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Monday Morning Means New Music Playlists in These Parts

10 new songs, from Minnesota and beyond, to start your week off.

12:25 PM CDT on April 17, 2023

Photos provided|

Elour, Dawn Richard

Making these playlists is my new favorite task around here. Hope you like 'em too!

Local Picks

Dave King Trucking Company, “Sad Firm Handshake”

Things get a little wilder elsewhere on old TV, the terrific new album from King and his court of ace local players. But here the twin tenor saxes of Chris Speed and Brandon Wozniak state a modest, direct melody while Erik Fratzke strums along and bassist Chris Morrissey joins the indefatigable drummer himself in tinkering with rhythmic nuance in the background.

Elour, “Fade” 

A high-stepping rocker with just the right amount of gloss and grit to match the lustful second-guessing of Elizabeth Ghandour’s vocal pyro. “When I get to know you/Will the feeling fade?” Well, ain’t that always the question? Elour (pronounced "allure") play an album release show at Icehouse next Saturday, April 22 for their new Blood Running.

Full Catholic, “Island Nation”

So many great little bits wedged into this three-and-a-half minute song, from the intro’s sonically youthful rush of carefully mistuned guitar to Danielle Michaele’s bass interlude. I do wish the lyrics were online, though, because Michaele can’t possibly be singing “There’s no such thing as bathrooms now” in the chorus, can she? The band’s second album, All Is Well, is due out this spring. 

Laamar, “Home to My Baby”

Geoffrey Lamar Wilson is a Brooklyn experimental saxophonist turned Minnesota heartland singer-songwriter, and his first single as Laamar smartly tweaks the old rock trope about longing to be off the road and back with your lover. “I’m so tired of being Black/And looking over my shoulder,” he sings as a cop pulls him over. Listen for yourself to hear how it ends. Laamar opens for James Eugene Russell at the Turf Club on Friday, April 21, and an EP, Flowers, is due June 10. 

Zora feat. Destiny Spike, “The Bitch Is Back (Press)”

The first single since Zora’s debut album, Z1: The Cuntification of Zora Grey, is a departure: gone are the classical flourishes and musical theater ornamentation, up front is the hip-hop swagger, complete with a low, buzzy bass and a feature from Minneapolis rapper Destiny Spike. Time will tell whether this is a one-track detour or the signal of a newly streamlined sound.

National Picks

K. Michelle feat. Gloss Up, “Wherever the D May Land’

There’s sexually frank, there’s just plain filthy, and then there’s K. Michelle. Here the distinguished Love & Hip-Hop alum treats men as interchangeable hard-ons unworthy of scrapping with other women over, while parodying “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the enthusiasm of a hyperactive third-grader.

Pony, “Sucker Punch” 

Toronto podcasters-turned-alt-rock-revivalists Matty Morand and Sam Bielanski put their spin on all those cherished #RememberThe90s tricks, with amassed harmonies, fretful romantic musings (“If we were trying, we wouldn’t have come close”), and a hook that’ll get you every time. This is the fifth advance track from their upcoming album, Velveteen, with every one a winner. Just makes me wonder how many good bands are being lost to podcasting.

Dawn Richard, “Bubblegum”

The Danity Kane alum turned electro-R&B auteur Richard gets her Missy on over a double-dutch beat and a synth hook that resembles a muezzin’s cry filtered through a party horn. “Imma pop that thing like it's bubblegum,” Richard promises. And she does! 

Speedy Ortiz, “Scabs”

“Monosyllables exhaust” is such a perfectly polysyllabic Speedy Ortiz sentiment—Sadie Dupuis would rather corkscrew meaning with lines like “Nihilistic greeting to/A flytrap hungry for a fist” as guitars fly off ingeniously in all directions. The chorus, though, as tune and lyric, is straightforward, monosyllabic even: “Don't talk to me.”

billy woods and Kenny Segal feat. Samuel T. Herring, “FaceTime”

Woods is on a roll. The NYC rapper leads off his latest with a quip (“Ready to die, it’s no biggie”) before flaunting his idiosyncratic ability to combine the abstract and the hyper-specific, rapping about “smokin’ alone in a cardigan” at his desk while overhearing the commotion after a Carti show empties out. Segal keeps the beat lowkey jazzy in an offhand way, and Future Islands frontman provides a serviceable hook.

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email 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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