This week, two of Minnesota's longest-running indie acts have shared songs from upcoming September albums, recorded in two of the Midwest's most famous recording studios.
First up: Duluth's venerable heroes Low have shared “What Part Of Me,” the second song from the upcoming Sub Pop album Ones and Sixes. Co-produced by BJ Burton at Justin Vernon's April Base Studios in Eau Claire, the song is everything you'd expect from a new Low release: haunting vocal melodies mixed with minimal arrangements and just a dash of melancholy. On recording the album, Low's Alan Sparhawk was typically enigmatic: “I’m not going to tell you what this record is about because I have too much respect for that moment when you come to know it for yourself," he says in a press release. "Working two or three days at a time, we don’t have the time or money to second-guess or pick from a pool of possibilities. This is the whole thought — the untamed truth.” Ones and Sixes comes out on September 11.
Next: Motion City Soundtrack might be relative youngsters compared with Low's 22 year history, but they're celebrating 13 years on Epitaph records with the release of Panic Stations, their sixth studio album. The first release, “Lose Control,” is a fuzz-laden bit of power-pop that evokes early Weezer, built around a simple guitar riff, catchy “whoa-whoa” chorus, and layered with keyboards and distorted drum beats. The song, and album, was recorded with noted producer John Angelo (Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth) at Cannon Falls' Seedy Underbelly North (previously known as the location of the legendary Pachyderm Studios, where Nirvana recorded In Utero). Panic Stations comes out on September 18.Also: The pop-rocking pups of Hippo Campus — fresh off Lollapalooza, where they joined Bully as the only Minnesota-connected acts — recently debuted new song "South." The Hippos will hit Loring Park for Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival on August 22; their new EP, South, is due October 2.