When the end of the year rolls around and people start casting their ballots for best local album, one band might be criminally overlooked. It’s not because of widespread accessibility issues or anything – nope, it’s just because the record came out early in January. That time is usually a graveyard for releases unless you’ve got your PR cap on tight.
Thus is the case with The Ericksons, the sister duo of Bethany Valentini and Jenny Kapernick, who are arguably one of the best examples of a Minnesota act who have totally redefined and strengthened their sound for the better. Sure, 2010’s Don’t Be Scared, Don’t Be Alarmed gathered them plenty of fans, but this year’s The Wild was an insanely apparent progression both in technical skill and production (thank Beau Sorenson in part for that!). It was a smile-inducing surprise for me at least, and to see them in a live setting recreate what was done on that record was even more fulfilling.
So, let’s not forget about The Wild, which sits side-by-side with Southwire’s debut – at least in my head – as the two best Minnesota folk albums in 2013 so far. The sisters aren’t going to let you forget anyways: this week, we got a taste of a one-off single called “Animal” featuring Sean Carey and Ben Lester, both of whom have collaborated before between Field Report, S. Carey and Bon Iver.
It’s another new direction for The Ericksons from the very first opening bars. A four-minute building crescendo rooted in an electronic melody, and further anchored by the characteristic harmonies you find from Valentini and Kapernick.
And yet still, this band is not as much on the forefront of people’s minds as I would like them to be. If “Animal” is any indication, we’re in store for much more in 2014.
The new song is available now on their Bandcamp.