Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Real Numbers, Strange Relations and Velvet Davenport

Credit: Photo courtesy of the band

Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.

Real Numbers
For a few months, I’ve been perusing Real Numbers’ Bandcamp page, first attracted by their simplistic, ‘60s-inspired artwork that looked a lot like Crystal Stilts. Last week I opened my mail and saw an old Hollywood-esque still alongside a typewriter font tracklisting on one of the albums; for some reason I automatically connected it with Real Numbers. Lo and behold it was, and I’m super excited to finally have something from these guys in our library now.

The submission in question is their upcoming Only Two Can Play EP, which will be out officially in early 2013 on 12” vinyl. If you can’t wait until then, a head’s up: you can listen to four previous releases on their aforementioned Bandcamp. One of Real Numbers’ influences is The Wimps, even taking an NME quote about that band (“inverted Mersey fab-ishness”) to describe their own sound. The parallels are certainly evident, but Real Numbers are catchier, faster, exude more rawness and frontman Eli Hansen isn’t concerned with pitch, characteristic of the era they are emulating.

People are taking notice, as they should. They’ve toured Europe twice and got to play Goner Fest in Memphis last year. If you are a fan of garage rock and punk, you already know that Goner Records has launched the careers of several major artists: Jay Reatard, Ty Segall, King Khan, Reigning Sound and the Eddy Current Suppression Ring are among the names that grace their roster. Take a listen to this song from the EP; it was too hard to choose which one to feature.

Stream: Real Numbers – “This Time He’s Gone Too Far” from Only Two Can Play EP

Strange Relations

Another band getting a fitting debut in the psych-rock niche of the Twin Cities is Strange Relations. Utilizing Old Blackberry Way like many of their predecessors, this trio has already crafted a handful of songs for official release in early 2013. “Ghost World” is our first taste, a haunting four-part composition that starts off very brazenly for a band’s introduction to the music community. It begins with 40-odd seconds of drummer Casey Sowa’s lonely voice before shifting into an awfully awesome key change at the 0:43 mark. The first explosion comes at 1:27; the second comes around 2:22, taking us into a totally unfiltered instrumental ending.

Marisa (synth) and Casey are transplants from the Philly area and Bryn Mawr College and met guitarist Theramu by happenstance during an impromptu jam session. Their debut EP as Strange Relations will be out on cassette and a modified 7” next spring.

Stream: Strange Relations – “Ghost World”

Velvet Davenport

News came this week of the next compilation from the Moon Glyph record label, this time a free, two-disc edition featuring over two hours of local and national artists called Opal Vol. I & II. The cool thing this go-around was not only the expanse of Steve Rosborough’s digging into the American psych-rock underground, but also that we got new songs from the likes of Brute Heart, Magic Castles, Food Pyramid and Velvet Davenport.

I would love to write about all of these bands, but the Velvet Davenport one is of particular importance. Those who have followed the act in the past few years have wondered where exactly Parker Sprout went, especially after all the accolades he got with his previous Moon Glyph releases.

“Dark” is gorgeous. I mean, you really gotta wonder to yourself why this guy has not been gathered more attention. It’s his most accessible song yet, still retaining a hazy Nuggets vibe that glows under all the layers. There’s a lot of good stuff on the compilation, but this two-minute piece may be the best reason to pick it up.

Stream: Velvet Davenport – “Dark” from the Opal Vol. I & II