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New season brings new music to local area

Spring is the season of things coming anew: from green leaves on trees, to baby robins hopping around campus. Music is no exception; this season brings new songs and performances from artists both local and worldwide.

Last Saturday, St. Olaf College Poetry House hosted a benefit concert at the Flaten Art Barn, featuring campus bands Merino Wool and Fringe Pipes, along with the new and upcoming Tasha Viets-VanLear ’15 and Aleksander Seeman ’16. The Art Barn recently changed its policy on the maximum number of individuals it can contain, so a decent crowd showed up to support the house and the campus bands playing. The concert opened with Viets-VanLear and Seeman with some edgy and soulful vibes with carefully constructed lyrics, only to be expected of a resident of the Poetry House.

Merino Wool, featuring Nick Baker ’15, Zach Westermeyer ’15, Ryan Heltemes ’15 and Christian Wheeler ’16, is always worth listening to, with its classic, yet upbeat sound and a strong bass line to boot.

The band had no trouble making the audience dance with “Made for Each Other,” among other tunes. Next came Fringe Pipes, with Jay Carlson ’15, Elliot Tadanier ’15, Christian Wheeler ’16 and Colin Loynachan ’16, establishing a presence with intense guitar riffs and wailing vocals in the best way possible with plenty of hair flipping from all gathered in the barn.

As for new music in the metro area, Minneapolis’ favorite hip-hop collective Doomtree released a new album, All Hands at the end of January. The group blends a unique mix of influences and styles all the way from rap to punk to pop into impressively woven lines and beats. The group also is one of the few hip-hop collectives with the presence of a female artist, namely, Dessa. If there’s one track to listen to off the album, it’s “Gray Duck.”

Artist Laura Marling, hailing from across the pond, is releasing her fifth album in a span of seven years on March 23. Marling has already been established as master lyricist and expert acoustic picker, but her new album Short Movie will be accompanied by a series of videos called the “Short Movie Sessions” where Marling transforms her beautifully dark winding acoustic picking into potent electric sounds, accompanied by her always poetic lyrics. Check out singles, “Short Movie,” “False Hope” and “I Feel Your Love” if you’re getting antsy. From good old NoFo to the other side of the Atlantic, there’s good music this spring all around.

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