About the Minneseries: Each month, a different Minnesota act takes up a Thursday night residency at the Nomad World Pub, with different hand-picked openers each week (10 p.m., no cover, 501 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.).
Their back story: Bae Tigre, the string-heavy electronic solo project of singer/songwriter/violinist/pianist Ranelle Johnson — who alone wrote, recorded and produced the debut album “Memoir of a Happy Drifting Chemical” last year — can be considered an evolution of Tiger VS, her former Minneapolis electro-pop trio. Johnson completed her album and envisioned realizing the songs on stage with a full five-piece live band so she presented the work to her collaborators and asked them to learn it — just two weeks before the first Bae Tigre show last fall. Among the recruited were the other two members of Tiger VS, cellist Addison Wasson and violist Alex Galle-From, plus drummer Katharine Seggerman (of B.O.Y.F.) and Nathaniel Bates (aka the Once-ler), who mans the computer/electronics and kaos pad.
Since formation, Bae Tigre has enjoyed local praise for the standout single “Now or Never” and brought the impressive live lineup all around town, including a stop at Pornonono’s February Minneseries residency. July sees Bae Tigre with a Nomad residency of their own.
Their current goings-on: In March, Johnson began writing and recording “Perennial Bygones,” a follow-up to “Memoir,” which will be released this week. “This one I did the same way to begin with except I had to move from the basement to my bedroom due to a flood,” Johnson said. “That process was really interesting because we were in a really small, [dingy] space and there is live viola and cello on every track. It was a really funny time.” She’s also excited about being more involved in the mixing and mastering process. Whereas for her last release she had hip-hop producer Wesley Opus mix the album, this time the two sat side by side in the studio for hours working together — becoming close friends in the process.
Their plans: John Acarregui will play drums at the residency in place of Seggerman, so they’re currently training him on the old songs and aiming to debut a new song each week. As far as each night’s hand-picked lineup goes, Johnson says she simply reached out to all her favorite local acts, asking them to play with her. “I tried to get a lot of female-led bands,” Johnson said. Bands like the steamy electro-pop outfit Pornonono and the rowdy girl-power group Yoni Yum will support her on the first and third week respectively. The second week will feature Botzy and Malcolm Anthony, representing a few of her favorite local hip-hop artists.
Speaking of hip-hop artists, many of Johnson’s rapper pals have begun to request beats from her, prompting her to develop her beat-making skills. She’s enjoyed stretching her creative muscles and intends to someday release a mixtape of Bae Tigre beats.
The residency will also bring the Nomad’s “Dead Disco” dance night back to life. “I was so scared to ask [DJ Foolproof],” Johnson said, “but immediately he was like ‘Yeah! That would be awesome!’ ” The popular dance night spun disco, funk and electro vinyl from the 1970s and 1980s, and according to Johnson there’s been some demand for its revival. “Hopefully I can get some cool lights and maybe our band can learn a disco cover,” she said.
Our impressions: Between working with Opus and keeping company with rappers, a welcome hip-hop influence seems to have crept into Johnson’s music. Lead single “I’m a Tiger” features a feisty beat that complements the layers upon layers of orchestral strings and gives her droning synths a satisfying bite. If nothing else, the live electro-cello is a delight on its own.