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A New 12RODS Track and Plenty More on This Week’s Monday Morning Playlists

Five new local songs. Five new national songs. Let's do this.

Efren Maldonado; Instagram|

Ryan Olcott of 12RODS and Ciara

OK, so it isn't quite morning anymore. These blurbs don't write themselves, you know!

Local Picks

deVon Russell Gray, Nathan Hanson, Davu Seru – “They Stay Breathing Here”

Yes, I know an extended track of improvised music throws off the flow of a playlist a little, but this advance track from the trio’s We Sick, recorded in 2020 and to be released this week, deserves nine minutes of your time. Hanson’s sax begins mournful and gains strength, Gray’s piano clusters expand as the song progresses, and Seru’s rhythms grown from experimentally tentative to prominent and forceful. More on this album (and the trio’s upcoming Cedar performance) in this week’s Event Horizon.

Kelvino – “MN Thooter Booter”

There's an unmistakable Afrobeats feel to this smoothly Auto-Tuned sing-rapper's woozy vocal harmonies. This two-minute, barely enunciated song from Kelvino's new four-track EP Luv 4 the Plugg is the one that does it for me: weed-soaked, forlorn, and kinda beautiful.  

Kate Malanaphy - “Keep It Down”

The latest single in advance of Malanaphy’s upcoming album, Rock, which is due out on May 4, is a terrific piano-driven track with a danceable gallop that, like most of their music is marked by their distinctive midrange voice. 

12RODS – “My Year (This Is Going to Be)”

Well, here’s a comeback that wasn’t quite on my radar. Ryan Olcott reshaped some old demos into a new 12RODS album to be released in July. “Not talkin’ ‘bout world domination,” Olcott sings, with a proper sense of scale on a lead single that woulda been an alt-rock back when and sounds just as rousing now. Love the chord change announcing the guitar solo.

Aby Wolf – “At Bat”

On this standout track from Wolf's new EP, Dream Fruit, the layered, ping-ponging electronic production is an ideal match for the singer's soft-contoured vocals.

National Picks

Brandy Clark – “She Smoked in the House”

Clark’s reminiscences about her grandma take in the flaws with the strengths, adding up to a devoted portrait of a woman who “saved in Folgers cans/Swore credit was a scam.” (I mean, it isn’t?)

CMAT – “Whatever’s Inconvenient”

Warbly Irish wiseacre Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson follows up her well-received debut album, If My Wife New I'd Be Dead, with this typically off-kilter mid-tempo piano track that asks “Why do I fall in love and out of love again?” Let me know if you figure that one out.

Rancid – “Tomorrow Never Comes”

It’s me, the guy who’s somehow excited about a new Rancid single in 2023, which barrels forward with predictably headlong momentum with the same boys-club camaraderie as ever. The supposed wisdom of its title sounds a little benighted from guys pushing 60, but maybe that’s what keeps a punk band motoring into the AARP days. 

Theydevil – “I Belong on the Surface”

I don’t know much about this Philly band and Google isn’t helping, But I do know “Don't come back to Philadelphia/I'm livid now and I have a weapon” is a great line, especially when sung in a sweetly femme voice over delicate electronic arpeggios. 

Jackson Wang feat. Ciara – “Slow”

Will joining forces with a K-Pop star expose Ciara to a whole new generation (of demented, emoji-spewing, too-online) listeners? I guess I hope so? Anyway, the track is classic Ciara, soft and sexy and promising limitless consequence-free pleasure.

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email keith@racketmn.com with MONDAY PLAYLIST in the subject header. (Don’t, as in do NOT, DM or text: If I’m in a good mood, I’ll just ask you to send an email; if I’m in a bad mood I’ll just ignore it.)

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