There’s still time for local music acts to enter the 2017 edition of the Star Tribune’s Are You Local? best-new-bands contest, but not much. Artists have through this coming Monday to sign up.
AYL? 2017 has already summoned dozens of artists from around Minnesota, with all manner of musical identities. Pop and R&B singers, rock bands, rappers, folksy singer-songwriters, and other acts from all over the musical spectrum are in the running for this year’s contest.
Once the semifinalists are determined, there will be a public vote to narrow the field down to a group of finalists, who will compete at the Tniurf Club on Feb. 6. The overall winner, in addition to scoring $2,000 in cash and prizes, will play First Avenue on Feb. 17 alongside the Minneapolis new-wave legends the Suburbs, DJ Shannon Blowtorch and more.
In addition to the newest of the new, the field of 69 artists approved for AYL? so far include acts who have already made a name for themselves in Minnesota music in the past couple years. Below, meet 11 of the artists who fall into the latter category.
The Minneapolis rapper has been around for a few years, but he became more visible in 2016. He released a handful of songs with famed Atlanta producer Sonny Digital, as well as an album with producer J.KELR (“Believe in MPLS”) and two solo EPs (“Super Saiyan” and “Super Saiyan 2”).
The Minneapolis synth-pop band released its latest album, “Cellar Door,” last year, celebrating its release with a show at 7th Street Entry. City Pages wrote that the album’s “charming naiveté leaves a lovely aftertaste.”
The Minneapolis singer-songwriter scored praise from American Songwriter magazine last year for his new EP’s title track, “Workin’ Too Hard.”
The atmospheric Minneapolis psych-rockers, who released an EP entitled “Grigio” last year, were named one of City Pages’ “10 Minnesota music acts poised to pop in 2017.”
The versatile Minneapolis hip-hop talent is also a former slam poet. He’s seven months on the heels of his album “Black Sheep,” an inventively structured album with interludes and “chapters.”
The Minneapolis singer was named City Pages’ Best R&B Artist last year. He also collaborated with 2016 Are You Local? finalist Ness Nite for “Yes,” named one of the best Minnesota rap songs of 2016 by Go MN.
Minneapolis psych-rock four-piece Porno Wolves, 2016 contest semifinalists whose name can potentially lead to some disturbing Google Images results, have built a reputation as one of the more exciting young Twin Cities bands in recent years. Their most recent release is the live album “Young Moon Rising: Live.”
The Minneapolis trio formed in 2014 and play a raw, riff-heavy style of rock, as heard on their debut album, last August’s “Death Ray.”
One of the acts that will play First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2016 showcase on Jan. 18, Winona indie rockers Sleeping Jesus just may have what it takes to put their town on the map.
Tyte Jeff is the new band led by Jeff Allen, co-founder of the acclaimed and now-defunct post-punk outfit the Plastic Constellations. The Star Tribune called their forthcoming album “a big local release to look forward to in early 2017.”
The St. Paul rapper has won acclaim from popular online publications including Pitchfork (which rated his “Under the Perspective Tree” EP a 7.8 out of 10) and Pigeons & Planes. His most recent project is a short film entitled “The Mustard Seed.”