“What is Minneapolis music like?”
This weekend I had a trio of 25-year-old EDM musicians from Philadelphia staying with me who were in town to play the Earth Rhythms fest in Waubun, and this was the question they asked me. It was hard to answer. My first instinct was to talk about Prince, but that’s really Minneapolis music history. My next instinct was to try and explain backpack rap, but even that’s more of a legacy than a reality now.
In the end, I didn’t give a full answer. I got up off the couch, and I spun a few records. Caroline Smith’s Half About Being a Woman. Bad Bad Hats’ Psychic Reader. Astronautalis’ Cut the Body Loose. I’m not sure if it answered their question, but how else can you describe something so fluid and mighty?
Lena Elizabeth – “Loaded Gun”
Minneapolis singer-songwriter Lena Elizabeth has a weapon tucked in her throat. Her dusty voice is a pistol all its own, and its ballistic power is on full display in the new video for “Loaded Gun.” Shot in-studio by Laurel Goulson, the video takes you deep within Elizabeth’s soul. If you like this peek into the songwriter’s creative process, head to Icehouse on Thursday for the release of her next video, “Nobody Wants You,” which also comes from Elizabeth’s 2018 debut, Get It Right.
Christopher Michael Jensen – “Again and Again”
You don’t get to be the host of Fifth Element’s freestyle open mic without some serious credentials to your name. Christopher Michael Jensen has been working in the local scene longer than most of his peers have been alive, and the stalwart rapper is here to remind everyone of that on the new song “Again and Again.” Filmed all over the Twin Cities—from the Walker to Fifth Element to his shoe closet—the video encompasses CMJ’s territory. “Again and Again” is from Jensen’s upcoming EP Joy, Void, Destroy, due out at the end of the month. Pay your respects at Day Block Brewing on June 28.
Twin Lakes – “Sun Always Rises”
Imagine being chucked in a trunk by a criminal in a baby mask. Imagine being duct-taped to a chair and taunted by a leathery seductress. It’s enough to drive you mad, and the new video for Twin Lakes’ new song “The Sun Always Rises” is indeed inspired by madness. Director Nathaniel Nelson of Treedome brings the nightmare to life, putting the singer of the Rochester alt-rock band in the role of the tortured prisoner. Let this disturbing vision grip you like a pair of pliers to your favorite molar.
Maple & Beech – “Hot Air” (lyric video)
There’s nothing more Midwestern than a good ol’ chin wag. Maple & Beech’s new song “Hot Air” pays tribute to their homeland’s national pastime, turning the hollow chatter into a shimmery electropop dance tune. The song, from the band’s forthcoming September record, was turned into a cheeky lyric video by director J. Klaye, and it features contributions from Orchid Eaton's Matt Leavitt and Har-Di-Har's Andrew Thoreen.
Miles Island – “She’s Not in Love”
Miles Island would like to encourage you to get lost in your daydreams. The local psych rock band created the new video for “She’s Not in Love” to conjure the freedom that comes with thinking about absolutely nothing. They took a heap of summery stock footage and stuffed it into a kaleidoscope, leaving viewers with a synesthetic experience for their lazy afternoon. Have another dose when Miles Island’s new record Right as Rain drops on June 21.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]