Get To Know: Strange Relations

Ahead of Alex Lahey with Strange Relations in the 7th St Entry on August 1, we got to ask Strange Relations a few questions. Read what they had to say below:

Abi Nesbitt: What have you been up to this summer?

Strange Relations: We have been writing a lot and balancing a lot of big life changes. We just bought our first home (which has room for us to set up a rehearsal space and a very low-key recording situation), so that’s a whole new world for us. This summer marks 1 year since we switched to two-piece mode (as a drum and bass live outfit), so we’re excited to keep writing new material and introducing new and old listeners alike to the new set up and vibe. We’re wrapping up the final details on a new EP we’re looking to put out soon too! Definitely keeping busy. 

AN: Both of you have been releasing music together under Strange Relations since 2013. How does your bedroom demo era compare to where you are now as a band?

SR: We honestly never really had a solid bedroom demo era as a band. We headed into local studios only a few months after forming and writing our first batch of songs because we wanted to hit the ground running. In the past we’ve suggested we’re a “hi-fi bedroom pop” band, but that was meant as a bit of a sarcastic reference to the fact that all bands start out in their bedrooms or practice spaces or what have you and then most elevate the demo to its ultimate release form during the end recording. I still write demos in my bedroom all the time tho, I’m still a Garageband meets Voice Memos kid haha. But as a band… we’ve grown so much over the years, cycled through different members and traveled a bit and shifted our goals as musicians. I would say that if anyone thinks they know what we’re about according to where we were even a year ago, they should check back in and see where we’re at now as a two-piece band. One thing we’re proud of is never settling and continuing to push ourselves and evolve our sound.

AN: Your subgenre “diary rock” feels spot-on—your sound doesn’t quite fit the typical molds of pop, post-punk, or even shoegaze. Has it been important for you to not lump yourselves within the sounds of others?

SR: I think “diary rock” is just a nod to the personal thrust of our work, especially my lyrics. We’ve never been very into heavily branding ourselves, for better or worse. I’m just trying to express the truths of my own experience and try to sort through the world as I see it, in a way that hopefully connects to other people. Our name “Strange Relations” was meant to reflect our place and our intention to not subscribe to a particular sound or image even, to try to make it clear from the outset that we’re out to blend genres and speak to uncomfortable truths and not allow ourselves to be pigeon-holed. But it’s not an act of defiance so much as an honest take on our methodology and perspective; we draw influences from all over and aren’t particularly interested in fitting idealized projections, which isn’t the easiest way to make an impact as a band these days but is what we set out to do. 

AN: What are some art/cultural influences for your music? 

SR: We draw a lot of inspiration from music & cinema we love. Our first full-length -Centrism was inspired by one of my favorite films, Water Lilies, by Celine Sciamma; the artwork, in particular, was directly inspired by that work. We drop lyrical or thematic references like little cultural artifacts, and draw from a range of influence, from the Pixies to Heathers (film) to Barbara Kruger & Cindy Sherman (visual artists) to Catholicism. We are also inspired by our friends’ passion and work, from the local dance group Kelvin Wailey to local curator/musician Brent Penny (of the queer party series ‘Daddy’) to bands like Cayetana, Bad Bad Hats, and JBrekkie.  

AN: Editorial You ends with one of my favorite tracks “Long Haul.” What’s the long haul look like for Strange Relations?

SR: Thank you! That song is definitely a rallying cry to stick it out. We are just looking forward to playing more shows, making new friends, connecting with people, and writing & releasing more songs. Maro & I are ride or die, so no matter what fate holds in store for SR, we’ll be together playing music, writing, making visual art, putting ourselves and our work out there. And hopefully, we’ll be playing many First Ave shows for years to come! 

Blog by Abi Nesbitt (Marketing Intern)


Ahead of Love Sequence's EP Release Show in the 7th St. Entry, we got to ask them a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them in the Entry on July 23.

Abi Nesbitt: How did the four of you come together to form Love Sequence?

Love Sequence: The current lineup and the name LOVE SEQUENCE have existed for about two years, but we were friends long before that and would play in different bands with each other. We all had a lot of mutual friends and were immersed in the same small music scene stemming from our high school. Before Nolan joined the band and we became LOVE SEQUENCE, we were called 'SKYLINE'. Before that, we were a prog-cock band called 'Lipofucktion'. 

AN: What were some of the first shows you ever played together, and how have you evolved since then?

LS: Our first shows were inconsistent and messy. There was a lot of forgetting song structures, hitting the wrong pedals, pretending voice cracks didn't happen, and failing at mic stand tricks. But it was very clear to us from the start that we had the seeds of something special. We knew we could be great if we just kept doing it. Even though the mistakes still happen occasionally, we've gotten a lot tighter and a lot more confident in our live performance. We've become a very high-energy live band and always try to play with enough bombast for an arena, even though we play small rooms. 

AN: Your latest EP, Sexual Enlightenment, fuses together what sounds like 80s funk and modern electronic. Do you have any musical influences for your unique sound?

LS: Making the SEXUAL ENLIGHTENMENT EP, we were inspired by loads of stuff, not just music. Musically, we drew from artists such as LCD Soundsystem, Prince, Michael Jackson, The National, The 1975, Rush, Steven Wilson, Kendrick Lamar, etc. We were inspired by each other. We were inspired by the turbulent periods of our lives. We were inspired by sex. We were inspired by psychedelics. We were inspired by Ram Dass and other teachers. We were inspired by the state of modern culture in America. It truly feels like everything going on in our lives somehow influenced the EP. 

Your lyrics from Sexual Enlightenment are so liberating. What is it like to come together to write lyrics around these raw emotions?

Writing the lyrics was a long, complicated process. At times it was liberating, but at other times it was really dark. I knew that with this EP I wanted to be honest to the point of embarrassment, so I was forced to spend a lot of time looking at the parts of myself that I usually avoid looking at. I lost sleep over some of the lyrics on the EP. I was extremely uncomfortable when I wrote some of the lyrics, and I still am to this day. But that's how I know we made something special. The point isn't to be comfortable. The point is to great. You can't be both at the same time. 

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I suppose I believe in love at first sight just because you can't really prove anyone wrong about it. It's unfalsifiable, so you either believe it or you don't. However, I do think that when you're in love it's easy to romanticize your memories and claim you 'knew right away' when, really, you didn't. I feel like I've experienced it a few times, but nothing ever came of it. What does that say?

AN: Everyone has got to start somewhere. What advice would you give to aspiring young bands looking to get themselves out there? 

LS: It's hard to give advice to young bands trying to get themselves out there when we are still one such band. We're still figuring it out as we go. But if I were to impart some wisdom onto my younger self, it would be, "you think you're working hard, but you're really not. Work harder than you think you need to." I still say that to myself a lot. I guess that's what I'd say to other bands too, if they really wanted advice from a peer.

Blog by Abi Nesbitt (Marketing Intern)

the 2nd Annual Vampire Ball


We put together a who's-who, a little guide to the Vampire Ball for you: 

Dark Energy is a collective of DJ's and musicians dedicated to promoting and playing the best in the darker side of dance music, past and present. Expect lots of new wave, dark wave, cold wave, EBM, industrial, Detroit influenced techno/house/electro, goth classics, and much more.” 

Multi-talented artist Rachel Girard will have a pop-up booth. On her “My Story” page she states: “…Doll making combines every skill I developed both in and out of school as well as my career in cosmetology. This store is all about sharing a part of my collection beyond the doors of my studio while I attend to the continuous work in progress.” You can check out Rachel’s dolls and miscellaneous art pieces via her website. 

A Conspiracy of Strange Girls is a creative collective of art. “Our collective is open to all women, femme-identifying, non-binary, and genderqueer people who create art dealing with the unusual, the queer, the unfamiliar, or the mysterious. With over sixty members across a diverse spectrum of gender and ethnicity, we believe in building community, uplifting marginalized voices, and showcasing all types of creative work, especially practices that have been traditionally overlooked in patriarchal society.”  The group aims to embrace all forms of creativity and to promote “strangeness” within women. There will be a booth with three members’ art, merch, and a fortune teller booth! 

Grimm Bebop will be providing prizes for the Vampire Costume Contest. “Grimm Bebop is a different retail experience designed around, not in-spite of, community.  We are the brain child of a husband and wife team, quite literally a mom and pop local business. We strive to give you all of the efficiency and customer service you might expect at a big box store with all of the love and individuality you can only find shopping small. We have a passion for self-expression, catharsis and all things spooky which is why we call ourselves the first art and horror themed music and pipe shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.”  The retail store also has a blog for more information!

The Wild Hare Salon will be providing free makeovers from 8-9 p.m. The salon is based in Minneapolis. On the business’s Facebook page they state: “Our salon focuses on multidimensional colors, hair extensions, haircuts, and dreadlocks. We’ve been in the industry for over 18 years. Let us do your hair!”  


DJ Grant Mayland is Dark Energy and one of the headlining performers. 

Represented by American Gothic Productions, The Pirate Twins are a duo comprised of Scary Lady Sarah and William Faith. From their First Ave bio, “Scary Lady Sarah is best known for her event NOCTURNA, an 18+ dark alternative dance night held regularly in Chicago, now in its 29th year. She has also DJ'd all over North America and Europe, being a staple of Whitby Gothic Weekend in the UK, Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Germany and many others as well. William Faith, perhaps best known as half of the seminal dark alternative group Faith And The Muse, has spun all over the U.S., Europe and South America, bringing an eclectic blend of genres together into a mix that is both unique and exciting.” Follow both Scary Lady Sarah and William Faith on social media!   

Devata Daun is the co-owner of Pytch Records, her debut release on Pytch Records is called "look". It’s a subversive insight to an intellectual phenomenon currently believed to be more than just captured government transmissions, lost shortwave beacons or military Muzak. Through a series of silent meetings, c.Kostra was employed by Devata Daun to help break a variety of intriguing codes. These ‘songs’ are compilations of their findings arranged in harmony.” Fun fact: Devata is fluent in 17 undocumented languages, an amazing photographic memory, and semi-telepathic ability. 


Angelica Ottavia is a DJ reigning from Los Angeles. She is a regular at Dark Energy events at the Kitty Cat Klub. Her DJ sets are a combination of techno, Goth, industrial, house, and experimental. Angelica’s first gig was booked at the First Avenue Record Room for the event “Too Much Love.” 

Joy Coy is a burlesque performer, cosplayer, and member of the Vigilantease Collective - Minnesota's radical crew of fiercely independent queer artivists. A recent transplant to the Twin Cities, Joy got her start in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she founded Unicorn Productions and the Unicorn School of Burlesque and Magic. Joy is also working on a new blog for her site as well!  

Marcel Michelle-Mobama is a GNC/Queer/Trans Artist of Color with a multidisciplinary background interested in subverting conventional notions of eroticism. She is a founding member of Carnivale Revolver, St. Cloud's premier vaudeville revue. She is also a cast member of Dykes do Drag, Hot Dish Cabaret, and Visions of Sugarplums - The Burlesque Nutcracker. Her work has been featured in Queertopia, Patrick's Cabaret, and the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival. Check out her Instagram

Blog by Kelly Murray (Intern)

Q&A: Night Moves

Q: You guys have played First Avenue’s Mainroom a number of times, what excites you about this particular show?
A: Well, it's the end of May, which seems to be the best time of the year in the Twin Cities. Lilacs are in bloom and it isn't too hot yet to be outside all day. Also, people aren't too spoiled yet by the weather, so you have people like me thinking this is cloud 9. Also, it's our second time headlining the Mainroom, so that in itself is a very special thing. It's always a treat getting to play the Mainroom, headlining is a whole other kind of delight. We have some new jams! Plus, we have great acts like Anonymous Choir opening = it should be a damn fine evening.

Q: You’ve been down in Austin, TX recording new material with Jim Eno from Spoon. What has that been like?
A: It's been great so far! Jim's really nice and down for our sound so I think we should have a great 3rd album coming out...not entirely sure when people will hear it though...We're knee deep in it all. Exploring new sounds with him has been the highlight.

Q: What was the songwriting process like?
A: My landlord took away the basement rehearsal space near the end of the Pennied Days writing (long story), so since the last record I haven't been able to get too loud during the demoing process, so I've found myself doing more keyboard based songs. I've basically brought in my demos to Jim and we've been seeing if we can beat the demo sounds I've dialed in. It's good that he's a drummer, because he's helped add in drums tones we dig in addition to all the Night Moves-y drum machine bits we use.

Q: Any chance we’ll hear anything new at the show?
A: I hope so

Be sure to catch Night Moves at First Avenue tonight!


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