Local Current Blog

Local Radar: CLAPS, The Chalice, Homeless and Wolf Lords

Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.

The Chalice
This three-piece collective has been one of our favorites the past month, hinged on the whip-smart raps of Lizzo, Sophia Eris and Claire De Lune, all of whom have had tremendous success in the local music community outside of their time as The Chalice.

We fell in love with “Push It” immediately, a hard-hitting composition which was impossible to turn your ears away from. Such was the case when they performed it at the Cedar Cultural Center during our first Local Current Live installment and the crowd went wild.

The new standout from that set is “Mama,” the second track from a record due out at some point in the coming months. Utilizing a lyrical component that Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” trademarked, The Chalice instead rip it to shreds and pop off a few people. It’s scuzzy and awesome and another preview of one of our most anticipated releases in the latter half of 2012.

Stream: The Chalice – “Mama,” out now

The new cassette tape from electronic trio CLAPS shows a remarkable maturation. They were already breathtaking when their first debuts hit the circuit a few years back, further substantiated by their Wreck full-length in 2011. This effort progresses their minimalism further, upping the hook factor and allowing Patrick Donohoe’s voice to really breathe. The collection of songs is more like a mini-LP to showcase a stylistic shift, and no longer are they completely rooted in brooding new wave. Glory, Glory is more of a cleansing of the band’s sound.

As the tape’s artwork would suggest — a cross rendering that plays an illusion on our eyes — CLAPS have found a new light to explore. They’ve left behind some older elements in exchange for new ideas. We’ll have to see if they keep on this path.

Stream: CLAPS – “Simplicity’s Key” from Glory, Glory

Another strong release in the past week comes from hip-hop artist Homeless. This is my first time hearing Ryan’s work, the result of a random Bandcamp exploration, and the guy deserves a heck of a lot more exposure given the caliber of “Get Gone,” a song that explores “disillusioned mentality” according to conspirator K.Raydio. Her choruses make this song even greater, further solidifying her place as one of the cities’ best emerging lyricists and vocalists. Triple whammy here: Big Cats! did the production — again, one of our rising producers who is finally breaking out.

The words on this are particularly poignant; I could list any line and say, “This is fresh.” Among the best though:

“Sayonara diorama, the robots have been rewired
I’m comin’ for the throne, so I can kick it on it’s side
and set fire to the palace while we eat the king alive”

I’ve been really impressed lately with this corner of the music community, especially those who have had new releases recently: MaLLy, Big Cats, K.Raydio, The Chalice (and all their projects), Sean Anonymous and others — big ups.

Stream: Homeless – “Get Gone feat. K.Raydio and prod. by Big Cats!,” out now

Wolf Lords
Grant Cutler and Aby Wolf have been working together for a while now with frequent shows around town, often impromptu such as their gigs at the Dakota. But now it seems like this collaboration might put out a physical component. Within the past few weeks, a song from their Wolf Lords project has been floating across the internet. There’s no title and information is very scarce. It combines the best of each musician’s talents: Aby’s characteristic soaring vocals and Cutler’s ambient production, this time rooted in some huge beats. This is without a doubt one of the strongest local tracks to be put out this year and should make you think why this duo didn’t come together earlier. When Wolf brings her “oohs” to the forefront, it’s enough to give you chills.

Couple this with new songs from All Eyes and Seyah, and it’s hard not to believe that the Twin Cities is really favoring the dark electronic sound right now. They’ll open for Dosh during his 7″ release show at the 7th St. Entry on August 3.

Stream: Wolf Lords – “Untitled”