Minnesota is known for producing some of the nation’s finest musicians. There’s a long history of music in Minnesota, and the future is looking brighter than ever. Sure we have our classics. Atmosphere doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and Prince just keeps on, well, being Prince, but there are too many local up-and-comers that deserve some ear time to focus only on the trailblazers. Who should you be checking out now? Who are the new acts poised to top lists for years to come? Who will keep you at the forefront of one of the best music scenes in the country? Here are a few that caught our attention.
Duluth has given us its fair share of acts over the years, from Low to Trampled by Turtles. Southwire is the latest band to stir up interest from so far north, and as the weather gets colder, it seems they are only getting hotter. Seamlessly blending elements of folk with hard-hitting rhythm and bass you might find in hip hop to create a new form of “heavy folk,” Southwire fuses styles, incorporating spoken word with mesmerizing vocals, doing something new to wow the crowd with every performance.
One of the most original bands to come out of St. Paul this year, Yeti Steady has been slowing making a name for itself by playing at St. Paul joints like Amterdam, Senor Wong and the Black Dog. You might’ve seen them at the Art Crawl this past fall. Their eclectic mix of beat-driven rhythms and ambient melodies make for ear worms that just won’t let go. As a unique, innovative, new addition to the local scene, Yeti Steady is a great act to see live. Keep an eye and ear out for them around the cities.
The ladies of GRRRL PRTY have had a monster year, headlining dozens of shows and music festivals while gaining a following all across Minnesota (and beyond). The combination of rapper Lizzo (who is also making a name for herself as a solo artist), Sophia Eris and Manchita provides some of the most hard-hitting, fist-pumping hip hop the Twin Cities has seen in years. These gals are doing it bigger and better.
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www.stereoconfession.comWhat did you do in high school? Start a band that played the Basilica Block Party and hit the radio waves on The Current? Gained a following many bands that have been around for years would be proud of? That’s what Stereo Confessions is doing. The band has been hard at work this year playing shows around Minneapolis, getting their album out, and riding the success of their single “Video Games.” Their rock and roll style never takes itself too seriously, but give them a listen and you’ll know this music is not just for teenagers.
Brian Cee and The Wibesmen
www.facebook.com/BryanCeemusicThe newest of the new up-and-comers this year, Bahamian transplant Brian Cee has already made a splash in St. Paul. The warm island sounds of this smooth operator are sure to keep hands in the air all winter long, recalling the sun and the beach with grooves that just make you want to move. Just getting started in this diverse Twin Cities music scene, look for Brian Cee and his Wibesmen to play gigs around St. Paul and Minneapolis for years to come.
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Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.