Local Current Blog

Friday Five: New Polica, Dessa, Sombear, and more

The cover art for Poliça's new record, Shulamith.


In a mere 24 hours, the gates will be open for Rock the Garden and we’ll be standing outside, soaking in the summer sun at one of the largest outdoor festivals of the season. That’s a beautiful thought, isn’t it?

And we’ll have plenty to chat about between sets, too, with all of the big local music that broke this week. In this round of the Friday Five, I rounded up a handful of the biggest stories to make a splash in Minnesota music this week—with new videos for four of them, and a throwback oldie-but-goodie as the fifth.

Enjoy, and hope to see you at the Walker tomorrow! I’ll be the one scrambling up and down the hill with a notebook in one hand and smartphone in the other trying to master my technique of blogging, tweeting, Instagramming, Vine-ing, and rocking out all at the same time.



We already knew that Channy Leaneagh could sing the living daylights out of anything you put in front of her. In the new video for Poliça’s “Tiff,” we also learn that she’s a hell of an actor. The video dropped on the same day that Poliça announced their new album, Shulamith, and posted all of their lyrics from the new album to their website. A bold move, considering that one of Poliça’s biggest criticisms is that you can’t understand what Leaneagh is singing under all that vocal manipulation; now, fans can absorb her lyrics before they even hear the album.


Dessa dropped her first video in support of Parts of Speech earlier this week, and it signals the start of a very, very busy time for the rapper and singer. She’s playing sold-out shows at the Fitzgerald Theater on June 22 and First Avenue on 29, and will play in-stores at Fifth Element and all three (!) Electric Fetus stores on her album’s release day, June 25. Keep up with all her activities on her blog.


Now, Now drummer Bradley Hale is going full-blown Weeknd in his new video for “Love You in the Dark,” the title track from his forthcoming record as Sombear. His slinky, vocoder-coated electro pop has already caught the ear of Now, Now champion Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie), and Love You in the Dark will come out on Walla’s Trans-Records label on July 23.

Lights and a Backdrop

This new series from prolific filmmaker Adam J. Dunn explores a simple concept: What happens if you create a minimalist set, round up a dozen talented local MCs, and film them in black and white as they perform their songs? The result is an engaging collection of videos offers each performer the space to show off their distinct personalities—and given that Dunn has selected mostly under-the-radar rappers for this series, it gives prospective fans an incredible first impression. Watch the whole Lights and a Backdrop season here; another collection of 12 videos is due out in two weeks.

The Replacements

History was made this week when the Replacements (or at least Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson) announced they would be playing three Riot Fest dates, their first shows together in 22 years. It was stunning news for longtime fans, many of whom have grown to lionize the band a little more with each year that passes since their last show. With all that expectation and obsession building, could these live shows possibly leave people satisfied? Only time will tell. Maybe they’ll approach it like they did this video for “Bastards of Young” and just play behind a giant picture of a subwoofer…