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Sushi grooves, gothic moods, and acoustic jams in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

Lars Pruitt of Yam Haus.

Lars Pruitt of Yam Haus. YouTube

Where are the new bands at?

One of the joys of writing Local Frames is getting to debut new artists. Recently formed bands, emergent rappers, newly minted solo projects—all have a home in this weekly pageant of music and camerawork. It’s been a personal mission since taking on this column to expose readers to new faces as often as possible.

This week, we have one newcomer in the rundown, which is a good start for 2019. But it’s not nearly enough. Keep the fresh newbie videos flowing in. They’ll get priority throughout the year. Even if they’re not videos from your band. Send it along so that all of the Twin Cities can get educated on the rising class of musicians.

Yam Haus – “Stargazer (Stargazer Sessions)” (PREMIERE)

Hudson’s Yam Haus have been reworking their gleaming 2018 EP Stargazer in a series of acoustic studio performances, and in the newest edition of their Stargazer Sessions, they transform the title track into an intimate yarn. It’s a new look and feel for what was originally conceived as a lovestruck party track, revealing deeper, more elegant layers. Stargazer Sessions releases February 8 with a show at Aster Cafe.

SOLANA – “Sushi & a Movie”

SOLANA ’s music makes you want to move. The wispy synths and moody drums compel you to swerve your hips and dip your shoulders. The University of Minnesota Dance Collective and choreographer Lydia Vejar felt the pull of SOLANA’s grooves and let their bodies tell the story in the new video for “Sushi & a Movie,” and Adam Foster Jacobs captured the spectacle. SOLANA’s new EP SOLANA dropped yesterday.

Wax Lead – “Crushed Velvet”

Darkwave post-punk band Wax Lead released their debut, Husband, Lord, & Master, in December, and the new video for “Crushed Velvet” is their first visual promoting the EP. The moody collective count Nick Cave and Fiona Apple among their favorites, and both influences are well displayed here. Wax Lead will do a special one-off performance titled “Metallic Interface" at the Nomad on February 8.

Ten Arms – “Loose”

The best-named musical release of 2018 was Ten Arms’ bedroom-rock record Bird Cocaine, a raw collection of punkish hymns that didn’t get quite the hype it deserved. Ten Arms seeks to right that injustice with the new DIY video for LP single “Loose.” The video still doesn’t let us know what “bird cocaine” might be, instead opting to bring some of singer Jon Grim’s paranoid thoughts to life. Enjoy the song, but heed Grim’s warning: “Fragile egos may be involved with its production.”

Smellkin Ernesto – “Homecoming”

Born in Bogota, Colombia, indie-pop singer/songwriter Smellkin Ernesto was adopted and raised in rural Minnesota. Now living and performing in Minneapolis, Ernesto melds musical elements reflecting his two disparate homes into loungy grooves. For this clip, Alec Zender edited together home video of Ernesto and footage of him goofing with his band in vintage threads, and the juxtaposition lets you know exactly who Ernesto is and how he’s come to make such charming music. Ernesto’s second album Cambios will be out via Heavy Meadow Records on February 1; the release show for the record is the same day at the 331 Club.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at jgfagerberg@gmail.com.