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This Week’s New Music Playlists Include the Most Interesting Young Twin Cities Rapper I’ve Heard in Years

5 great new local songs, 5 great new songs from everywhere else.

11:06 AM CST on January 15, 2024

Soundcloud; YouTube|

Lerado Khalil; Waxahatchee

I started this column last April, which means this is the first time I’ll be collecting songs for a full calendar year. I don’t know if that’s exciting for you, but it is for me!

Local Picks

Ber, “Room For You”

Following a spotlight track premiere on The Current and an incredibly poised Best New Bands performance at First Ave on Friday night, Berit Dybing doesn’t need a boost from lil ol’ me. But this sad-girl piano ballad has the makings of a hit. The husky low-end of her voice never stoops to sulking, and when you listen up, you realize that the song is about the start of a relationship, not the end of one. Sneaky. 

Dilly Dally Alley, “Same Damn Door”

With singer Sophia Spiegel showing amazing breath control, this hard-charging single is outside the horn-driven sextet’s norm, and the speed freak in me approves. A new direction or a one-off change of pace? Only time will tell, as Sammy Hagar might say.

Lerado Khalil, “Whatsapp”

I swear I was all prepped to write about this St. Paul rapper before Pitchfork gave his excellent new album a nod last Thursday. (“I’m not scooped, I’m not scooped," I continue to insist as I slowly shrink and transform into a corncob.) I like Lerado best at his noisiest and his funniest, and here he lifts some lines from Kreayshawn (whose shadow looms larger over today’s rap than anyone would have guessed it would) over a beat that dares you to make sense of it. Why isn’t everyone in Minnesota talking about this guy already?

Charlie Parr, “Boombox”

The North Country bard perks up with this quick-stepper I suppose I have to call a dance track. “You have a dance, I can appreciate that” he observes before insisting “When I’m dancing/This is how I dance.” 

Prize Horse, “Further From My Start”

The second new single from a band that Racket contributor Austin Gerth dubbed as “emo-indebted, fatalistic melancholy” and “glacial, metal-adjacent” will be on their debut full-length, Under Sound, out on February 16. It’s all arpeggios leading to unresolved progressions as a low-end rumbles along moodily—very wintry, in its way.

Non-Local Picks

Jad Fair, “So Far So Good”

A middle-aged white nerd’s “Today Was a Good Day,” celebrating “no killer shrews,” “no phantoms from Planet X,” and “no curse of the undead” over nothing more than a simple, cymbal-haunted drumbeat.

Ariana Grande, “Yes And?”

Advance word had me expecting a pissy little woe-is-celebrity whine, but skip the video and dig a house beat that takes its time introducing the star and a relaxed “be yourself” lyric calling for boys to wear lipstick and anyone to ride whatever dick they want. Pretty universal, then. 

Superchunk, “Everybody Dies”

If the ’90s were so great, then explain to me how one of the ’90s-iest bands going started making the best music of its career in 2010? And haven't lost a step since.

Kali Uchis (with Peso Pluma), “Igual Que Un Ángel”

No one is combining Anglo and Latina pop as effortlessly as Uchis right now. This duet with nasal corrido master Pluma, a highlight from Uchis’s new Orquídeas, floats delicately above the Earth as its low-end glide keeps it from levitating too far into the heavens.

Waxahatchee feat. MJ Lenderman, “Right Back to It”

I still like alt-rockin’ Katie Crutchfield the best, but her Plains album with Jess Williamson went country so brilliantly I don’t begrudge her continuing in that vein here. With Jake Lenderman’s low harmonies anchoring Crutchfield’s high lonesome flights, the chorus “Been yours for so long/Come right back to it” becomes a real heart-troubler.

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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