Sean Tillmann's Har Mar Superstar has long retained a rabid fanbase eager to see his on-stage schtick: stripping down to his undies accompanied by retro beats from his MiniDisc player. In the past several years, Har Mar's profile has continued to rise, especially with the support of well-regarded musicians and actors. Now he's pulling a 180 and going the funk and soul direction for his best album yet.
Taj Raj are changing their tune. Formed out of a hardcore punk background, their debut "Your Thief" was a rocking affair. But now they're going the alt-country route for new EP "Fine Hearts Alive." Their first release since 2011 sees added instrumentation, lush arrangements and an affinity for soundscapes.
When Enemy Planes comes up in conversation, the same thing is always said: "What happened to Pictures Of Then?" That band essentially disappeared as Enemy Planes came into existence, leading many to think that they had split up. In reality, they're still together, but Enemy Planes explores a new direction, one that's heavily atmospheric, moody and laden with their most complex instrumentation yet.
South Minneapolis rapper Greg Grease knew he had to get his debut album "Cornbread, Pearl and G" out to the masses before the end of 2012. If anything, it would be a good holiday gift to family and friends. What he didn't know was that the record would end up making just about every best album list from local critics.
Crimes' first album "Good Hope" was a sleeper success. Released to little reception initially, the band gradually came to forefront of the Twin Cities music community and gained praise for their interesting mix of lo-fi rock and slight sense of depraved lyrics.
It's time for us to welcome On An On to the Minnesota music community. But they aren't total strangers: Nate Eiesland and Alissa Ricci both grew up in the state before joining forces with Ryne Estwing and several others in the popular Chicago band Scattered Trees. After the act suddenly disbanded, Eiesland, Ricci and Estwing started On An On, changed their musical direction and partly uprooted themselves back to Minneapolis.
At 25, Lucy Michelle has firmly established herself in the Twin Cities music community as a distinct voice. She's collaborated with countless artists and released four albums with her full band The Lapelles. But the time has come for her to branch out on her own, and she's got the help of two of Minnesota's most respected musicians.
Formed out of a personal tragedy, The Ericksons united sisters Bethany and Jenny with a relocation to Brooklyn. With that move, they played music every night together, finessing a brand of melancholic folk that often provides warmth when you least expect it.
Frankie Lee may not be a familiar name to casual local music lovers, but his face sure is. For years, he has played with countless artists in the Twin Cities, most notably supporting Molly Maher, Erik Koskinen and Tom O'Reagan as a guitarist and bassist. Now Lee has stepped into the spotlight with his debut EP "Middle West."
Peter Wolf Crier reignited the modern surge of Minnesota bands signing to indie labels. Back in 2010, their debut "Inter-Be" took the community by surprise, and Peter Pisano and Brian Moen were promptly scooped up by Jagjaguwar Records for a re-release.
It takes a long time for any band to leave a substantial mark on the music world, and for Minnesota, there's only a handful of artists for each decade that we can say measure up. It's safe to assume we can now add Low to that list as the band celebrates 20 years together, as well as the release of their most acclaimed album yet "The Invisible Way."
It's been three years since Gospel Gossip released their "Drift EP," but now the trio is back with a self-titled album that truly is a labor of love. A brief hiatus and a long recording process has given the Northfield-born band time to refocus and finesse their sound.
Kevin Parker and Jay "Gumby" Watson of Australian neo-psychedelic masters Tame Impala stopped by the studio to chat with David Campbell during Radio Free Current and take over our airwaves to play a handful of their favorite tunes on another edition of Theft of the Dial.
When it comes to loud bands, it's difficult to out-do STNNNG. For 10 years, this local quintet has released some of the most acclaimed Minnesota albums and consistently challenged the strength of venues' sound systems across town.
Sometimes Duluth feels very far away. Unless bands from the area are playing regularly in the Twin Cities, it's typical for some of the brightest acts from the North Shore to get overlooked. Last year, we got a ton of tips regarding musicians producing incredible work just a few hours from The Current's home-base. One of the bands we heard most often was Southwire, and we have a feeling that Minnesota is going to be talking a lot about them this year.