After Adele, Beyoncé and Metallica helped make it one of the busiest summers ever for big concerts in the Twin Cities, fall is looking relatively small-time by comparison. Don’t tell Kanye West we said that, though.
Kanye’s Oct. 10 date at Xcel Energy Center is one of the few noteworthy arena-sized shows on the calendar this autumn, a drop-off that hardly means the local concert scene will drop dead. The season is packed with theater and club gigs well worth the considerably less money it costs to attend vs. those major shows. Among the offerings is an abundance of noteworthy newcomers playing their first or second gigs in town — acts on the verge who could be major players in the coming years. Here are five of them.
Marian Hill: Electro-pop duos with alluringly voiced women and wizardly producers/beatmakers are a dime an 808 right now in indie-rock, which is why it’s so exciting to have one that sounds as unique and vibrant as this Philadelphia twosome. Samantha Gongol and Jeremy Lloyd creatively spike their songs with jazz/bebop and hip-hop influences, creating a playful and genuinely groovy sonic landscape where Gongol often comes off more like a jazz chanteuse than an average electronic siren. After a summer of festival appearances, including Lollapalooza and Outside Lands, they’re hitting the intimate clubs they’re better suited for following the release of their debut album, “Act One.” (Oct. 6, 7th Street Entry, Mpls., $15)
Luísa Maita: If watching the Olympics last month whetted your appetite for the sultry and often slow-grooving music of Brazil, then check out this intoxicating and innovative singer from São Paulo, who’s already well-known in her native country. The 34-year-old Maita played the Cedar once before after her debut album, “Lero-Lero,” earned her the Brazilian equivalent to a Best New Artist Grammy. She is finally coming back to support her second record, “Fio da Memória,” which promises more of an experimental, ambient electronic flavor like the samba equivalent to FKA Twigs. (Oct. 7, Cedar Cultural Center, Mpls., $20-$25)
The Seratones: Alabama Shakes comparisons are sticking like glue to this punky soul-rock band from Shreveport, La., which has more to do with their publicity photos — a powerhouse African-American woman singer surrounded by three Southern-rooted rocker dudes — than it does their music. But they at least deserve the hype. Frontwoman AJ Haynes employs a Neko Case-like wail over a grungy, frenetic hard-rock boogie on their debut album, “Get Gone.” The record was produced by Squirrel Nut Zippers alum Jimbo Mathus and issued by the Black Keys’ old label, Fat Possum Records. (Oct. 8, Turf Club, St. Paul, $10)
Margo Price: The hardships of small-town life and women living in a man’s world were the subjects of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton classics from 40 years ago. For better or worse, they sound modern and relevant again in the rich songs penned by this rural Illinois native. Price has been kicking around Nashville for almost a decade, including time in the band Buffalo Clover. She finally found a home for her pure but not-too-retro country sound at Music City’s famed indie-rock label Third Man Records, run by Jack White. Her debut solo album, “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” came out to raves in March and landed her “SNL” and “Tonight Show” TV gigs. She’ll headline the anniversary party for 89.3 the Current’s great twang show “United States of Americana” after playing the same party a year ago as the little-known opening act. (Oct. 27, Turf Club, $16-$18)
Kaleo: Call it the “Take Me to Church” transatlantic runoff. One of the most buzzed-about Southern gospel-inspired rock acts of the moment — whose new single “Way Down We Go” sounds a lot like a knockoff to Hozier’s megahit — is from way over yonder in Iceland. The rest of the quartet’s second album, “A/B,” is more varied but still firmly rooted in old gospel influences, whether it’s the mellower, willowy ballad “All the Pretty Girls” or the rowdy rocker “No Good.” We’ll find out if they’re any good live. (Oct. 16, Varsity Theater, Mpls., $20-$25)