This Week at the Turf Club: Oct 13, 2015


An ambitious, stylistically diverse and frequently surprising collection, Corb Lund returns October 9, 2015 with his highly-anticipated new studio album, Things That Can’t Be Undone (New West Records). Helmed by white-hot producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson) at his Nashville studio Low Country Sound, the record marks Lund’s first new studio LP in five years and finds the acclaimed Canadian songwriter pushing his wry observations, darkly biting tales, rural balladry and keen storytelling into musically and thematically new terrain, resulting in the best album of his accomplished career. Lund’s previous album, 2012’s Cabin Fever, hit #1 in Canada its first week, was certified gold, made the Polaris Music Prize longlist and led to him making big strides in the U.S. In addition to helping him secure a foothold in America, avowed fan Miranda Lambert invited Lund to open several stadium shows for her and Dierks Bentley and record made an impression with the media; raves came from NPR, Uncut (9 out of 10) the New York Times and the Washington Post, which exclaimed: “Lund is a revelation, laconic and scary smart, with a devil’s eye for details.” [Rolling Stone via artist website]

Sounds like: The Smalls, Robert Earl Keen, Ian Tyson


Zachary Cole Smith’s mother was a Vogue editor, and he grew up in Connecticut where her boyfriend taught him to play guitar as a weapon against boredom. It’s certainly one way to get into making music, but perhaps no longer the most popular route. “On tour a couple years ago, there was lots of dark electronic music out. I saw bands out there with guitars, and I was like, That’s it. No more guitars,” says Smith. “I tried for a week and I was like, Wait. I only play guitar.” After some time living on the West Coast and touring with the New York-based Beach Fossils, Smith returned to the East Coast last spring, moved into a cheap apartment in Brooklyn with no running water, and found the city had continued on without him. “I could have called my friends to hang out, but I felt invisible,” Smith says. He stayed home listening to spacious free jazz. Writing songs seriously gave him something to talk to other people about so, as social stimulus, he booked a show. DIIV was born and a band was assembled, featuring onetime Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, grade school friend Andrew Bailey and bassist Devin Ruben Perez. The show turned into an unofficial residency, with DIIV playing house band around DIY venues like 285 Kent and Shea Stadium, sometimes three nights a week. “New York is like the end of the world,” says Perez. “All the partying, the drugs, they’re all in New York. It’s like running away and joining the circus, all these shows and freaky people and things to do.” A NYC native adopted by the Brooklyn scene after his parents abandoned him at 16, Perez had booked shows, worked the door and played at home, but he had never actually been in a band before DIIV. “Sometimes you just find compatible people. We don’t have to talk, we just know what’s bothering each other,” he says. Smith designed DIIV to travel well. “I wanted a band that would be really easy to set up and play. There’s nothing that can go wrong—we can play a basement or Webster Hall, and everything would be the same.” But the band’s debut, Oshin, on Captured Tracks, is not just a screw-around good time. “The whole lo-fi explosion was cool because it allowed people to get their music heard and new songwriters to emerge,” Smith says, “but those records won’t last.” Oshin may be unabashedly guitar-driven, but it eschews traditional rock structure. Much of Oshin is just finely textured, forward-moving sprawl. Smith places the songs into three categories: “happy, Kraut and sad,” and sequenced the record to conclude with a string of the latter, one heavy-hearted jam after the next. Whether or not it’ll encourage kids to pick up guitars in 2030 is yet to be determined, right now it’s perfect for lying on the pavement, staring down at your sandals and back up at the sky. [The Fader]

Sounds like: Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Craft Spells


Ed Schrader’s Music Beat is a two-piece: One weirdo with a floor tom and a basso profundo voice tht turns into a Frank Black shriek—that’d be Ed Schrader—and another weirdo, named Devin Rice, who plays bass guitar. Together, they record vivid little tantrums that produce a whole lot of tension and foreboding from very elemental sounds. [Pitchfork] In 2008/09 many had seen Ed “live” with just a floor tom, one light, plenty of jokes, and commanding voice. This era often left people with a sense that they had just seen a man unhinged trying to tell them something sacred in the form of a song, or something, they weren’t too sure what they saw. After a few tours on his own, in 2010 Ed asked Devlin to help him expand the songs with his limited knowledge of the bass guitar. Now the “live” show is one guy playing a drum with a light shining, singing his ass off and another dude with a bass, in the dark laughing at the other guy’s jokes. This era (which still continues) tends to leave people with that same fascination of the sacred unhinged but now it seems a little less scary, more familiar and they can can bring their dates to see this “cool band that you might not have heard of.” This union shortly brought about the release of Jazz Mind on Load Records which featured collaborations with Randy Randall of No Age and Baltimore sound gurus Matmos. Jazz Mind captured the raw and jarring “live” show with songs that seem equally loud and destructive, pensive and haunting. Since the albums release the duo have been touring non-stop through North America and Europe, by themselves mostly but have also been seen in opening slots with Dan Deacon, Future Islands and hardcore luminaries Ceremony. Party Jail picks up where Jazz Mind left off with a greater focus on making the listener aware that Ed Schrader’s Music Beat are not nut jobs who just play their best guess at punk. They wish to reveal that they are secretly a band that write pop songs, whether you know it or not. [Infinity Cat Recordings]

Sounds like: Room Runner, Naomi Punk, Double Dagger


Little Fevers is a sweet and crunchy amalgamation of pop rock that has formed, much like a pearl, over many years around a tiny grain of sand. Little Fevers emerged in 2013, floating up out of the ocean to walk around on land. Comprised of two guys and two girls who, having operated as longtime collaborators, have honed their craft traveling the country together for several years. The group is a project curated by the eyes and ears of those that sit on the same little raft, letting the sun wash over them as they paddle and splash to their next port of call. The first whispers of an album were passed back and forth, cross-country, as the parts came together to form something distinctly whole. Much of the album was laid down at Vacation Island in Brooklyn with the remaining bits assembled at Old Blackberry Way in Minneapolis. Invoking the playfulness of bands like Pavement and the Violent Femmes, and vocal textures of idols such as Peter Gabriel and The Microphones to form something all their own, Little Fevers is delighted to funnel all of the color and excitement into your ear holes in 2015.

Sounds like: The Royalty, Foxes!


Rock group Bronze Radio Return were formed in Hartford, Connecticut by singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Henderson after he attended the Hartt School of Music. Henderson recruited guitarist Patrick Fetkowitz, keyboard player Matt Warner, bassist Dan Travis, and drummer Rob Griffith, and the band began to play around New England and in New York, attracting fans and management. They released their self-titled debut EP on March 18, 2008, followed in 2009 by their first full-length, Old Time Speaker. For their next studio outing, the band headed to Norman, Oklahoma with OTS producer Chad Copelin. The resulting Shake! Shake! Shake! helped further establish the band’s profile, eliciting a bevy of licensing opportunities in both film and television. The group returned to the East Coast, again with Copelin, for their third long-player, 2013’s Up, On & Over. [Billboard]

Sounds like: Royal Teeth, Young The Giant, Milo Greene

Blog by Gina Reis

This Week in the Entry: Oct 12, 2015


Playing upbeat but noisy indie rock with pop hooks and more than a slight grunge influence, Bully is a band from Nashville, Tennessee founded by vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Alicia Bognanno. Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, Bognanno didn’t show a great interest in music when she was young, and wasn’t an especially distinguished student, but while in high school, she discovered that her school offered elective courses through an alternative education center located at a nearby zoo, and one of the classes was in audio engineering. Bognanno signed on for the audio courses, and discovered she had a knack for working with recording gear, and was soon working up loops and beats for friends who liked hip-hop. The experience kick-started Bognanno’s desire to write and sing her own songs, and after finishing high school, while studying recording at Middle Tennessee State University, she began working on material and occasionally sat in with local musicians doing recording projects. After receiving her degree from MTSU, Bognanno landed an internship at Electrical Audio, the Chicago recording complex founded by outspoken recording engineer and musician Steve Albini. While Bognanno described the experience as “the most calming, welcoming comfortable environment for me to be in” and called Albini "maybe the smartest person I know,“ she was also short on money in an unfamiliar city where she had few friends. The circumstances prompted Bognanno to work on her songwriting, recording rough demos in her apartment in her rare spare time. When her internship was over, Bognanno settled in Nashville, and joined a power pop band called King Arthur while engineering at Battle Tapes Recording and handling live sound at music venue The Stone Fox. When Bognanno met up with drummer Stewart Copeland (not the former Police percussionist), she decided it was time to form a band of her own to make use of her backlog of personal songs, and with the addition of guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus, they formed Bully. Bully started playing out in mid-2013, and in April 2014, they released their first single, "Milkman” b/w “Faceblind.” By October 2014, the band had signed with Star Time International, an imprint of Columbia, which issued a five-song EP simply titled Bully. After steady touring in the United States and Europe (including festival appearances at Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, and a string of dates opening for Best Coast), Bully’s debut album, Feels Like, was released on June 23, 2015. The album was recorded at Electrical Audio, with Bognanno helping to engineer the sessions. [All Music]

Sounds like: Strange Wilds, Wild Flag, Weezer


Minnesota rockers Chris Wald and Zach Gonet make up the two-fold rock group Homebrew. The band will be celebrating the release of their first EP at The Entry, with fellow local rockers Remo Drive, The Retakes, and Goodnight Gorillas as support.

Sounds like: Muse, The Dead Weather, Royal Blood


WEDNESDAY: The Underachievers Tour Afterparty - DEQUEXATRON Special Edition

As members of the Beast Coast movement, which includes Joey Bada$$, the Pro Era crew and Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers are part of the new wave of rappers that have been coming out of New York. Rapper AK started rapping at 11 years old and his partner Issa Gold started 6 years ago. Raised together in Flatbush, Brooklyn, they established THE UNDERACHIEVERS in 2011 and have been creating music together ever since.

Join Bobby Raps and TIIIIIIIIIIP for the afterparty in The Entry after the Mainroom show, only $5 crossover from Mainroom.


Vacationer’s Relief, the Philadelphia group’s second LP, is clear in both title and intention. If Gone, the sunny electronic-pop act’s 2012 debut, was about escape – whether through travel, photography or toasted sonic bliss – Relief unspools the strings of our wound-up existence with a cinematic wallop of positivity-oozing pop.

A collaboration between Kenny Vasoli and Body Language’s Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler, Vacationer returns tighter and more powerful after spending the last two years touring with groups like Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Naked And Famous, Tennis, and Niki And The Dove, as well as making numerous festival appearances. “Playing so many shows is probably our biggest influence on this album,” says Vasoli. “Being out there every night with our wonderful fans and on the road everyday with Matt making beats next to me led to a deeper, more immediate energy in our music.”

Relief, which was primarily recorded at Body Language’s Landau Audio Design (LAD) studio in Brooklyn over the last year, is Vacationer gone widescreen. The kaleidoscopic, sampledelic world that intoxicated fans on original singles like “Trip” is still there, but the orchestration has become more muscular and expansive. Lead single “The Wild Life” mixes the influence of The Beach Boys, J. Dilla and LCD Soundsystem into a sonic mai tai. Animal Collective meets Hollywood’s golden age on “Heavenly,” while “Paradise Waiting” catapults the soulful chop of De La Soul into a club-ready summer anthem. “Whether through love, exploration or relaxing, we all strive for relief,” says Vasoli. “It’s just a quick flip-of-the-switch away, and think it’s good to be reminded of that.”

Sounds like: Generationals, Reptar, Geographer


Welcome to 2015: the year of the wolf. Since their formation in 2008, the Bristolian riff-ragers have melted minds with their signature brand of patchouli-drenched punk rock fury. Their live rituals are the stuff of legend: a trapdoor into the cosmic beyond via the uncharted depths of your mind, sound-tracked by the red hot fuzz of crackling speakers and overloaded channels. After wrapping up a hugely successful last year, which included headlining Live Nation’s ‘Download Freezes Over’ tour as well as crushing stages with chart-toppers Royal Blood, the quartet are set to unleash second album Two Hands and excitement in the camp is infectious. […] “We just like cultivating great songs,” says Andy. “You know when a song comes on and you get a kick out of it – the structure’s right and everything clicks into the right place. Whether it’s pop or strange old acoustic ’70s folk stuff. It’s more about writing great music. The way we think about it is like a project of seeing how far we can push stuff, always trying to do something different, going against the grain purposefully. If we do something that sounds too much like something else… we do something else! It’s almost like a scientific experiment to see what is left in rock music that doesn’t sound like it’s already been done!” […] It’s another slice of recognition for a band whose ongoing quest has been to push against everything in the search for their own space… “We’re only really conscious of what we’re doing,” reflects Chris, “and we’re fortunate in being able to play in a lot of scenes, because our music is a marriage of all sorts of stuff. We used to go on stage at 3am at these electronica club nights in Bristol; everyone would be off their heads on all kinds of stuff and go wild ‘cause it was different but had that same pumping sound. We became that weird band you’d put on when everyone was fucked up. That’s where we come from…” And there we have it. 2015. The Year of the Wolf. Or as they once were known, “that weird band you’d put on when everyone was fucked up”.

Sounds like: Black Moth, ASG, The Shrine


First Avenue will be crawling with zombies. Local acts Dumpster Juice, Impaler, Witchden, and Mastiff will be dishing out some terrifying metal rock tunes in The Entry.

Formed in 1990 in Uptown Minneapolis. Tom Duclos & Chris Rowland - knowing in advance the name “Dumpster Juice” would never leave the memory or taste buds of anyone who had ever stumbled across the stuff - called upon drummer John Bigelow. After consulting with Duclos & Rowland over large quantities of alcohol the decision was made to hold an abrupt practice at Bigelows brother Kevin’s Uptown apartment. Duclos, Rowland, John Bigelow & Kevin Bigelow became Dumpster Juice. In June 1992 drummer Todd Petterson answered an ad Dumpster Juice left at the drum shop he just happened to be working at and within a week Todd learned the entire collection.

Impaler celebrated their 31st year of Shock Rock in 2014, releasing their 12th album, 30 Years & Rising, the previous year. Impaler is a Minnesota horror rock band from the Twin Cities. The band formed in the spring of 1983 with founding members Bill Lindsey (vocals), Michael James Torok (guitar), “Commander” Court Hawley (bass), Robert “Meaty Bob” Johnson (drums), and Mike Senn (guitar). Bill Lindsey is the sole continuing member of Impaler, keeping the band alive for more than 30 years. Impaler has a theatrical show which features fake blood, cages, coffins, latex severed heads and a finale that includes a mock disemboweling of victims. Impaler recorded demo tapes which caught the ear of Important Record Distributors and lead to the band being signed to the in-house labels IRD Records and Combat Records. They released two records with these labels, the first being the Rise Of The Mutants EP (1985), which caused much controversy with Tipper Gore and her P.M.R.C. organization. The record cover was also used as a prop in the cult horror movie Trick or Treat.

Witchden formed in July of 2010 after singer Jason Micah, and drummer Jeff Moen got in contact about a possible project. Micah brought guitarist Adam Alexander Rivkin into the group and Moen asked bassist Andrew Green join. The foursome wrote their first song during their initial jam session. In May 2012, Witchden added guitarist Dinis deCarvalho.


It has been a year of self-discovery for Tyler Ward. A year of change, of introspection and an incredible journey both personally and professionally. In the fall of 2015, Ward will embark on the Yellow Boxes Tour. Why title a tour Yellow Boxes? Because this year, Ward will unpack all the changes he has made and the new perspective he is bringing to his music. It has been a year that has birthed not one, but two new EPs and a worldwide tour. Although this will be his fifth worldwide headlining tour, it will be his first as a solo acoustic artist. The tour will bring an intimate look into the world he has been creating his entire career. Known since 2010 as a social media pioneer, Ward continues to use the familiar formula that has made him such a fan favorite but is now expanding his horizons and exploring different ways of reaching out and connecting with his community. Most of Ward’s early songs were performed and produced in his parents’ basement, which he later turned into a proper recording space. Nowadays, he produces most of his music on the road as well as in his Los Angeles, Nashville and Colorado recording studios. Ward has spent time as number five on Billboard’s Top 100 Uncharted List and was also ranked on Billboard’s Social 50 Chart for several weeks. Additionally, Ward coined the phrase “Social Media Artist’ - which accounts for all full-time musicians making a living through online platforms. This business has been considered the "future of the music industry.” Ward is one of the pioneers of selling and streaming cover songs, legally, on iTunes and Spotify that has established the ability for other artists to collect advertising revenue through streaming monetization. If you have seen Ward in the past you know what a showman he is on stage. The Yellow Boxes tour promises more of the same. It will be more have more insights into an artist who is passionate about and continues to blaze the trail for those around him.

Sounds like: Boyce Avenue, Ron Pope, Alex G

Blog by Gina Reis

Tickets on sale this week: October 9, 2015

This Week at the Turf Club - Oct 6, 2015


Chad Valley’s last album, Young Hunger, was a bucolic exercise in beachside ’80s jams that featured kindred spirits like Twin Shadow, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Glasser, a Bermuda Triangle of artists that the singer and synth-master (real name Hugo Manuel) settles comfortably within. He’s following that up with his sophomore LP, Entirely New Blue, which arrives October 2 via Cascine. It’s a bit more of an introspective effort this time around, written between Manuel’s time in London with his girlfriend and his move to Oxford after they broke up. “True,” the first single off the record, shades his voice with a little Auto-Tune. A thumping four-on-the-floor beat pulses brighter than his earlier work, as if freedom from relationship blinders has opened his already neon-hued genre palette. [SPIN]

Sounds like: Tanlines, Craft Spells, Kisses


A thoughtful lyricist taking his poetic inspiration, songcraft ideas, and even a few fashion cues from Bob Dylan, Ezra Furman sings in a nasally style similar to the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano while making unpretentious indie folk/indie pop that's raw, deep, and achingly sentimental. As students of Tufts University, guitarist Jahn Soon, bassist Job Mukkada, and drummer Jordan Kozer formed the Harpoons as Furman's backing band in 2006 and self-recorded Beat, Beat, Beat in their dorm rooms with the help of engineer Dave Kant of Outtake Records. After self-releasing a limited run of the album and taking their first tour of the States, producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) took notice and pulled the band into the studio to record. The result was Banging Down the Doors, a sincere, awkward, and moving debut released by Minty Fresh in August of 2007. Only a year later, despite extensive touring, Furman found time to write another album's worth of material and the second Ezra Furman & the Harpoons record, Inside the Human Body, was released in October of 2008. Mysterious Power followed in 2011 before Furman released his first solo album, Year of No Returning, in 2013. By 2014, his reputation in the indie world had grown considerably, especially in Britain, leading to his signing with the London-based Bella Union label later that year. His second solo release, Perpetual Motion People, was released the following summer in June 2015. [All Music]

Sounds like: Courtney Barnett, Father John Misty, The Decemberists


Nuns, the enigmatic solo project of multi-instrumentalist Hank Hanewinkel III, sprang to life in a flash of songwriting inspiration on a cold December 2012 night in Nashville, TN. As it turns out, the 24-year old had no plans whatsoever to begin writing a solo record that night. But when the muse speaks, it’s usually best to listen carefully. That’s exactly what he did. It’s not that Hanewinkel was unprepared for such an occasion…most of his life has been immersed in music. It started early for the Broken Arrow, OK, native. Growing up in a tight-knit family of performers, Hanewinkel received years of solid rock’n’roll training from his father, a music producer. He was introduced to drums at the ripe old age of two. By 10, he took an interest in guitar. Soon after, he started writing his own songs. Several years later, Hanewinkel formed a power trio, The Red Alert, with his sister and uncle. They eventually went on to win the national John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the Bands, which landed them a slot on the Warped Tour. After enduring The Red Alert’s untimely demise in 2011 and experiencing some life-altering relationship woes, Hanewinkel stopped writing songs for an entire year. He opted instead to keep his head down and play drums for several Tulsa area bands…letting music and life come to him at its own unpredictable pace instead of chasing it down. His songwriting sabbatical ended, however, during a much-needed vacation to visit some friends in Nashville. As Hanewinkel describes it, a guitar found its way into his hands and his creative floodgates simply re-opened…with a vengeance. It was a true “out of the blue” experience for him. The music flowed like a torrent. By the time Hanewinkel entered his father’s recording studio in Feb. 2013 to begin tracking what would eventually become Nuns’ gorgeous, psychedelic 10-song debut release, Opportunities, most of the record was already written. During mixing sessions for the release, Hanewinkel passed some early demos to Tulsa label Passive Recordings, who eagerly signed Nuns to their roster. Passive released Opportunities on vinyl and digital formats in May 2014. [Jarrod Gollihare]

Sounds like: Swmrs, No Noise, Daddy Issues


The Joy Formidable are an indie rock band formed in 2007 in North Wales, United Kingdom, currently located in London, England. The group members are Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals), and Matt Thomas (drums). Their music has been described as "primal epic grunge rock à la The Breeders, Arcade Fire and Yeah Yeah Yeahs". Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd originally played together as part of indie rock band Tricky Nixon, which later reformed into a new wave/post-punk band Sidecar Kisses. In 2007 they regrouped on returning to Mold, Wales and formed The Joy Formidable, with Justin Stahley now on drums. The Joy Formidable released their debut single, "Austere", on 7" through Another Kitchen Records on 18 August 2008. "Austere" was followed with a second single, a limited edition double 7" physical release of "Cradle" on Try Harder Records on 2 February 2009. In 17 February 2009, the band issued an 8-track mini album A Balloon Called Moaning on Pure Groove Records. In support of the record the band appeared at several notable festivals, including Latitude Festival, Reading Festival and Leeds Festival during which time Justin Stahley was replaced on the drums by Matthew Thomas. In May 2009, they issued the single, "Whirring", on 7" through Friends Vs Records, which was BBC Radio 2's Radcliffe and Maconie Show's Pick of the Week for the week of 11 May 2010. At the end of 2009, The Joy Formidable released a free digital-only single "Greyhounds in the Slips", produced by and featuring ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper and a limited edition live album entitled First You Have To Get Mad on 30 November 2009, which had been recorded at their headline London Garage gig two months previously. The band also notably toured the UK with Editors and Passion Pit. On 26 June 2010, they supported Paul McCartney at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium. The very next day, the band performed an opening set on the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival 2010. They also toured as part of the 2010 NME Radar Tour, supported by Chapel Club, Flats and Wilder. Another single entitled "Popinjay" was released through iTunes Store on 21 February 2010, ahead of a physical release on 5 April 2010. In 11 October 2010, The Joy Formidable issued the single "I Don’t Want To See You Like This". In 24 January 2011, The Joy Formidable released their debut studio album The Big Roar on Atlantic Records. The album was very favorable received by critics. The Big Roar was preceded by the re-issue of the single "Austere". []

Sounds like: Big Pink, Tokyo Police Club, We Were Promised Jetpacks

SATURDAY: THE SURF DAWGS “Album #6 CD Release Party”

The Surf Dawgs are a Rock Instrumental band (despite the word Surf in the band’s name) from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have been performing in the upper Midwest area since 2001 featuring Zippy Caplan of the Cult garage band The Litter on Lead Guitar and, when available, Bob Spalding of The Ventures also on Lead Guitar. Following the 2001 release of Zip’s solo CD Zip Caplan and Cast of Thousands “Monsters and Heroes”, the co-producer of the CD, Bernie "Bombers” Bomberg, joined with Zip to form a vintage style instrumental group that paid tribute to the Rock instrumental classics of the 1950’s and 1960’s in addition to their own interpretation of other classic Rock songs from that era and beyond. []

Sounds like: Martin Cilia, The Challengers, Urban Surf Kings

SUNDAY: BAUMHAUS V - A Night of Improvised Minimal Techno with tiny deaths + friends

tiny deaths is poised to be the next breakout act from Minneapolis, a city rich in talent (having birthed the likes of Polica and Gayngs in the past few years). Sounding simultaneously almost familiar and yet like nothing else, Grant Cutler (Lookbook, Wolflords) and Claire de Lune (The Chalice) have joined forces to create a fresh take on the dark, brooding electropop movement currently dominating indie rock. After almost crossing paths time and time again, it was a chance meeting two years ago at a show Cutler’s band was playing in an underground art loft in Minneapolis’ warehouse district that began the symbiotic musical relationship that would become tiny deaths. “I stumbled upon the first song of their set and I was completely blown away,” de Lune recalls. “Grant’s style was just the kind of music I’ve been dying to make forever—I just didn’t know there was anyone in this city making it.” [...] Cutler, having relocated to Brooklyn after making the record and ever the prototypical reclusive producer, prefers to stay behind the scenes, so the pair amassed an all-star band to bring the songs to life. Accompanying de Lune on the vocals at the live shows are Jared Isabella and Aaron Baum of Night Moves (Domino Records) on drums and guitar, respectively, and renowned Twin Cities stalwart Ben Clark of Votel on bass. The result is a sexy, shimmering collage of color and texture, a refreshing blend of the electronic and the analog, the peripheral and the tangible. In this way, tiny deaths’ live show is a dichotomy. It’s something you can move to, with bass that pulses through your whole body. But lyrically it’s delicate and introspective, and the vocals are so arresting, you could just as easily wind up so awestruck you’re motionless. Challenging yet accessible, veering into experimental with both feet planted firmly in pop sensibility, tiny deaths, though influenced by its Minneapolis roots, has all the makings of something bigger than this little “city of lakes” can contain.

Sounds like: Rose Quartz, Break Fast, New Shack


Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Ben Caplan’s voice is to song as smoke is to bourbon: perfectly coupled. He is a songwriter and performer who is bold in both range and ferocity. The music is fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism that sets Caplan apart from his peers. Either solo or backed by his band, The Casual Smokers, Ben Caplan has captured the attention of music fans and media across Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe. Ben Caplan is supported by upright bass, drums, Eastern European inspired strings, and occasionally horns. Ben himself moves between guitar and piano, marking his place in the world’s music landscape with an outrageous musicality and a growling spirit. Besides writing and recording, Ben Caplan is almost perpetually on tour, having played more than 1000 shows since the release of his debut album in late 2011. His songs, his voice, his humor, and his charm collude to create a rhapsodically energetic live show – an elegant cacophony drawing fans in ever widening circles. On the strength of his debut album, In The Time of the Great Remembering, Ben Caplan won numerous Canadian awards, including Nova Scotia’s 2012 Entertainer of the Year and the East Coast Music Award for Rising Star Recording of the Year for 2013. He’s shared stages with acts ranging from Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors to The Staves and Blondie. In addition to his 1000+ club shows, He’s played major festivals around the world including the UK’s Glastonbury in 2013. In 2015, Ben Caplan will continue to break new ground with dates planned across North America and around the world. His highly anticipated second album, Birds with Broken Wings, is prospected to be released internationally in late spring/early summer of 2015.

Sounds like: Steve Smyth, Willie Stratton, I Am Oak

Blog by Gina Reis


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