Best Rock Band
Strange Relations' brilliant debut LP, -CENTRISM, stood boldly apart from the rest of the Twin Cities rock scene, with an artful blend of post-punk adventurousness, heartfelt anthems, and lo-fi charms. The studied, assured batch of songs — along with an equally potent live show — delivered a welcome jolt to the scene, as well as serving notice that the creative stakes have been raised. The trio — composed of drummer/vocalist Casey Sowa, bassist/synths Marisa Helgeson, and guitarist Nate Hart-Anderson — has crafted a taut set of unguarded, minimalist jams that resonate emotionally, physically, and cerebrally with the listener. They also manage to deftly switch up the tone, tempo, and style from one song to the next while still managing to sound cohesive. -CENTRISM showcases Strange Relations' wide-ranging talents and their ability to challenge themselves musically, leaving fans of the inventive band anxious to hear what's next.