descends "Last Year."

Gentle melancholy has been traded out for stumbling momentum. The song is swept along by the passing of time and plunging drums. Shannon Maroney's lyrics use the changing of the seasons to frame a portrait of continually attempted progress. The tug of war of self-improvement and seemingly inevitable failure feels lived-in yet remains evocative; similar sentiments are given different contexts to match each season (i.e. "It's fall / and I'm falling backwards"). "Last Year" also has one of the most devastating lines I've heard in recent memory — "While learning to swim, you can still drown."

Alongside the vividly emotional lyrics, the track bursts for…

The Get Together - "(Please Hold)" | Sunday Single

The Get Together is an exceptionally funky and fruit-loving project based in Minneapolis. They've been going the NATL PARK SRVC route and putting out a series of EPs over the last several months, starting with Lemon last year and Melon in early 2020, and continuing with the forthcoming Orange. I'm not entirely sure if new single "(Please Hold)" is an interim single or if it belongs to one of the EPs. However, I am certain that it's a smooth new jam from an exciting new band.

On "(Please Hold)", there is a pulsing beat around which everything else is orbiting. It starts with droning keys, expands with slick bass and drums, and reaches its full form with Ethan Huffington's detached vocals and cyclical lyrics. The use of phone sound effects on a pair of "hold music"-inspired interludes and throughout gives the track a conceptual edge and its title. One could sink into the resonant vibey energy that the quintet brings.

Listen to "(Please Ho…