The Staves: If I Was
The Staves are an ocean and half a country away from being local, and but their newest release If I Was was recorded right in our backyard: in Eau Claire, at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio. “I think this is my favorite place to be to make music,” said one of the Staves’ members in a mini-documentary about the process of making the Vernon-produced album. The trio talk about how personal and honest they were on their newest effort, and it reflects the aura of Vernon’s home base since 2008. If I Was dropped on March 23.
Charlie Pollard: The Reading
Charlie Pollard is gearing up to release his second effort The Reading. The album’s quiet production leaves Pollard exposed; he emotes his introspective feelings well on “Lovers,” but takes things in intriguing directions on “The Journey (Six of Words).” That’s an instrumental that loops in on itself, but stays on its toes when Pollard wants to show his fingerpicking skills off before eerie sound effects creep in. The Reading is available Wednesday.
Jon Jones is hitting Icehouse for a release show on Thursday. Jones brings emotive early-‘00s-style R&B to the table. He likes to have a conversation when he sings on the two singles released so far on Bandcamp: “The One That Isn’t True,” and “Up Until This Moment.” Relationships take center stage, complete with all the drama before the curtain draws.
The Lowest Pair: The Sacred Heart Sessions
Down-to-earth duo the Lowest Pair are releasing their second album The Sacred Heart Sessions on Saturday. The recorded the album at the Sacred Heart Music Center, an old church/recording studio in Duluth. The space has tons of natural reverb and gives an interesting wisp to their banjos and voices. It’s all about the roots with the Lowest Pair. They will be releasing the album at the Cedar on Saturday with Trampled by Turtles frontman Dave Simonett.
Venus De Mars: Flesh and Wire
On Easter Sunday at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, Venus De Mars (All the Pretty Horses) will release her first acoustic album: Flesh and Wire, which was also recorded at Sacred Heart. Longtime local critic and musician Jim Walsh, who De Mars says inspired her to take an acoustic tack, will open the show. Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! will appear on one of the album’s tracks; like De Mars, Grace is a trans artist who has spoken out about the importance of support and visibility. Also: on Friday, De Mars will be in Duluth to play a 12″ single release party at Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe.
Diva 93: The Ones Who Eat
Yoni Yum frontwoman Jessica Buns goes by Diva 93 for her solo work, and she has returned to the Diva 93 moniker for her newest tape The Ones Who Eat. Buns is donating all money made from the tape to the Sexual Violence Center. The release show at the Hexagon on Friday will feature Breakaway, Homebirth, Well, and Murder of Bros: A Dudechoir, who do a cappella ‘90s grunge songs. If deranged electronic music derivative of the punk spirit isn’t your thing, the cause is all the motivation you need.
Aaron Bolton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. Currently he is a co-host on Radio K’s Off The Record and is the music reporter at Radio K. He hopes to continue a career in music journalism.