Two weeks into the new year, Twin Cities musicians are getting a jump on releasing new songs. Here's a batch of noteworthy singles that arrived this week.
DESSA: The Doomtree rapper, Orchestra Hall regular and "Hamilton Mixtape" standout announced a new monthly single series on Friday called "IDES." The name refers to the fact that she plans to release a new song on the 15th of each month (i.e., "the ides of March") — all recordings made at her and her collaborators' homes during the pandemic. The title of the first song also evokes Julius Caesar: It's called "Rome" and is based around a loop Dessa made from a (pre-pandemic) recording of a tap-bucket crew performing in a New York subway.
STOKLEY: The Mint Condition singer offered a taste of his second solo album this week, a smooth, catchy, '90s-flavored R&B emoter titled "Cascade." It features guest vocals by the Bonfyre (Chelsey LaRue), best-known from her work with Raphael Saddiq. No release date has been confirmed yet on Mr. Williams' album, "Sankofa" (a Ghanaian word for "go back and get it"), but he's been working on it since before the pandemic.
MARK MALLMAN: Minneapolis' high-energy, positive-living piano man is readying his album "Happiness" for release Feb. 19, which is based off his well-received 2019 memoir "The Happiness Playlist." This week, he offered the second track off it, the headlines-inspired, Arcade Fire-flavored manic rocker "Scum on the Tub." True to form, Mallman will tout the new tune with a livestream set from his bathtub on Friday at 8 p.m. CT via his Facebook and YouTube pages.
DAN ISRAEL: Not to be confused with the other St. Louis Park-reared singer/songwriter named Dan who landed an attention-grabbing publishing deal this month, Israel channels the blue-collar angst of 2020 in his first song of 2021, a slide-guitar-laden bruiser called "Pandemic Blues." Steve Price produced the track with his Suburbs bandmate Steve Brantseg also pitching in on guitar.
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658