Local Current Blog

Low, John Mark Nelson, Craig Finn, and more: This week’s Minnesota record releases

Low at the Red Herring Lounge in Duluth. Photo by Jay Gabler/MPR.

Low: Ones and Sixes

Low‘s long-awaited 11th studio album, Ones and Sixes, finally arrives on Friday by way of Sub Pop Records. The minimalistic Duluthians have more than 20 years of songwriting under their belt, yet this album’s source of inspiration seems to be fresh and in the moment for guitarist Alan Sparhawk. “This one, I wanted both feet forward,” Sparhawk told Andrea Swensson. “Not one foot in the past, or one foot in that familiar sound. It’s like, no, let’s make new music. We just talked about pushing things and making things bigger.” They’ll arrive back in Minnesota, after touring Europe, for a show at First Ave on November 11.

John Mark Nelson: I’m Not Afraid

The young hometown favorite is back this Friday with I’m Not Afraid. John Mark Nelson‘s follow-up to Sings The Moon features a more mature tune, with less of the folky vibe that his breakout record was dipped in; it’s the first release on GNDWIRE, a new label founded by Dave Simonett and Mark Gehring. He joined David Campbell on Sunday to perform some songs off the new album, and he’ll will be in the Mainroom at First Ave for the release show with Black Diet and We Are the Willows on Friday.

Craig Finn, Faith in the Future

After revisiting his past with a recent Lifter Puller reunion in Minneapolis, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is looking to the future with his second solo release. On FridayPartisan Records is putting out Finn’s newest effort, Faith in the Future. Finn’s distinctive vocal style is apparent throughout—songs like “Newmyer’s Roof” could almost be Hold Steady tracks—but with a more subdued tone. “Newmyer’s Roof” sounds very personal, building to a droning guitar solo a la J Masics. Finn, who grew up in Edina, told The New Yorker that Faith in the Future is his first New York record. “That means,” he explained, “it talks about Minneapolis less than the others.”

Austin Plaine: Austin Plaine

If one of the Lumineers went solo, he might come up with something similar to Austin Plaine’s debut self-titled album. The 24-year-old Sartell native left the St. Cloud area to study law at the University of Minnesota, but a trip to Nashville inspired Plaine to scrap it all and pursue his dream of doing music for a living. That dream has brought his debut self-titled album out via Washington Square; it hits shelves Friday. Given America’s appetite for uplifting lyrics about adventure, travel, and love, Plaine’s music is likely to take off. He’ll be at the 7th Street Entry on September 21.

Postina: Write A Better End

After some lineup changes, Postina are back with their third full-length, Write A Better End. The most notable change is Beth Renee on vocals; the band’s pop-influenced sound sits somewhere between the realm of indie and top-40 radio of the mid ‘00s. The release show is at the Pourhouse on Friday.

Andrew Jansen // Loud Sun: (((LOUD)))

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Andrew Jansen a.k.a. Loud Sun has brought his California dream back to Minnesota. The Gopher State native spent a few years out in Oakland while writing (((LOUD))) before returning to the Midwest. Jansen and his band have only tried their hand at one live set—on Radio K’s Off The Record—and will be taking their show to Icehouse on Saturday to celebrate the release on MJ MJ Records. Jansen’s dreamy surf-style songs feature catchy rhythms the whole band drops in and out of. It’s jangly, it’s fun, and it’s a blast of California sun with you as the days grow shorter.

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.