Local Current Blog

Soul Asylum, Mason Jennings, and more of this week’s Minnesota music releases

Dave Pirner at The Current's studios. Photos by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Soul Asylum: Change of Fortune

Soul Asylum, one of Minnesota’s most legendary groups, are back with their 11th studio album — and their first since 2012. Frontman Dave Pirner stopped by The Current’s birthday party in January to play a tender David Bowie cover and to share “Supersonic,” the first single from the group’s crowdfunded album Change of Fortune. The full album comes out on Friday, and the band are storming SXSW before heading back for a hometown gig at First Avenue on March 26 — with Bruise Violet, a young band influenced by the vintage roar of bands like Soul Asylum and Babes in Toyland, opening.

Mason Jennings: Wild Dark Metal

A generation of fans have fallen in love with the honeyed tones of Mason Jennings, but the sincere singer-songwriter is reaching deep for bittersweet themes on his new album Wild Dark Metal, out Friday. “I feel like it contains the central DNA of the record,” Jennings told Speakers in Code about “Arma,” the lead single. “All the album’s spokes come out from here, sonically and thematically.” With no shows scheduled, Jennings is letting his new music speak for itself.

Ameet Kamath: Into the Night

It’s taken a 20-year journey to bring Mumbai native Ameet Kamath to Minnesota: moving to America in the mid-1990s, he lived first in New York and then in San Francisco. Honed through years of busking, Kamath’s smooth vocal pop album Into the Night was recorded in the Bay Area and will be released with a show on Saturday at Honey. “I am not your traditional Indian import,” says Kamath in a press release. “I sought out a life in America in order to express myself; that’s the promise America always had for me.”

Joe Fahey: Somnambulist Chaser

Somnambulist Chaser doesn’t sound like a very hard job, and sure enough, Joe Fahey makes everything sound easy on his wry new album. (Sample song titles: “Spring Forward (Fall Back),” “The Drunken Prisoner of Circumstance,” “Bon Bons for Algernon,” “Fall Back (Spring Forward).”) The local music vet releases this amiably ambling collection on Saturday with a performance at Harriet Brewing.

A Piano in Every Home: North American Review Part I

“Listening to Part I,” writes Cecilia Johnson about the new album from A Piano in Every Home, “is like resting in a library with tall windows and shelves, surrounded by old stories and sunlight.” Read Johnson’s feature on the Minnesota band who are founded on a childhood friendship — and catch the band’s release show on Saturday at Icehouse.

Mancrush: Authentic Midwestern

Real Simple: The band? “Led by the musical and aesthetic vision of drummer and composer Lars-Erik Larson,” according to the Facebook event for a Friday release show, “Mancrush creates a musical landscape that encourages listeners to find and appreciate the beauty within intentional simplicity.” A Midwest native now based in Minnesota, Larson seeks to evoke the famously flat fields of our fair region in Authentic Western — out March 18 on Shifting Paradigm Records, the premier local jazz label.

Chaperone Picks: People Prefer Goodness

“Chaperone Picks is a lo-fi, American singer-songwriter from Minnesota,” writes this mysterious man in a music submission to The Current. On his Bandcamp page, he elaborates: “Songs about trees and the media, people I know and places I’ve been.” There, you can hear People Prefer Goodness — Chaperone Picks’ newest, out now — as well as his previous two releases, sung with a poignant voice that recalls Jay Farrar.