Local Current Blog

A guide to First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2015

Baby Shel at First Avenue in 2015 (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Tonight is First Avenue’s “Best New Bands of 2015” show. The annual event brings together some of the best local artists on the rise, and is sure to be a landmark performance in each of their brimming careers. Leave last year’s “best of” list at the door, and come in with an open mind. Here’s the lineup for the show — which will be co-hosted by Andrea Swensson, Barb Abney, and Jared Hemming.

Aero Flynn

Natives of Eau Claire and fronted by Josh Scott, Aero Flynn produce warm electronic music, blend it with acoustic strums, and chill and distort their songs with vibrant synths. In March, the band performed a live session in The Current’s studio, while having previously recorded their debut self-titled album at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studio.

Baby Shel

A hip-hop artist from Red Lake, Shel Cook has a recent Killing Time EP that’s filled with bombastic beats and finds the energetic rapper at his boiling point. Coming off of opening for Brother Ali, as well as winning Vita.mn’s Are You Local contest for $10,000 and a stage at SXSW, Baby Shel can only grow from here.

Bruise Violet

With a namesake derived from a Babes in Toyland song, the St. Paul grunge-punk trio go from sweet to venomous real quick on their acidic Survival of the Prettiest EP. In September, they performed in The Current’s studio, and are on the bill for our 11th Birthday Party at First Avenue next Saturday, Jan. 17.

Eric Mayson

Having produced and worked alongside many Twin Cities artists, among them Lizzo and Caroline Smith, Eric Mayson creates ambient, layered electronic textures that sound somber and homespun. His debut album Detail, inspired by his many collaborations, drifts through Mayson’s diverse sonic palette like a dream. He was also profiled on the Local Current blog back in September.

Lexii Alijai

Lexii Alijai is a hip-hop artist from St. Paul, and raps wisely and caustically about relationships and romance. In October she released the understated album Joseph’s Coat, which is filled with poignant one-liners that say more with less. “Never thought that I was made this strong/ but you got all my patience gone,” she raps on “Right Now.”

Murder Shoes

Having released their debut album Daydreaming in November, the Minneapolis garage-pop group fuse dark, reverb heavy guitars with singer Tess Weinberg’s breathy vocals. The result is akin to a relaxing guide through a field of beautiful noise.

Perfume Monster

Perfume Monster are a dream-R&B group from Minneapolis, having released their synth-filled debut EP A Slow Drip in October. The grooves on the album are all contained by vocalist Hazen’s gentle falsetto.

Peter Diamond is a senior at the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities and a sound and vision editor of The Wake Student Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @repetediamond.