Now in its fourth year, the Minnesota Beatle Project compilation series is practically an institution. It’s consistently one of the top-selling albums of the holiday season at local record stores, and finds its way onto many publications’ year-end lists.
And for good reason: Not only is the compilation assembled for a good cause (nonprofit organization Vega Productions directs all the proceeds to area schools to help fund music education), but the artists select to contribute each year clearly take the project very seriously, each giving their own unique take on the Beatles’ expansive catalog.
This year’s compilation is no exception. Denver Gypsy-folk group DeVotchKa is the only non-local in the mix, contributing a jaunty rendition of “Girl.” The rest of the album features up-and-coming and established artists from across the Minnesota scene: Newcomer John Mark Nelson kicks off the album with the orchestral “A Day in the Life,” Chastity Brown delivers a soulful “For No One,” and Astronautalis teams with Pink Mink’s Christy Hunt and D4’s Paddy Costello for a lo-fi, faithful cover of “Back in the U.S.S.R.” In another one-off collaboration, The Big Wu’s Mark Joseph teams with recent American Idol semifinalist Reed Grimm for the harmony-driven “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.”
The fourth installment features distinctive artwork by Minneapolis mixed-media artist Gregory Euclide, who landed on many music lovers’ radars back in 2010 when he created the cover art for Bon Iver’s Bon Iver.
Here’s a larger image of the Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 4 cover:
And here’s the full tracklist:
1. John Mark Nelson – “A Day in the Life”
2. Haley Bonar – “Mean Mr. Mustard”
3. DeVotchKa – “Girl”
4. Chastity Brown – “For No One”
5. Trampled by Turtles – “Baby’s in Black”
6. Van Stee – “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”
7. Halloween Alaska – “Misery”
8. Molly Maher and her Disbelievers – “Think For Yourself”
9. Big Trouble – “You Never Give Me Your Money”
10. Astronautalis – “Back in the U.S.S.R.”
11. Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps – “Cry Baby Cry”
12. Mark Joseph feat. Reed Grimm – “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”
13. Bloomington Jefferson High School – “She Loves You”
The album will be available December 4 through independent retailers and Target, and a release party will happen in tandem with Curtiss A’s annual John Lennon Tribute show at First Avenue on December 8. And stay tuned — The Current will start playing some of these tracks on air starting midway through this month.