The (Local) Fresh Five: RiGBY, Raffaella, Gramma, Nora Nygard, and Deepest Bison
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.
RiGBY are a Minneapolis punk quartet with one full length release (We’re Dying) under their belt. Their music in some ways feels like a next generation of the riot grrrl movement: smart, heavy, and pissed off feminist music. “Shoulders Are Sexy” is a great example, a fiery anthem confronting double standards in body image/messaging set to thudding bass and snarling guitar. RiGBY will be performing as part of the Radio K sponsored “Frostbite Residency” at First Ave on 1/14 (tix/info)
Raffaella is a NYC-born, Minneapolis based artist who is set to release her sophomore album, LIVE, RAFF, LOVE (Act II) on January 26th via Mom+Pop (Act I was produced by local darling Jake Luppen of Hippo Campus). Raffaella’s music is introspective pop of a production quality we rarely see in relatively new local artists. Check out melancholy “Rowan” above and see her live on 2/29 at First Ave (tix/info).
Gramma are another punk band on the bill of Radio K’s Frostbite Residency this Sunday. They’re a three-piece and what they lack in numbers, they certainly don’t in sound. Gramma pulverizes bass, drums, and guitar into a poultice of heavy, grunge-inflected punk. They just released the single “NANANA” earlier this month, a tune with a Pixies-esque bassline, great guitar melody, and a lot of feedback/noise.
Nora Nygard is a Saint Paul based ambient musician who claims over 300 (!) releases under their belt. The most recent is I Wish I Could See You (1/24, Little Sisyphus), an album consisting of just the 40 minute plus titular track. According to Nygard, “Doom, loss, and grief” are the album’s central themes, inspired by a visit from the ghost of her late brother. If your idea of ambient music is something to relax and tune out to, you might want to look elsewhere. Nygard’s ethereal tones have an underlying tension and eeriness that make it affecting and more than a little tense.
Deepest Bison is Minneapolis-based Kyle Imes, a longtime (over a decade) musician of lo-fi psychedelic pop/rock. He recently released his latest single “Real Heads Will Know” and it’s a gem of jangle pop with ethereal noise undertones.