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Morly’s “In Defense of My Muse” and more of this week’s Minnesota music releases

courtesy Morly

Morly: In Defense of My Muse EP

Based on Katy Morley’s vast skillset, her music could have gone in several different directions. Her voice makes her a candidate for a singer-songwriter format, and her beat production could carry her to work with MCs on rap tracks, but she chose to say “screw it” and do something entirely different. The result is the In Defense Of My Muse EP—her debut effort under the name Morly: four unforgettable tracks of ambient bliss.

It’s challenging and rare for an artist to, track by track, shift and sway listeners’ emotions with ease, but that’s precisely Morly’s gift.

In Defense of My Muse opens with “You Came To Dis Sky,” the EP’s shortest track, where Morly experiments with her vocals in the highest of high and lowest of low registers. Morly is an apt candidate for soundtracking films—and this is evident here. I can almost see a Donnie-Darko-type movie unrolling behind my eyelids while listening.

“Seraphese” incorporates a bit of a jazzy, funky piano melody and a mysterious tone that’s absent in the other tracks. “And Sooner Than We Know It” feels like a sunrise—whether it’s driving all night and finally reaching that moment where the sun meets your windshield, or waking up from the sunlight heating up your legs through the blinds, just to roll over and peacefully drift back into sleep. Its layered keyboards and symphony of voices create a perfect angelic haze.

Morly finally rips through “Drone Poem (In Defense of My Muse),” easily her strongest track, perhaps because of the gut-wrenching lyrics (“I never loved you, and know I never will”) made stronger by her meditative, confident humming and literal droning in the background. I’d love to hear Morly develop this sound further. I think she could give FKA Twigs a run for her money.

In Defense Of My Muse is one of those releases that ends far too soon, just when things were getting started. Based off of this, Morly is sure to blow up in our music community before she even releases her first LP. I can’t wait to see who she picks to be in her Twin Cities entourage (pick me, please).

Grace Birnstengel is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is the editor-in-chief of The Wake Student Magazine and also contributes to The Riveter Magazine and Stereogum. Find her on Twitter @grace__.

Potash Twins: The Potash Twins

The Potash Twins—or the “Twin Horns of Joy” as they’re become called—are releasing their self-titled sophomore effort today. The six-track disc features quite an eclectic mix of musicians. Steven Greenberg (writer and producer of “Funkytown”) is the executive producer, and the backing band features some notable musicians who’ve played with the likes of Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Ziggy Marley, just to name a few. Guitarist Cory Wong (founder of Secret Stash Records) said the tracks sit somewhere between “Katy Perry and Miles Davis.” The Potash Twins will be at Icehouse tonight for a release show.

Stacy K: Hotel Colfax EP

One moment Stacy K is grunged out and another she’s sullen within a world of fuzzed-out electronics that drone along with her guitar. She’s dynamic, to say the least. Hotel Colfax is the third release from the Minneapolis singer-songwriter, and she’ll be at Icehouse tonight (yes, after the Potash Twins) to celebrate the release. From her intimate “Live in Room” videos on her YouTube to her “Stubborn Man” video—which Andrea Swenson included in last week’s Friday Five—Stacy K seems to be at home with a band or not.

Nancy’s Raygun: Friends EP

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Garage-rock experimenters Nancy’s Raygun are back this Thursday with their new Friends EP. Even though the new tape is sure to feature a few surprises, guitarist Daniel Hughes has already shown us that heavy riffs aren’t dead. The band’s last, self-titled, release had some twists and turns, so keep on your toes at the release show (which is promised to have a “spooky pizza party theme”) at the 7th Street Entry this Thursday.

Aaron Bolton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. Currently he is a co-host on Radio K’s Off The Record and is the music reporter at Radio K. He hopes to continue a career in music journalism.