Local Current Blog

First Listen: TYTE JEFF, a new project from the Plastic Constellations’ Jeff Allen

It’s hard to believe that six years have passed since indie rock band the Plastic Constellations released their final album, We Appreciate You, and went on an indefinite hiatus—it was long enough ago, in fact, that the term “indie rock band” could still be used to describe a particular style of music rather than a whole subset of the music industry.

Looking back now, the Plastic Constellations were a perfect crystallization of the indie climate of the mid-2000s; their 2004 album, Mazatlan, earned high praise and a Best New Music status from Pitchfork at a time when Pitchfork’s ratings had the power to make or break a band. And locally, TPC built bridges between the rock and hip-hop scenes thanks to the role guitarist and vocalist Aaron Mader played in the rap group Doomtree under his pseudonym Lazerbeak.

While TPC are technically still on that indefinite hiatus (they do get back together for the very occasional reunion show), the band’s four members have moved on to numerous other projects. While Lazerbeak has kept busy producing for a variety of artists around town, his TPC co-leader, songwriter, and guitarist Jeff Allen has been working on a new solo outing that will be officially released next month.

Ahead of the release of his debut EP, Allen shipped over a track from his new TYTE JEFF project, which also features contributions from Matt Johnson (drums), Josh Syx (guitar), Tecon Johnson (piano) and Aaron Ripplinger (bass). And you know what? It’s really good.

Titled “Exurb Kids Don’t Know What They Don’t Know,” the lead single from TYTE JEFF shares some similarities with TPC’s quirky earlier work, but with more of a modern feel; think the all-in choruses of the Hold Steady smashed together with John Roderick’s songwriting in the Long Winters. And at just two-and-a-half minutes long, it definitely leaves the listener hungry for more.

TYTE JEFF releases his self-titled EP on Saturday, April 19, at the Turf Club, with support from the Ronnie Buxtons and another mid-2000s Twin Cities indie rock relic, Valet.