On "Dreams," the opening track of the Twilight Hours' latest album, Stereo Night (it's hard to call it a "debut" when the members have been Minneapolis mainstays for decades), Matt Wilson sings that his dreams are killing him, his aspirations strangling his satisfaction with everyday life. It's a tune grounded in reality; Wilson and bandmate John Munson were key players in some of Minneapolis's more high-profile exports (Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic among them), and years spent in the clutches of major-label bosses and their sales expectations can make for soul-crushing letdowns. So when the pair formed a new alt-pop project that specialized in deliberate, lush songcraft, they were making music on their own terms, initially declining shows and keeping their new material to themselves. But the secret couldn't be kept for long, and the Twilight Hours have recently been inching back toward the stage lights and the studio amid praise from fans, the low-key beauty that forms the foundation of their best songs now back where it belongs—on full display.
Wed., Dec. 22, 7 p.m., 2010