Sometimes we find the things we’re looking for, and sometimes they find us. I grew up not having a thing to do with music – playing college hockey, obtaining a masters degree, and advancing in a career were center stage. But then a few years ago a song came on the radio that made me want to make songs too. I’m not certain why. Maybe it’s because we all have stories to tell, we all have things inside that deserve to take flight into the world. “What you are is not who you’ll be” – if we dream, we can be whoever we want.
These songs are about feeling like we know ourselves one moment, and like we’re lost the next. About having almost everything, but not the one thing. About all the spaces we find ourselves, inside and out. Because sometimes all we can hang onto are hopes and dreams, and in this space that might be all we need.
Andy Cook’s second release In Space delivers an evolved sound that holds the guitar-driven Americana of his debut at the core, while adding new layers of sound and a direction that is both modern and reminiscent. Produced by Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird, Haley Bonar, Alpha Consumer), In Space covers territory from sweeping and psychedelic to urgent and pressing, with lyrics that pit a wry cynicism against determined optimism.
Cook was born and raised in Minneapolis, and pursued a very-Minnesota dream of being an ice hockey goalie. Hockey brought Cook to the East Coast for college, and perhaps without realizing it those long bus trips are when the interest in music began to develop. While teammates listened to hip-hop and hard rock, Cook found himself drawn to a combination of classic American country and the icons of 1960’s British rock and roll.
The desire to play that began on hockey bus trips took hold as Cook grew in a career managing clinics at Minnesota’s largest community hospital and took to long-distance triathlon racing. “Doing” was a part of life, but “making” became a way to live it. Cook had to pick up a guitar, learn to play, and begin to write. What started as an interested effort grew and grew, until Cook found himself immersed in the Minneapolis music community, learning from everyone he could and looking up to artists who a short time later would become teachers, producers, collaborators and bandmates. Now about to release a second EP, there is only more to come from this late-comer to the music scene.
Alex and Phillip Hicks met Levi Stugelmeyer as children in southwest Minnesota. Their separate musical paths all convened in Nashville, but it wasn’t their scene, so they ended up back in Minnesota as quickly as they’d left. Minneapolis welcomed them home with a grueling winter. Broke and cold, they started writing songs. Motivated by familiar sounds of the Jayhawks, Wilco, Nirvana and Kent, but finding a musical direction all their own, the trio started playing shows as CHARN. They quickly developed a tight, aggressive live show, but it wasn’t until they added guitarist Steve Bosmans that they had their sound. Soon after, they released their debut album These Sins of Mine in August 2008.
Recorded in Omaha, NE with producer Jason Burkum, These Sins of Mine was done quickly, and captures the raw urgency of a band brimming with new songs and ideas. Heavy lyrics, chiming guitars and a driving rhythm section push these songs. The album swings from blistering rockers like “Satellites” and “A Love That’s True” to slow-burning ballads “Do You Believe?” and “Wake Up Dear” to midwestern jangle in “Happier Than Me” and “Holding Hands” naturally. Each song is a story tied to the next, with no fillers and no fallbacks.
While the band has been developing a large following in the Twin Cities since their album debut, they’ve gained national attention recently through a series of song placements on the hit MTV show Jersey Shore, as well as an international advert for House M.D. The band is currently finishing songs for their next album while taking in the continued success of These Sins of Mine.
One winter night, an eight year old Zach Brose stared out his bedroom window and named the giant oak tree he had grown up with all his life, Arbirn. Now, years later, the name has manifested itself again in the form of a music group that brings about the emotions of nostalgia as well as an inevitable, optimistic growth. ar.birn is an indie rock trio comprised of members Zach Brose (guitar), Cooper Doten (bass), and Reese Kling (drums). Growing up with and connected by Minneapolis music such as Halloween Alaska, Happy Apple, Love-cars, and beyond, the trio aims to capture what was so compelling about these groups to them then and now.