10 Twin Cities music acts who deserve to be famous

Categories: Lists, Local Music
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Photo by Tony Nelson

In a digital age driven by social media, an artist can make a song and a name for themselves over the course of a single afternoon. With the assistance of some prominent shares and retweets, things can move quickly. With Picked to Click, Gimme Noise's ultimate aim is to give some well-earned attention to the local acts who seem to be on the verge of breaking out. But frequently -- as with any award given out for artistic pursuits -- plenty of musicians who deserve recognition don't quite crack our coveted top 10.

Here is a list of 10 bands and artists around the Twin Cities worth your attention who could make a big name for themselves in the local music scene and beyond.

See Also:Top 10 best record labels in Minnesota

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Photo By Anthony Gilbert

10. K. Raydio & Psymun

After both of these local artists made waves separately, their recent work shows they are ready to take things to the next level as a collaborative duo. The vibrant combination of Psymun's fresh production and K. Raydio's smooth, resonant vocals forms a natural, potent mix. Their forthcoming full-length, LucidDreamingSkylines, is one of the most anticipated locally based on the stirring singles "Sirens" and "Jupiter," which are already receiving plenty of airplay in the Twin Cities. Some national love has already arrived too, including on the Questlove-affiliated high profile blog Okayplayer. If their LP delivers on the promise suggested by these evocative songs, 2014 is bound to be a breakout year for K. Raydio and Psymun.

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9. Sun Gods to Gamma Rays

The atmospheric dream-pop act Sun Gods to Gamma Rays just released their exquisite debut EP, The Water, the Wave, earlier this month. (Prior to that, the sound evolved fluidly from the solo project of frontwoman Brianna Kocka, Caetani, into a pulsating quintet.) The collection has a stirring elegance to it, with plenty of space for the listener to be immersed and taken on Kocka's captivating lyrical journey. The EP's simmering, expansive title track perfectly captures the adventurous musical spirit and boundless talents of the band.

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8. Hollow Boys

Hollow Boys are a moody garage-rock trio out of Minneapolis who released their terrific debut full-length, It's True, earlier this year, and they don't show any signs of slowing down. Ali Jaafar and company continue to write new material whenever inspiration strikes, while honing a stirring live show that continues to captivate local audiences. The bleak and brooding album was recorded in Jaafar's attic studio, where he regularly records and produces other local acts as well. And with songs as strong and vital as "Hater," "Blinding Light," and "Untrue," Hollow Boys have set a mercurial creative standard.

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158 comments
Isaiah Hunziker
Isaiah Hunziker

Mamma Brass knuckles and the crafty 6! oh and Battlefish and Metaforte

Henry Faber
Henry Faber

There are so many better bands than those listed. Who paid you off? Hmm... Go to a few real shows for once.

Kevin Cowabunga
Kevin Cowabunga

Wiping out thousands. Alaine Dickman and Taylor Nelson

Millie Ginder
Millie Ginder

Quietdrive, some shitty cover band, electric anthem, the role call, the picture perfect!! And The Modern Era

Josh Matthews
Josh Matthews

TNT / Tragedy and Triumph / Hennessy and Soulution

Eye Lasers
Eye Lasers

Metallagher blows all these choads out of the water, but I suppose they are already totally fucking famous anyway.

Tony Bones
Tony Bones

The Fire - Tony Bones & Jaron Mcdaniel

Michael Kalpiers
Michael Kalpiers

I really liked Frankie Teardrop when they played at the Entry with Fidlar.

luv2wsurf
luv2wsurf

And I repost this from "Newman" farther down in this thread -

"Hire someone that likes rock music sometime.  That segment of the Twin Cities music scene is completely ignored by the City Pages, and it's really annoying.  Not everyone loves hipster bands...some diversity would be nice."

And I must agree.  I have felt this way for a while now and just haven't come out and said so.  Not that it makes any difference what I feel, but the talent in our Twin Cities spans all musical styles.  Rarely, rarely do I see any kudos given to rock musicianship.  

Chad Evenson
Chad Evenson

Todd Clouser & A Love Electric. See him December 20th at Amsterdam Bar & Hall on big stage for confirmation.

Gerald Scott
Gerald Scott

Good article , Good acts. If they want to include Hard rock acts they should include DEEP SLEEP OPERATOR . They have a cd and a "Killer " stage show. True Up and Commers.

Derek Kosky
Derek Kosky

I've never heard of any of those listed in the article.

Bryce Beverlin II
Bryce Beverlin II

haven't heard of most of these. what does "deserve" to be famous mean? like a punishment?

Dancing_Matt_Sudduth
Dancing_Matt_Sudduth

It's weird that I go to local music shows literally every week and of all the musicians on this list I've only ever heard of Dem Atlas (who honestly does deserve more attention).  However, that's more a testament to the fact that there is such an abundance of good music in the cities than a slight towards the musicians on your list.  I'd say I have known more great bands who faded away due to lack of exposure from the likes of The City Pages and other mainstream media sources than I have who actually received the kind of acclaim they deserved.  In fact, I have been trying to buck that trend by creating my own blog about local music.  If you're wondering about the musicians I am talking about you can check out my blog at http://mnlocalmusic.blogspot.com  You can also find my blog's page on Facebook at 'Local Minnesota Music Blog'

Roxane Smith
Roxane Smith

Definately Crankshaft and The Gear Grinders with Alex Crankshaft Larson!! Great band!

Cory Qualey
Cory Qualey

Ive never heard of any of these bands, just 3 hours from the cities and active on Facebook. None of them deserve fame until they expand their reach beyond the safety of their home-base clubs.

Chantel Huston
Chantel Huston

I have never heard of any of these bands. I've never even seen a Facebook posting about them. What about Emergent? Gabriel and the Apocalypse? Nuisance? ReadyGoes?

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