EMOT, Val Son

EMOT is a slow-core indie rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. Taking cues from Talk Talk, Halloween Alaska & Acetone, the band’s spacious music unfolds and grows organically on record and in the live setting. Embedded in this openness and sonic space are finely tuned folk songs in the vein of On the Beach-era Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson, and Jeff Tweedy. The group’s core line-up consists of Dan Choma (drums/keyboards/sampling), Justin Hartke (bass/vocals), Matt Leavitt (vocals/guitars/keyboards) & Robert Mulrennan (guitars/sampling/vocals).

For their third LP, self-titled EMOT, the band enlisted the veteran hand of producer Brian Moen of Peter Wolf Crier, Laarks, and The Shouting Matches. It is the sound of two weeks in two years. Of purposed efforts with room to breathe. Of console organs, rummage sale keyboards, saturated guitars and a beating heart of Wurlitzer & Rhodes pianos. From Moen’s basement studio in Roseville, MN to his parent’s cabin outside of North Branch, MN sounds were tracked with focus and a clear sense of direction. The ten songs are a mission statement; of a band fully embracing a sound and a cohesive environment. Throughout EMOT there are explorations of duality; walking through the gooey muck of self-absorption and learning how to breathe like the piercing clarity and neon darkness of a winter night sky.

EMOT has shared the stage with other venerable Twin Cities musicians such as Haley Bonar, Halloween Alaska, Love Cars, No Bird Sing, We Are the Willows, Adam Svec, Van Stee, amongst others.

2011 saw the release of their sophomore effort, Make You Electric, which Rob Van Alstyne of Minneapolis City Pages dubbed “A subtly stunning listen”. Upon its release, Make You Electric was amongst the CMJ’s top 20 adds as well as charting in the CMJ top 200; netting a wider audience for the group at home & abroad. Those same sessions also culminated in a cassette-only EP, Trees & Claws, released in March of 2012.

Val Son

After playing drums for numerous Twin Cities indie bands - from Lost Shepherds to Big Lake to On An On - Michael Gunvalson turned to the guitar, plunking out easygoing, introspective tunes by channeling his love for classic folk like Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt. Four years later, enter the core band: Eric Carlson on lead guitar and keys; Emily Mohrbacher, co-writer, vocalist (and live drummer); and, of course, Gunvalson at the front. Val Son is now releasing their first studio E.P., “Miracles,” a seamless amalgam of lo-fi fuzz, catchy melody, shoegaze, and muted twang. Part offhand confessional, part haunting lamentation, the lyrics evoke an outsider’s longing for hope amid spiritual dissonance. The steady hollow drums - which Gunvalson plays on the album - feel like an homage to Low’s Mimi Parker. Mohrbacher's crisp background vocals dapple the songs with a necessary brightness. Even more curious, though, is the jam band that hangs at the edges of the record like little bursts of the yearned freedom expressed in the lyrics. “I question my beliefs/I’m not scared in the least,” Gunvalson sings. The same might be said of the songs themselves. Deceptively simple song structures defy their own scaffolding with chattering solos and prolonged codas. Who ever thought forlorn admissions - “My kids are lonely but that’s fine/It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine” - could sound so refreshing?

$8.00 - $10.00

Tickets Available at the Door

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