Colin Bracewell, GOWNS and Durry – a glimpse at a new sound in Minneapolis

Last night at the 7th Street Entry, I got a glimpse at the future (and present) of Minnesota music. The lineup included Colin Bracewell, GOWNS and Durry. The impetus was Colin’s EP release but all of the bands have a lot going on right now with so much new music and so much to celebrate after a year of forced reflection. (We had an opportunity to talk with Colin and the GOWNS during the pandemic pause.)

The bands are young and their audience is young, which means the energy is high. So much audience participation. So much screaming is delight. So much dancing and a lot of politeness. Also, and I love this about the new bands, these musicians are all so positive. The songs are not always sunshine and rainbows – nor should they be – but there’s a huge level of respect for the people in the room and that’s a two-way street from audience to stage. Also – each band made best use of a horn – more of that in future music please.

Colin plays pop music. There is a great vulnerability in his music, especially his falsetto range. His songs weave stories of loss (such as Why) and frustration or sadness with the unknown (Not Today). There’s a universality to the themes – because while he is young he is touching upon feelings that remain long after you think you’re going to outgrow them. It’s pop music for all ages, which can be difficult to do but the strength of his voice makes it easy to follow him and is musical tales.

GOWNS also recently released a new album, Revelations. I was looking forward to see them perform their songs after enjoying their videos. (I’m a big fan of the special effects and cadence of Left Behind.) Their live show brings in the fun. GOWNS play dance music; you just can’t stand still while they are playing. There’s a blunt honesty in the music that seems like allegory or imagery but when you listen their words are exacting and evocative of more. Imaginary Number is an example where they took a specific event and played with it until the ethos of the meaning swirls around like the full sounds of the song. There’s an authenticity that makes the dance even more meaningful.

Durry was a new band to me with a more alternative sound. Siblings Austin and Taryn Durry started this project during the pandemic; Austin also works with Coyote Kid. This was their first live show together. They gave a preview of a song that actually came out today – Hasta La Vista. They music is mellow and catchy.

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