Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My favorite local albums

For a blog dedicated to the local music scene, for some particular reason I had yet to write about the local music scene. So tonight I decided now would be a good time to list my favorite albums by some local artists/bands.

Bella Koshka: Slow Dancing on the Ocean Floor

Slow Dancing on the Ocean Floor was the album that made me really start thinking differently about local music. For many years I never been crazy about local music. That all changed after I saw Bella Koshka perform live in 2008 for The Immortals tour featuring The Cruxshadows, Ayria, and i:Scintilla. The music is a mix bag of alternative rock, classical, and a dash of goth. I love Laura Boland's delicate vocals but it was violinist Hilary Davis whose contribution to the band really seduced me both live and on record. Their second album Deception Island is really good too. Definitely recommend buying that album which can be found at Cheapo records in Uptown for sure.

Autumn: Return to the Breath

Autumn is one of those bands that I wished I had discovered sooner before it was too late. Up until their final live performance at Ground Zero last year, I was not aware of this immensely talented band. After I had seen the band open for Faith and the Muse, I bought their album Return to the Breath online. I really enjoy this album a lot. The music is a nice mix of old school goth and '90s shoegaze. Lead singer Julie has an amazing voice and it shows on tracks like "Red" and "All My Lovers" (2 of my personal favorite tracks).

Thought Thieves: Krista

Ever since I gota copy of the new Thought Thieves EP Krista late last month, I have been enjoying the cd every opportunity I get. The band's brand of synth-rock is top notch. It is melodic yet heavy but I'll be honest, if you see them live (like this weekend at the Memory Lanes Block Party, they perform live at five o'clock), you will get a really good feel to their sound. I think their cds don't do the band justice in comparison to their live shows. Nevertheless, Krista is a fabulous cd. The songs are incredibly catchy especially the title track.

Gabriel and the Apocalypse: Into the Afterglow

Here is another band whose album really doesn't do the band justice in comparison to their live shows. Still Into the Afterglow is 40 minutes (give or take a few) of aggressive metal with hints of industrial. Their live shows is even better. I love to crank this album up loud when I am cleaning house or my fish tanks.

Lolly Pop

Fun, catchy pop music. The lyrics are totally tongue-in-cheek and the dance beats are totally off the hook.  The music is so much fun to listen to at the office, it makes my job a bit more bearable. I am so excited that Brooke and Pop Inc. will be finally  put out an album this coming fall.

Scarlet Slipping: Fire in the Mist

This is a really terrific album that mixes ambient with goth and classical music. I often will listen to the album when I am winding down for the day. It is beautiful.

Another great local album is by a new up and coming band called As/Of. I bought a copy of their self-titled album last week at the Loudness show. You can check out their music at Last FM. I have been enjoying the music immensely. The music has some elements of synthpop mixed with harder, more aggressive industrial beats.

Phantoms of the SS and Verney 1826: Anthem and Procession

I'll be honest, this album isn't completely local. This collaborative effort is between local electronica act Phantoms of the SS and the German act Verney 1826. Back in February of this year I saw Phantoms perform at the 400 Bar and really the music that I heard them perform. I picked up this cd knowing that a few of the songs they performed were on this cd. It is quite lovely in a dark, brooding manner. At times I was reminded of Attrition and various Projekt Records artists. Just fantastic experimental/darkwave/gothic music between the two groups.

This spring I was introduced to a new up and coming band called Static Image. The group consists of two members Tracey Setterlund and Jesse Roberts (known to locals as a member of Souless Affection). I acquired a copy of their 4 track promo cd which is a great mix of synthpop and industrial music. The music is very melodic but yet the beats and Tracey's vocals are aggressive and often harsh (especially Tracey's vocals). I am hoping to see the new group perform live sometime this summer, if not this fall. For now, I have posted a link to their reverbnation page where people can go check out their music. I think it is great to see some new blood in the local electronic scene here in Minneapolis. Given the popularity of Jesse's previous band Souless Affection, I am hoping that Static Image will achieve the same name recognition among fellow rivetheads (males and females alike).

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