Local Current Blog

Thomas Abban wins City Pages 2017 Picked to Click poll

Thomas Abban. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Thomas Abban has been named Minnesota’s best up-and-coming musician by the voters in City Pages’ annual Picked to Click poll, with 64 points. This year’s winners reflect just how diverse and genre-bending the Twin Cities music scene is these days. For example, just behind Abban with 48 points is indie-pop trio 4th Curtis. Other musical genres represented in the mix include rap, R&B, and rock, but something that these musicians have in common is their refusal to stick to just one style.

Thomas Abban released his debut album, A Sheik’s Legacy, this past July and has been steadily garnering attention for his unique blend of musical styles. Abban’s musical voice is truly his own, pulling influences from rock to Beethoven and fusing virtuosic guitar playing with vivid lyrical imagery. Last month he sat down with Cecilia Johnson to talk about his signature look, musical idols, and his new record. Abban also stopped by The Current’s studio to play a couple tracks from A Sheik’s Legacy.

Thomas Abban – Symmetry and Black Tar (Live on The Current)

Congratulations to Thomas Abban, winner of this year's City Pages Minneapolis Picked to Click poll! Thomas visited our studio last month to record this mind-bending session for The Local Show: https://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2017/10/28/thomas-abban-performs-in-the-current-studio

Posted by The Current on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This is the 27th year that City Pages has asked local music insiders to vote for their favorite new local artists, and this year’s results were especially varied. Last year’s winners ZULUZULUU landed first place with 108 votes and this year Abban took first place with just 64 votes, showing how votes were distributed among a wider range of acts.

Here are the rest of this year’s winners.

2. 4th Curtis, a trio that uses indie pop to speak out about trans identity, disability, and mental health. 4th Curtis released their debut full-length album, I Won the Pageant, this February. This March, the band recorded a number of songs in The Current’s studio, including “Chicken.”

3. Lady Midnight, the moniker of R&B/soul artist Adriana Rimpel. In August 2016, Andrea Swensson named her one of the Local Current’s Artists to Watch. Check out Andrea’s interview.

4. Rapper Dwynell Roland, who performed at Rock the Garden 2017. Listen to his in-studio session with The Current, and watch him rap on the Minnesota State Fair Sky Ride.

5. Soul/R&B artist Nick Jordan, who won the Star Tribune‘s 2017 Are You Local? contest. Read Cecilia Johnson’s profile.

6. Indie pop group Sass, fronted by Tony Peachka guitarist/vocalist Stephanie Jo Murck.

7. Rock band Blaha, the latest project of Blind Shake guitarist/vocalist Mike Blaha.

8. Experimental rap duo Izell Pyramid.

9. Hip hop artist Student 1.

10. Lady Lark, the project of soul/pop artist Taylor Harris. Lady Lark performed live with The Current at the 2017 MN State Fair. Read Cecilia Johnson’s interview.

Lady Lark at the Minnesota State Fair

Andrea Swensson welcomes Lady Lark for a performance at Dan Patch Park on MPR Day at the Minnesota State Fair. #mpr50

Posted by The Current on Friday, September 1, 2017

Colleen Cowie is a student at Macalester College. She hosts the show Locally Sourced on WMCN.