It doesn’t have to be forever. It doesn’t have to be for long. But do yourself a favor and pop that bubble. If you’re a musician, this is even more crucial. As innovative and creative as the Twin Cities music scene is, there are folks all over the country doing things that will take years to find their way here.
I’m spending the week in Philadelphia, and while here, I discovered local rock band Restorations. Kind of a jaded post-punker’s answer to Bruce Springsteen, the band evokes the disaffected blue-collar melancholy of the city. When you spend most of your time listening to bands within your area code like I do, bands like this feel refreshing and replenishing. And I would’ve never found them if I’d stayed home.
Ben Noble – “Daughter” (PREMIERE)
Nothing gives perspective quite like the birth of a child. Minneapolis singer-songwriter Ben Noble has been changed since becoming a father, and the experience of raising his daughter Zadie has deepened his music dramatically. His new song “Daughter” is an ode to Zadie and her impact on his life. For the video, director Paul Hjellming follows Ben, his wife Bekah, and Zadie on a trip to the woods, capturing the awe the couple feels in their everyday life as parents. See Noble live with Ryan Lee Jones and Syvers at the Aster Cafe on February 21.
Little Lizard – “Rainforest Romp”
Low-fi brass band Little Lizard just released an LP of jazzy, offbeat instrumentals titled Premium Vanilla. For an inkling of its strange wonders, check out the video for “Rainforest Romp.” The song emerges from a jungly din of howler monkeys and bullfrogs, with the band adding a pulse of trumpet and programmed drums to the natural rhythms. Visual artist Juliet Jaeger turns the composition into a living collage, pasting in textbook images of jaguars and prehistoric beetles.
Niiice. – “Love Handlez”
There’s an optimism to a lot of the music that comes out of the Twin Cities and that’s fine. But we could really use some more angst, sarcasm, and fatalism. This week, Niiice reset the balance with their throaty new single “Love Handlez.” Though the Kerrigan Carr-directed video is a goofy good time, the through line of the song is vengeance and dissatisfaction. Both are key ingredients for a kickass post-punk song, and that’s precisely what “Love Handlez” is. The song is from Niiice.’s upcoming EP Never Better, due out on March 1.
Greta Ruth – “A World Perhaps”
You have to give it up for any musician who’s totally in control of her artistic vision. Folk singer-songwriter Greta Ruth not only wrote and performed the song “A World Perhaps” off her EP The Quiet While, she also wrote, produced, and directed the music video—and designed the set. The end product is enchanted, with Ruth’s quiet, careful vocals echoing through a homey, candlelit scene. She’ll look to repeat the feat when she performs at Moto-i on March 27 and the Dunn Bros on Grand Ave. in St. Paul the next night.
Grayshot – “Ordinary Love” (lyric video)
Together with drummer Reese Kling, brothers Christian and Aaron Ankrum are the powerful, anthemic indie-pop band Grayshot. The group just released their new record Surface, and the response has been so positive that they felt the need to express their love for their supporters. The new lyric video for album single “Ordinary Love” is “a Valentine to fans,” unfolding like a note passed to listeners from the giggling band in the back of the class. If you’d like to reciprocate the affection, go see Grayshot at the Big Turn Music Festival in Red Wing on February 23 or at Surface’s release show at the Hook & Ladder on March 1.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]