Local Current Blog

Poliça, ‘Post-Post-Race,’ Circle of Heat, and more of this week’s Minnesota music releases

Channy Leaneagh of Polica performs in The Current's studios (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Poliça: United Crushers

Poliça are pulling no punches on their third album, which sees the Minneapolis group — whose international profile continues to rise — struggling with the social turbulence that Minnesotans, and all Americans, were experiencing as the collection came together in recent months. “I drive around and I see that big, ominous ‘United Crushers’ looking down at all of us and to me it feels like, ‘United States of Dreams Crushed,'” frontwoman Channy Leaneagh told Andrea Swensson, referring to the local graffiti tag that inspired the album’s title. “We’re all in this rat race and we’re all trying to survive and a lot of the time it feels hopeless, so for me, a lot of these songs build hope.” United Crushers is released this Friday, and the band are playing a local residency this week before embarking on a yearlong tour across North America and Europe.


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Post-Post-Race is described as “a Hip Hop album about racism, solidarity, and dismantling white supremacy; featuring multiple voices and perspectives.” Producer Katreh-Quey provides smooth beats for pointed lyrics by artists including Guante, Jayanthi Kyle, Lucien Parker, G.P. Jacob, Tish Jones, Tony the Scribe, See More Perspective, and Laresa Avent; they’ll all be at the Whole Music Club on Thursday for a release show. The song titles indicate the album’s topical concerns and dark humor: “One Bad Cop,” “White People on Twitter,” “Our Relationship is a Slowly Gentrifying Neighborhood.”

Circle of Heat: Some People Say

What do nutcrackers do when it’s not the holiday season? They appear on the covers of jazz-rock fusion albums, apparently, and one green fruit-chomper is looking fierce on the cover of Minneapolis band Circle of Heat’s new release Some People Say. The band slather their their unique blend of funk all over Some People Say, but you can only really get on their level by seeing them live. The album is out now, and the band are playing a series of release shows including a Winona gig on March 10 and a Cabooze show, with Analog Son and New Elements, on March 25.

Sarah White: Laughing at Ghosts

From the first seconds of Sarah White’s new EP Laughing at Ghosts, we’re in a singular musical universe. Opener “Huesos” begins with chirping synths over a Bo Diddley beat, followed by ABBA arpeggios as White’s voice comes tripping in. The combination of soulful melodies and otherworldly beats on Laughing at Ghosts is akin to the sound Poliça has cultivated, and appropriately, White will be joining Poliça — along with the buzzworthy “shadow pop” duo Fraea — tomorrow night at the Turf Club as Laughing at Ghosts is released. Listen to White’s recent interview with Andrea Swensson.

Molly Dean: The Natural Minor

Produced by Dave Simonett of Trampled By Turtles, The Natural Minor gives Minneapolis singer-songwriter Molly Dean (Moon & Pollution) a lush aural playpen for evocative songs about love, dreams, and life. Fans of new-folk staples like Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith will find a lot to enjoy on The Natural Minor, which Dean is releasing with a Thursday show at Icehouse.

OSO: Goodhue

Christopher Williams (Warehouse Eyes) has a new project called OSO; the debut OSO release, an EP called Goodhue, was developed when Williams spent “a month alone at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota with his Casiotone keyboard.” The final EP, with much fuller instrumentation but Williams’s voice still front and center, will be released tonight at Icehouse with support from Camp Dark and Dem Yuut.

Andy Cook: Andy Cook

Andy Cook, a Minneapolis purveyor of Americana, recorded his debut EP with some of the Twin Cities’ top talent — including Jeremy Ylvisaker, Eric Koskinen, and Jourdan Myers. Cook is young, but his biggest influences are the likes of Presley, Cash, and other Tennessee titans. Cook will be in good company with Sarah Morris for an EP release show this Saturday at the Aster Cafe.

BatMN and DJ Teddybear: double EP release

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The Kulture Klub Collaborative — an organization that pairs artists with homeless youth — is starting a new series called “Launched,” masterminded by Lady Midnight, with a Sunday show at the 7th Street Entry. Greg Grease, Kristoff Krane, K.Raydio, and Big Quarters will be on hand for a joint EP release show featuring young Minneapolis hip-hop artist BatMN and EDM producer DJ Teddybear.