The (Local) Fresh Five: American Cream, Dark Dark Dark, True Green, Sweet Looks, and DERECHO Rhythm Section
For the Fresh Five we pick out five great new(ish) jams that we’re currently obsessing over. All of these songs come from local (Minnesota) bands/artists.
Every American Cream Band record is a joy in its own unique way and this year’s Presents is no exception. The new record is an eclectic blend of krautrock, exotica, and jazz. “Royal Tears” is an excellent introduction – bandleader Nathan Nelson sings sardonic lyricism in deadpan vocals that fall somewhere between Fred Schneider and Mark E. Smith (and he’s accompanied by a chorus of backup singers). Cole Pulice provides skronky saxophone accents and the sound is rounded out with some spiky guitar, keys, and drums. Stream/purchase
It’s been years since we’ve heard anything from locals Dark Dark Dark – to the point where honestly we thought they might be quits for good. That changed this year when they unexpectedly put out a new 10″ vinyl single Something Was There. The A side starts with “Didn’t I Try,” as beautiful a mournful piano ballad as Nona Marie Invie ever sang. It’s unclear whether this was a one off shot in the dark (dark dark) or if the band is truly back. Hoping for the latter! Stream/purchase here
Green is proving to be a popular color with local bands as of late, what with Green/Blue, She’s Green, and now True Green, the latest addition. True Green take their name both from a lawn care company as well as (and this is according to them) the medieval nun Hildegard of Bingen’s idea of viriditas. TG will release their debut record My Lost Decade will be out on 2/1 on Optic Sink but it’s also been available digitally since last year. MLD is a gem of lo fi, ramshackle pop songs. Songwriter Dan Hornsby is also an author who creates vivid stories/characters in his songwriting.
Sweet Looks is a new electronic music act by Minneapolis musician Dan DeMarco. DeMarco recently released his debut record Sleepfighting. You can check out single “Day One” above, a dreamily textured mix of synths, beats, and DeMarco’s earnest lyricism.
After seeing DERECHO Rhythm Section (nee Derecho) at Icehouse a few summers back I have been anxiously awaiting more opportunities to hear the Sparhawks (father, Alan and son, Cyrus), Al Church, and Izzy Cruz lay down the funk. That opportunity came in spades this year as the band released a steady stream of singles. Check out one of them “Rent” above as well as an electrified remix version from Andrew Broder that just came out this month.