Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Step Rockets

Minneapolis quartet Step Rockets have been around for over a year, but they have suddenly found themselves propelled to center stage after the success of new single "Kisser." (Press photo)

Have you heard of Step Rockets? If you haven’t, then you’re probably not alone—the band has maintained a low profile in the local music community since starting out last year. But two weeks ago, Indie Shuffle wrote about what I would consider their first real debut single “Kisser.” And since then, the track has amassed over 62,000 spins on Soundcloud from all corners of the world, allowing the band to grab the number one spot on Hype Machine.

Let’s put that number in perspective: 62,000 is far more plays than even the buzziest act on an indie roster like Mexican Summer or Jagjaguwar.

The song has taken off so quickly that there’s even a release show for it planned at Cause on August 25. There’s a music video being filmed during their Lake Harriet Bandshell performance next Tuesday on August 13. They’ve booked shows all over the Midwest in the coming two months. So now they just need to capitalize on that success and start recording more material… you know, when they have the time in between all this new-found attention.

My first introduction to the quartet was their song “If You Tried,” and I wasn’t sure if it really clicked for me. Step Rockets are experimenting with this odd mash-up of alternative rock, psychedelia, pop and reggae—just listen to that synth line and you’re transported to a different landscape. It didn’t quite work on “If You Tried,” but it was definitely an admirable effort. Perhaps the addition of producer Lance Conrad and his Humans Win! Studio really polished their ideas into something cohesive, and they sound like a much more tolerable version of Imagine Dragons with “Kisser.”

It’s no surprise that people have reacted favorably. This song is about as radio-friendly as it can possibly get—and that statement is both a blessing and a curse. But if these four guys have managed to fine-tune their sound so dramatically within just six months, then I would suspect that whatever is coming next will be even better. I’m looking forward to watching that progress happen.

  1. Listen Step Rockets – “Kisser”