Allan Kingdom: Northern Lights
To say the least, Allan Kingdom has had a big year — with two Grammy nominations via his collaboration with Kanye West on “All Day”, continuing success for his group thestand4rd — including a Rock the Garden performance — and well-received solo shows including an appearance at The Current’s tenth birthday party. Even as Kingdom was making waves, he was prepping for his big Northern Lights release — dropping Jan. 6 — in silence. No tracks have surfaced online, but if we know anything of his past, surprise is always part of his release plans. Only one day until Northern Lights shines.
The Social Disaster: Dark Side of the Roller Rink
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The Social Disaster — who describe themselves as “proto-pop, gloom pop, dance & doo-wop from Duluth” — let their Dark Side of the Roller Rink release loose in November, and are coming to the Entry on Saturday to celebrate. Their newest effort is a heavy-hitter with Low’s Allan Sparhawk listed as the producer, and the album being recorded at Pachyderm Studios. Sparhawk even contributed on “Want It All.”
Gabriel Douglas and Dan Dresser: Double album release show
4onthefloor front man Gabriel Douglas is releasing a brand new solo album this Friday. Not much info is available online, but he did share this on his Facebook: “It’s a record I’m really proud of, me & a guitar. I’ve gotten a new acoustic that I’ve been using, so this’ll be the last solo electric gig for awhile. I think the record speaks to that.”
Duluth staple Dan Dresser will also be releasing his new Suffer album. The music video for the title track, above, was directed by 4 Track Films’ Jason Page. Take a look; the show takes place at the Bryant-Lake Bowl on Friday. Portage will be joining Dresser and Douglas on the eclectic bill.
Vicky Emerson: Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down
Vicky Emerson’s newest effort Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down was released on New Year’s Day. This folk-country gem could have been your hangover album; maybe it was. Check out the video for “Long Gone” above. Emerson will be at Icehouse for her release show on January 24.
Call Me Karizma: Loser
Call Me Karizma is a local artist with a growing and enormously devoted national following. The young rapper, a.k.a. Morgan Parriott, bridges the musical gap between Corbin and Owl City, with an appealing and relatable sound built on sincere lyrics and pop-inspired arrangements with a sheen of lo-fi atmospherics. He’ll release his new album on Jan. 30 at the Garage.
Ferrel’s self-titled LP came out just days after the peak of the holiday season, and if you were still in a festive mood on Dec. 29, his 13-track release should be worth a look back into 2015. Ferrel’s style echoes the history of Midwest hip-hop, with its proudly independent spirit. Ferrel will be at the Garage on Jan. 30 in support of Call Me Karizma’s release show.
Avenue Army: American Criminals
To follow up their 2013 debut, Avenue Army dropped their American Criminals EP on January 1. They would fit right in on alt-rock radio in the mid ’00s, but they’re here in 2016. Their latest EP is just a taste of their sophomore album due this summer. These guys have shared the stage with the likes of Alien Ant Farm, so give it a try.
Meinong’s Jungle: Archetype
Meinong’s Jungle are releasing their debut LP Archetype at the 7th Street Entry tonight. Archetype is a collection of 10 improvised tracks recorded at the Hideaway Studio in Minneapolis. If you’re into quirky and heavy-hitting electro-psych, then get over to the Entry. You won’t hear the same collection of tracks the band says, but “a completely different musical venture.”
The Crash Bandits: Lighten Up
The Crash Bandits are letting their sophomore effort, Lighten Up, fly on Friday. Do you miss the not-too-long-lost era of emo-ish pop punk? Here you go, it’s all yours. Single “Distractions” seems to draw on a Pixies influence as well. The Lighten Up release show is at the 7th Street Entry on Friday.
Moving Parts: Set
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Set is not just another album for Moving Parts, it’s also a farewell. The band has had some lineup changes after they finished recording their final album, and are all set for the release show on Saturday at the Creek Art Gallery. The event page says there’s a 75 person limit, so get there early for the intimate farewell. If you’re not familiar, Moving Parts is a band that has surfed the underground indie scene with mellow beach-rock tracks. A first and last show would be a good way to introduce yourself to the humble crew. No singles have been released as of yet, but check out Go By Feel in the meantime.
Monica Outcalt: X’s and O’s
Monica Outcalt is ready to release her debut X’s and O’s this Sunday at Icehouse. The fresh high school graduate is sharing her bare-bones acoustic songwriting with a voice of crystal clarity that brings emotion to every track. Icehouse will be a great place to showcase Outcalt’s stylings and a great place to listen. What are you doing Sunday?
Aaron Bolton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. Currently he is the music reporter at Radio K. He hopes to continue a career in music journalism.