Local Current Blog

Local Radar: STNNNG, Heavy Deeds and Southwire

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.

One of the best parts about starting a new year is that many bands come right out of the gate with new material. While STNNNG released a new single from Empire Inward at the tail-end of 2012, we’re finally now getting around to playing it after various themed Local Shows in December.

They had a big year, playing Shellac’s curated ATP festival and heading to Abbey Road to master this new album. And man, some magic certainly happened there because “Brain-Dumb” feels like the culmination of what STNNNG has been working towards for almost a decade. It’s hard-pounding enough to keep their long-time fans satisfied, and just accessible enough to attract those who have never gone to that side of the musical spectrum before (e.g. Japandroids).  

One minute into the song, the funky rhythm breaks in and all hell subsequently breaks loose over Chris Besinger’s yelps. It’s a thrasher, it’s fun, it’s STNNNG, and there’s no doubt that Empire Inward will be a big story in 2013. It’s out February 23 on Modern Radio. The band plays Saturday, January 5 at the Turf with Birthday Suits, The Blind Shake and Seawhores.

Stream: STNNNG – “Brain-Dumb” from Empire Inward

Heavy Deeds
Got six minutes to spare? Yep, you do. Press play on the player below to hear what I am most excited for this year: the long-awaited Heavy Deeds EP. After playing various shows around town in the past year and very rough demo circulations on the internet, the debut Light Lunch EP has finally been mastered and is ready to be unleashed sometime in February or March on Old Blackberry Way’s new imprint.

Anyone who has read the Local Radar since the feature started knows I may have a certain affinity for the psych-rock community in the Twin Cities. The fanbase isn’t huge for it here like you may find in Austin or San Francisco, but the output of material from musicians is certainly just as prolific. Heavy Deeds draws members from Vampire Hands and Polica and some newcomers as well. But they sound like they know exactly what they’re doing. After all, they got together to play Fleetwood Mac covers, and those elements are definitely still in place, but the atmospherics have been ramped up. It’s deliciously good, and the pulsating rhythm section on “Light Lunch” and the change-over into a completely different song half-way through keeps this song from ever getting boring.

Voted number five on 2012’s Picked To Click poll from Gimme Noise, you can expect to hear and see a lot more in 2013 from this five-piece, and here’s hoping the long wait for the band gets them the attention they deserve.

Stream: Heavy Deeds – “Light Lunch” from Light Lunch EP


Let’s take a little trip up to Duluth next. Andrea and I are particularly eager to hear the debut Southwire full-length out on a new label called Chaperone Records. They’re doing a great job on the North Shore pin-pointing rising talent, and Southwire feels like something that may be their largest success story this year.

We only had some early songs to go off of, but a few weeks back we received two more from the new album. Self-described as “enchanted heavy folk,” the music is completely aligned with that delineation, and I can’t help but thinking that this is how folk should sound. Southwire feels fully realized – this is some powerful stuff, and a major band to keep your eyes on in the coming months.

Stream: Southwire – “God” from Southwire