Weather Maps: I had to get some things off my chest

Categories: CD Release
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Photo by Luca Venter
Weather Maps| Icehouse| Saturday, August 16
It's always the quiet ones who surprise you. Jimmy Stofer is best known for his work in Van Stee, Rose Hill Drive, the Fray, Ryan Bingham, Scars On 45, Cary Brothers, and Flobots, but the musician is stepping out from behind the bass for his project Weather Maps. On his new album, Painted Stripes, Jimmy is essentially a one-man band who siphons all of his influences from his other works to blend into his version of synthy indie-rock -- a genre that is constantly being redefined. Painted Stripes is an amalgamation of words and notes that connect less tangible things: feelings and emotions that often are fleeting.

Gimme Noise caught up with Stofer before his album release at Icehouse on Saturday night to see how his other projects led to Weather Maps and what it's like for him to take a lead role in a band.
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Chiefs of the North: We don't have to think -- we can just rock

Categories: CD Release
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Photo by Nate Geslin

Chiefs of the North | The Cabooze | Friday, August 8
Minneapolis band Chiefs of the North have taken a step out of the garage to a real studio on their latest album, Reach. With the help of Ed Ackerson, the group polished up their sound that connects the dots between muscular blues, roots rock, and the classics. Don't be afraid to turn it up to 11 when you have Reach on your speakers.

Gimme Noise caught up with the band before their album release at the Cabooze on Friday night to chat about Canadian Mounties and how the changing of a band member can shift the dynamics of a band.  More »

Tropical Depression: I recorded a bunch of songs because I was on a yacht

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Cover photo via artist
When you hear the name Tropical Depression, it may not sound like something joyful to let loose on your ears, but in all honesty, the Minneapolis band's self-titled debut is a wonderful treat. Their sound is sunny, blissed-out guitar synth-pop that has plenty of neat, slo-mo hooks. The album and band don't seem to take themselves too seriously either, which is such a rarity nowadays. 

The new project is something hatched from Vicious Vicious' Erik Appelwick with the help of Martin Dosh, James Buckley, and Adam Krinsky and tells of Applewick's adventures recording on a yacht. Via his Facebook page he shares, "The album is mostly an autobiographical account of the travels and tribulations, wanderings and meanderings, islands and beaches, party people, and paparazzi I encountered along the way from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Cape of Good Hope, Straits of Magellan to Micronesia."

Before the band's album release at Icehouse on Saturday, we caught up with Erik to chat about his adventures on the water and what influenced the sound on this album.

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Sun Gods to Gamma Rays: We wanted to see what our friends would do with our tracks

Categories: CD Release
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Photo via artist
Remixing a song is a way to breathe new life into a track and reimagine it as if it lived in a parallel world. When Minneapolis band Sun Gods to Gamma Rays approached some friends to help retrace their steps, the results came back in pieces that are sometimes haunting, sometimes intense, but always alluring. The remix treatment to The Water The Wave has resulted in a wholly new album, with only scant echoes of the original remain.

Gimme Noise caught up with the band before their album release this weekend at the Kitty Cat Klub to talk about who helped remake their songs and their intentions on redoing their entire album.

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American Scarecrows: 90 percent of this album is an autobiography

Categories: CD Release
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Photo by Steven Cohen
Minneapolis band American Scarecrows are going through a rebirth of sorts. The trio is set to release a new album after losing a band member and spending two years of reflection to come up with Yesteryear. The record combines flavors of indie-rock with country and pop-rock to condense all three sounds into a world of catchy hooks, but there's a surprising depth to each piece.

Before their album release on Thursday at the 7th St. Entry, Gimme Noise caught up with the three members at their newly built rehearsal space to chat about growing up since their last album and the uphill battle in writing new music.

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SCHOENBURG: The entire Minneapolis underground scene is doing cassettes now

Categories: CD Release
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Photo by Cori Miller
Alex Leeds, Billy Schoenburg, Graham Barton, Dane Hoppe
Nuance, delicacy, and poise are things that you expect to come with age or time, or both -- not necessarily from some former music students residing in Minneapolis. SCHOENBURG -- made up of Billy Schoenburg, Graham Barton, Dane Hoppe, and Alex Leeds -- describe themselves as pop-rock, but they are so much more than that. Tracing their roots to Sufjan Stevens and Paul Simon, they make music whose pop leans more to the side of indie-folk and creeps in with a light touch that sets them apart from their peers.

Before their release of Selfish Luvv on cassette and residency at the Nomad World Pub on Thursday, Gimme Noise caught up with Billy and Graham to talk about their love of cassettes and how a fight with a bum was the beginning of a musical friendship.

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The Poor Nobodys: Traveling with a band is like herding cats

Categories: CD Release
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Photo via artist
Minneapolis band The Poor Nobodys tap into that old-timey sound you might find at an outdoor Parisian café on their new album, Ink No Ink. Arriving in the form of pieces that transcend time, the songs feature accordions and upright bass to bring in the old-world flavor, yet has traces of bluegrass in them.  

The band is currently touring through Europe, but took the time during a stay in Berlin to talk to Gimme Noise about the origins of their sound and why traveling with so many people is like trying to milk chickens.

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The Parlour Suite: We've been planning this move for a long time

Categories: CD Release
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Photo via artist
As the rest of the Midwest hunkered down this past winter, Minneapolis band the Parlour Suite (Inga Roberts, Joel Roberts, and Joshua Caro) felt the tug of the West Coast and warmer weather -- namely Los Angeles. Today, the band's transformation will be complete. The trio released their EP Pressure in December. The rest of the album, which includes tracks from Pressure, arrives this week as Grant Cutler-produced VIBES. The new record is slyly fun and rests on a new synthy palate, perfect for a late evening summer dance party.

Gimme Noise caught up with Inga Roberts in her California home to see what prompted the move and the new direction of the music.

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Astronomique: Our lyrics are more honest than they are emo

Categories: CD Release
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Photo by Logan Andra Fongemie
You've heard synth-pop before, but never like this. The folks in Minneapolis band Astronomique don't take themselves too seriously, and that joviality shows through on their debut EP Burning Stars Fade. The band is comprised of former members of the New Monarchs and Satellite Voices and built an album that contains sounds that suggest humanity and heat, whilst retaining the essential delight of a house party.

Gimme Noise spoke with the band before their album release on Friday at Cause to catch up on Dr. Who and to see how this project compares to their past ones.

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Ryan Traster: Banjo is a four-letter word

Categories: CD Release
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Photo by Suzy Henningsgard
Funny how a change of heart can take you by surprise. Ryan Traster, Portland resident by way of Minneapolis, is back with a new album immersed in indie-rock -- it's just this time, he's dug a little deeper and hit some country roots. Like Traster, the new album Get Easy cuts straight to the chase, brushes cheeks with brashness, and makes no apologies.

The singer is back in town to share the new album and he, along with bandmate Mike McGarthwaite, share the story behind the new album and talk of their love for the banjo and hate for Mumford and Sons.

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