Local Current Blog

Web of Sunsets, the Pines, Panther Ray and more: This week’s Minnesota record releases

Web of Sunsets in The Current's studios last year. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Web of Sunsets: Steel New Days

Members of the acid-country trio Web of Sunsets come from many corners of the musical world, but the title track of their new Steel New Days EP centers on a droning jangle. Slowly but surely the song takes flight and before you know it, your feet are far from the ground. It will be exciting to see how high the super group’s new EP will go. – Aaron Bolton

Charlie Parr: Stumpjumper

There are a lot of firsts for Charlie Parr on his new Stumpjumper album, which dropped yesterday. It’s his first solo album with a backing band (the 2010 release Glory in the Meeting House was jointly credited to Parr and the Black Twig Pickers), the first time the Duluth-based musician recorded outside of Minnesota, and it’s his debut album for Red House Records. His authenticity still soars, and the backing band melds right into his grassroots sensibility, putting Parr’s stories and weathered vocals front and center. Parr will be at the Varsity Theater on Friday for a release show. – Aaron Bolton

Panther Ray: Ripple

Rearranged, re-recorded, and now set free onto the world is Panther Ray’s Ripple LP. The psych-pop quartet recently joined David Campbell in the studio to play some new songs and talk about Thursday’s release show as well as their roster switch-ups after first recording Ripple last year, and even to review their own album. The strung-out psychedelia proves their strong songwriting abilities on “Get to You.” The wispy lyrics and grungy guitar tones float simultaneously into space, very much together but yet distinctly separate. They will be at the 7th Street Entry on Thursday to celebrate the release of Ripple. – Aaron Bolton

Actual Wolf: Itasca

It’s psych-country as done, and done well, by genre bender Eric Pollard aka Actual Wolf. Pollard may now be based in Nashville, but the Grand Rapids local is singing about his roots on the rightfully named Itasca release. Pollard is ready to show off his skillful writing, and his soundscapes painted with psychedelic tendencies that are represented well on “Tell Me Baby What You Think of Me.” He will return home for his release show at the Turf Club on Wednesday. – Aaron Bolton

The Pines: Folk Songs

Iowa transplants the Pines are reworking some of their favorite folk songs on their new EP. The Folk Songs EP will feature Joe Price, Mance Lipscomb, and Iris Dement, to name a few. They’ll be celebrating the new release on Saturday at the Dakota Jazz Club– Aaron Bolton

StarDweller: Exit Notes

Though StarDweller frontwoman Stephanie Davila is based in New York, her Minnesota roots are clear from the star-studded guest list on StarDweller‘s new album. Jeremy Messersmith, Haley Bonar, Brian Moen (Peter Wolf Crier) and more guests enliven Exit Notes, a gentle but rich listen recorded in Cannon Falls during a blizzard. Exit Notes, which Davila describes as “a labor of love,” was released yesterday. – Jay Gabler

Esto: Houghton-Hancock Hum-Alongs

Esto currently lives in Minneapolis, but his entire new album Houghton-Hancock Hum-Alongs is about the Wolverine State’s Upper Peninsula. The Kickstarter-funded album, which comes out on Friday, “takes an introspective look at my experiences, the landmarks of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and the history of the region with an unmistakable summertime vibe.” – Jay Gabler

Birthday Suits: Spin the Bottle: Adult Party

The thunderous duo Birthday Suits are already ten years young, and they’ll be celebrating on Saturday with an anniversary show that also serves as the release party for their new album Spin the Bottle: Adult Party, which is out now via Recess Records. It’s unclear how their new song “Minneapolis” will go over at the Turf Club, but these guys build up such a head of steam that once they get started, there’ll be no stopping until the Adult Party is done. – Jay Gabler

Ronnie Buxtons: Getting Together

If “Back to ’93” sounds like somewhere you’d like to go, hit up the 331 Club on Saturday for the Ronnie Buxtons‘ release show: their new album Getting Together is full of fun throwback shaggy-dog stories played with post-punk flair that might take you all the way back to ’83. Frontman Steve Barone was in Craig Finn’s legendary pre-Hold-Steady band Lifter Puller; read Ali Lozoff’s recap of that band’s storied career. – Jay Gabler

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. Jay Gabler is a digital producer at The Current.