BEST NEW BAND Minneapolis 2010 - Rogue Valley
Okay, they're not really new, per se, but God bless the artists' ability for reinvention. Chris Koza has spent the past half-decade establishing himself as one of the most well-versed and dexterous singer-songwriters in the Twin Cities. Now he's ditching the solo moniker for one that better expresses his foray into expansive and haunting folk-pop, rounding up a band of solid musicians (Peter Sieve, Luke Anderson, and Linnea Mohn), and diving headfirst into a yearlong writing and recording project that will see Rogue Valley releasing four full-length albums this year, one for each season. The scope of the project seems daunting for even the most prolific of songwriters, but the output so far has been worthy of the buildup. Named after a sparsely populated farming region in southern Oregon, Rogue Valley employ quiet moments the way some bands employ beats, which is to say that the space between the notes on the band's stunning debut are just as important as the notes themselves, each of which are delicately arranged amid lush harmonies, subtly brushed snare beats, and lines of scenic poetry. And they are only just beginning.