Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Carroll, On An On and Narco States

Rising quartet Carroll are new graduates from Macalester and releasing their debut "Needs EP" soon. (Photo by Allison Zeal)

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.


Looking for the next great local success story this year? We’re not even a month in, but Carroll is going to provide stiff competition, especially with their forthcoming Needs EP which has garnered write-ups all across the world and ironically, still little press here in Minnesota. That may change pretty soon: Tiny Mix Tapes just premiered and wrote a glowing review of their new single “Lead Balloon,” particularly praising lead man Brian Hurlow’s voice and the crystal clear production and instrumentation from his bandmates Max Kulicke, Charlie Rudoy and Charles McClung.

“Lead Balloon” is really good. It’s nothing revolutionary, but in a time when music seems to be getting weirder just for the sake of being weird (and getting accolades even if it doesn’t sound all that great), Carroll is fresh, young, impeccably constructed and a good instance of the dream pop enveloping the Twin Cities right now. Sometimes all you need is a tight ensemble and the know-how in making a lasting melody and you’re set. Carroll have got it.

The band will be our in-studio guest on The Local Show on February 17.

  1. Listen Carroll – “Lead Balloon” from Needs EP

On an On

Here’s a band we’re hoping makes a return migration to Minnesota in 2013. Right now, On an On is split between the TC and Chicago — Nate Eiesland is from here originally — and they formed out of the ashes of Scattered Trees, one of the more acclaimed bands out of the Windy City. Scattered Trees was poised for a major breakout when two of its members left right before they had a recording stint set in Toronto.

Instead of canceling their studio dates, the remaining three members met with Dave Newfield (Broken Social Scene) to record their debut album as On an On. If “The Hunter” is any indication, the release will be a gorgeous and heartbreaking journey through one of life’s hardest obstacles as a musician: your band breaking up. There’s a lot of baggage that goes along with that process, and On an On have rekindled that into a story that is making a lot of press outlets pretty excited in the new year.

“The Hunter” is an electronic, slow churner full of billowing crescendos, crashing cymbals and abrupt changes in pace. People seem to be eating this up: the song has already wracked up over 85,000 plays on Soundcloud.

Whether or not they end up spending more time in Minnesota, this trio is really something to watch in 2013 and is likely to be one of the more acclaimed sleeper albums of the winter.

  1. Listen On An On – “The Hunter” from Give In

Narco States

The Growlers, The Shag Rats, The Black Angels, The Black Lips, Daniel Johnston, The Doors, Love, Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, Strawberry Alarm Clock, 13th Floor Elevators, The Cramps, Roky Erickson, Syd Barrett, Brian Wilson, Night Beats…

Those are the influences Narco States lists on their Facebook. Yep, sounds about right. At this point, anything taking a cue from The Growlers is fine by me. (Heard about their new album? Here’s a non-local plea to take a listen.) Narco States’ new EP is totally unhinged and a gem for all those Nuggets lovers out there, especially the editions that embraced the dirtier side of things.

The self-titled EP manages to evoke loooo-fi punk (think early Ty Segall before he got famous), surf, psychedelia and good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n roll. It sounds totally live although only one track was indeed recorded that way at the Hexagon. The songs speed all over the place, crash against walls, get up and again and change into a totally different entity. These guys are pros, ‘nough said.

The release party is Friday, January 25 at the Nomad.

  1. Listen Narco States – “Jailbird” from their self-titled EP