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Showing posts from October, 2019

Stone Arch Isles - "$10 Day" | New Music

One of my first favorite local bands, Stone Arch Isles, is back, and set to completely screw up my year-end lists. Today, the folk rock sextet released "$10 Day," the first single from their forthcoming double EP.

"$10 Day" sets itself apart from anything the band has put out within the first second. Virtually every prior song has started quietly, favoring a more gradual approach to sonic beauty, harmonies and rhythms bleeding in until they make an impressionistic water-color landscape. Now, they're working with a much more groove-oriented sound. A simple guitar lick bursts in immediately and settles into a shoulder-bobbing beat.

Settling in quickly, "$10 Day" proceeds mostly as one would expect. Different melodic lines shift in and out of focus, like the shimmering of the sun's reflection. However, there's a slight darkness that reveals itself. There are several times throughout where everything falls away and the lead vocal sinks into the now-…

Why Not - "Ding Dong" | New Music & Interview

Ah, youth. What a restless time. At the ripe old age of 22, I can cast my mind back to when staying in place felt like a crime. It sort of sucked? The difference between that period of time and the new single from Why Not is that "Ding Dong" absolutely doesn't suck. The opposite, in fact, is true — it totally rules.
The recently-christened "post-indie" trio makes another dramatic sonic shift with their latest song, produced by Caleb Hinz of Normal Parents. If the rampant experimentation of EPwas the sound of the band stretching themselves in as many directions as possible (to quite satisfying results, I might add), this is a culmination. All the threads are tied together, unified in a pursuit of a new direction. Pop and art are fused. Insert more pretension here. Suffice to say, it slaps.
Henry Breen's lyrics have always toed the line between function and surrealism, with the exception of "Ready 4 the World," a song that is about climate change. On …

Black Tiger Bay - "Clarity" | New Music

Ah, the 90s. What a wonderful time. I'm gonna pretend like I remember them for the sake of the article Boy they sure were great! I'm not entirely sure if Cole Hooey remembers them, but he's got the music of the 90s in his bones.
Hooey is the sole member of Black Tiger Bay, a recently-launched project in the area. "Clarity," its debut single, is a slice of Weezer-worshipping guitar pop. Chugging guitar chords match excellently with Hooey's simple melodies. Even if 25 years have passed since the Blue Album, it's still great to hear a pop song disguised as an indie song.

"Clarity" is the first single from Black Tiger Bay's forthcoming album January Fire. Stream the song below.

Colin Bracewell - "Fruit of Another You" | New Music

It's ambitious to wait ten months between singles. There's a risk that you sink back beneath the waves of public consciousness after a month or so of attention. Colin Bracewell has deftly avoided this by playing shows around the area (primarily in his native Stillwater) and, more importantly, by putting out great songs.

Bracewell's latest single "Fruit of Another You" pays homage to the ideals of classic songwriting. He strips back and lets the music speak for itself. All he needs is four chords and his voice to captivate. Across the four-minute-and-twenty-second (nice) run-time, the melody plays tag with an alternating current of guitar. One moment, it thrums with electricity and gains momentum; the next, Bracewell's voice ascends to an unreachable place with an apologetic cry.

While January's "Little Secret" was simultaneously folky and soulful, "Fruit of Another You" is alive with the glory of direct emotion. There's no need for e…

Wax Lead - "Honey on the Moon" | New Music

Almost a year after releasing their gloriously ominous EP Husband, Lord, & Master,the goth quartet Wax Lead is back and has joined forces with their self-described "kindred spirits," the Washington D.C. based band Luna Honey for a split 7-inch.

With "Honey on the Moon," you are instantly transfixed as vocalist Holly Axelrod becomes engrossed with what's on the other side. With each repeat of the phrase "there's honey on the moon," Holly's tone shifts from curiosity to obsession. The hypnotic bassline of Cody Bourdot combines with Evan Blasing's drumming to push the group of crusaders forward through the song's vast and deary landscape.

In a statement from the band, Holly describes "Honey on the Moon" as an exploration into humanity's desire to take things that aren't our own. "We rarely have the time to be gracious and reflect on our natural world. This song brings in the comparison of extinguishing the 'Pr…

Ambient Endeavors, Betazoid, & The Nunnery | LMR

Ambient Endeavors - "Ogden" (self-released)

I've always had a sneaking suspicion that there were ambient artists in Minneapolis. Given the solitary, humble tendencies of the genre, it makes intuitive sense that they wouldn't be the most discoverable. I haven't done a ton of searching, so it's probably also on me. I was very pleasantly surprised when I came across Ambient Endeavors, the project of Minneapolis' Andrew Schibilla. The name gives it away, so I was immediately intrigued, but when I found references to Hammock and Explosions in the Sky on his Bandcamp, I was sold.

"Ogden" is Schibilla's latest dive into beautiful atmospherics. It hums with a sense of natural wonder, each moment more overwhelming than the last. Within the world of the song, there are no boundaries. Textures transfuse into an uplifting mixture of affirmation and awe as spectral piano chords peak out from the heavens. The Hammock influence is especially apparent - I can…

Loneliest Ways to Host House Venue Breaking Experience

House shows are one of the best blank canvasses that an underground artist can play with. They don't have to follow the typical conventions of a typical establishment venue, so shows are only limited by what the host can imagine and physically pull off.

Well, this Friday, the St. Paul-based punk quartet Loneliest Ways is planning on pushing the boundaries of what one can do with their upcoming self-described "house show breaking experience" - Loneliest Ways Presents Glitter Cannons.

"You think of house shows as being very laid back, or a social gathering where a band plays," Loneliest Ways bassist Dillon LaFolette-James told Ear Coffee. "We are putting more theatrics into it with costumes, smoke machines, and video presentations."

All of this pomp and circumstance comes as the band changes direction from punk to a something more psychedelic, a direction that both vocalist and guitarist Maddie Knorr and Dillon decided to go in the spring.

(photo credit: Ai…

Delilah Fang, Half Tramp, Lettering, ahem, & Miyha | LMR

Delilah Fang - "Impostor Syndrome" (self-released)

Delilah Fang describe themselves as a dream pop band. While many of the traditional elements of the genre are present in their sound, it's somewhat of a misnomer. Perhaps that's just a problem with my pre-conceived notions of what dream pop sounds like.

"Impostor Syndrome," one of two singles the band put out ahead of their EP Lonely Once Too, has too much momentum to be a hardcore dream pop song. I mean, yeah, there is reverb on the guitar and there are moments that one could describe as "washed out." Beyond that, it's a quirky, laid-back tune; to put it into two words, it's a jangly gem. 

I love songs that get swept away by the groove, and on "Impostor Syndrome," drummer Alyse Emanuel and bassist Lee Carter have incredible synergy. They never lose hold, even as the song splits in two toward the end. 

Somewhat ironically, my favorite part of the song is its most dream pop-like. The …

Lamp Noise - "Two Friends" & "Anamatic" | New Music

Over the last few years, the aloof musical mad scientist Brett Carey has come and gone quietly dropping experimental pop gems on listeners with each appearance. After spending some time away, Carey is back, joined by his wife Elise, with two new songs "Two Friends" and "Anamatic" for their new projectLamp Noise.

The first track, "Two Friends" builds on itself from a single guitar and vocal to a full-blown woozy symphony. It's expansive instrumentals allow for Brett and Elise's voices to twist around each other and grow until they are shouting. But, it's the single's b-side, "Anamatic," that really caught my attention. The track has this odd dichotomy between the lyrics and the song structure. The words tell a story about felling ill-defined - much like an animatic (a rough storyboard for a movie). The bones are there, but the details have yet to be filled in. All this set to a more traditional verse/chorus song structure, somethin…