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Marmalade, Rabeca, The Dead Century, & Abe Anderson | LMR

Marmalade - "Hollow Head" (self-released)

Ah, the elusive Bandcamp-exclusive release. An increasingly rare yet undying breed, usually reserved for niche reissues and mysterious European metal records. Or 2018's split between Marmalade and Climi. Technically, "Hollow Head" came out then as the second of Marmalade's two contributions to the split. But now it's on ~streaming services~ so why not give it some extra love? 

To use Roddie's choice phrase, the track is "tone city." Resplendent chords mesmerize the listener, helping them circle the drain of their own mind. It mirrors the questioning lyric, "I don't know / where it all goes." While your head is left reeling and emptied, you may lose track of where you're headed. Marmalade's gorgeous songwriting will be your lighthouse, bursting through the haze and leading you home.

It's unclear why Marmalade picked now to put "Hollow Head" up on streaming. It's certainly nice to have something new(ish) and easily accessible, other than their stellar self-titled 2018 EP. Rumor has it that the band might have some more new stuff coming rather soon. In the meantime, check out dates for the band's tour with bugsy next week.

(Art by David Munkvold)

Rabeca - "Butter" (self-released) 

It's been quite a while since we covered jazz on Ear Coffee, noted pro-jazz blog. That's due to a lack in awareness of local jazz/jazz-adjacent bands, not a lack of interest. Fortunately, Rabeca is here to give me an excuse to tell you that jazz is the only good genre (sorry punk/emo bands).

"Butter," the lead single for the Minneapolis quintet's debut album Potluck, was technically released at the end of last month, but since the album was announced yesterday, now is the perfect time to listen. The song matches the impending springtime — it's getting warmer, you're starting to feel slightly uplifted, the mere idea of spending time outdoors with friends gets you excited. Led by Colleen Cowie's guitar and Anna Dolde's charismatic sax playing, "Butter" waltzes rather than waver, dances rather than delays. The impeccable rhythm section remains stalwart as the track slinks into a slower groove during the second half.

If you want to feel okay about consuming a ton of butter, pick Rabeca instead of whatever this garbage is. Jazz for the soul, y'know? Potluck is out March 26, 2020. Listen to "Butter" below.

The Dead Century - "Realign" (self-released) 

This song was supposed to come out tomorrow. Here we are anyway. Thanks Distrokid!

"Little unsteady and little uptight." In one fell phrase, Nick Check captures the doomed insecurity faced by an entire generation. The first 2020 single from the Dead Century is an anxious anthem masked as a ridiculously catchy rock song. Check and co. delve into the crevice between self-made plans and the crushing weight of reality. Indifference is knocking at the door and Check desperately resists. I would say that this is an immediately relevant song (which it is) but it transcends timeframe in its stormy defiance of the mundane.

The full band is back in fantastic form on "Realign." Each member brings their absolute best. Listen below. If you're really into suffering, listen to my interview with the band from 2018 here (it's our second episode ever).

Abe Anderson - "Go Home" (self-released) 

Abe Anderson is the secret weapon of Twin Cities DIY. Between shredding on bass as a member of niiice. or quietly recording/producing for many of the scene's best bands, Anderson has also consistently released his own solo material. His 2019 EP Slacker was one of my favorite releases of the year and remains perennially underrated. "Go Home," his first single of 2020, continues to prove that he is one of the most talented musicians in in Minnesota.

While less immediate than something like Slacker's lead single "Somersault," "Go Home" is just as catchy. It sounds like Anderson's version of a woozy mid-00's indie song, though it's probably better than most of those. A sheen of reverb coats guitar and voice like a protective layer. As always, he gives the illusion of a full band with interlocking riffs and drums (and now synths!). Each part bleeds into each other to create a fascinatingly beautiful whole.

Listen to "Go Home" below. (Also listen to "Summer '17," my favorite Abe song (pls)).


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