The Current

Great Music Lives Here ®
Listener-Supported Music
Donate Now
The Scouting Report

10 Minnesota musicians rising to the top in February

D'LourdesProvided, artwork created by Natalia Toledo | MPR

by Diane, Natalia Toledo and Youa Vang

February 07, 2023

Welcome to The Scouting Report, a monthly list of 10 Minnesota artists with exciting new projects, as curated by our local music team. If you like these picks, check out The Local Show on Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m., hosted by Diane. Also, each Thursday, The Current's music director Jade picks great new tracks from around the world.


“How Did You Get So Good?” could almost be a rhetorical question D’Lourdes asks herself. After going viral for the snippet “fuzzy duck, ducky fuzz” from said single, the singer has released her music video for a song that is heavy on the details. With 2.4 million streams on Spotify in 2022, the artist also known as Danielle Troiano is focusing on music all the while keeping a grasp on stage acting, like her role in Theater Mu’s production of Cambodian Rock Band last year. Her latest track is a collection of tiny, broken fragments, all scraped together and melded back together as rough, but very ready shouty, fuzzy power-pop. -Youa Vang


Beloved Minneapolis band Honeybutter began 2023 with a brand-new single from their upcoming EP, Things That Bump at Night. Producer and guitarist Zak Khan, singer-bassist Clara Wicklund, and keyboardist-vocalist Andreas Fenner have been together as a band since 2017, combining their backgrounds of jazz, folk, pop, among others. “Butterfinger” is a mellow love song about feeling fragile and clumsy. It is sweet and catchy, and creates positive expectations around their debut project. -Natalia Toledo


St. Paul and Atlanta-based Upstrz has seemingly come out of nowhere. The young R&B/hip-hop singer/songwriter contributed to celebrity artist Chris Brown’s Grammy-nominated 2022 record Breezy, and just released a nine-track album, Meet Me Upstrz, which has already garnered 100K-plus streams on Spotify. This March he is slated to be one of a select few Minnesota artists featured at SXSW. A vocalist with falsetto-driven prowess, range, and flare, Upstrz sings like a hopeful romantic whose talents are on par with The Weeknd and Ne-Yo. -Diane


In January, Minneapolis rapper Metasota released a two-track EP to celebrate his birthday. Produced by yayoducky, Another Year Older and Wiser(?) is a small glimpse into an upcoming project titled Yestermorrow, which is still in the works and set to release later this year. The track “Never Know” is a melancholic, reflective look into the struggles and growth of his journey. Metasota wrote the hook of the track thinking about how so many of us put on a smile, regardless of what we are all facing. -NT


Theyself is one of the busiest musicians in town. The singer is often found working shows at First Avenue, hosting their own radio show, promoting other artists, playing guitar with Elle PF, and releasing their own music. ‘In.end.out” was originally a special release for Patreon, but is only recently available for the rest of the world. The track, along with a few others, was recorded in their touring van in south Minneapolis and from random outposts off MN Highway 61. Theyself makes gorgeous blues songs, written and sung on a guitar. They will perform at Big Turn Music Festival in Red Wing on February 17. -YV

Toilet Rats

You might crave “sewer dwelling mutant music,” therefore you’re probably going to love the fuzz, grunge, crunch, crackle, and pop(!) of Toilet Rats. What makes this underground new-wavy rock ‘n’ roll act excellent is its righteous blend of sonic noise formulated by its single member — multi-instrumentalist and producer Tommy “Ratz” Rehbein. The project’s first official LP Toilet Rats IV will release on March 3 via Cleveland-based Steadfast Records. Pre-order cassettes have already sold out, but you can check out the album’s first single, “Carol Kane,” on video, directed by Minnesota guitar hero Jeremy Ylvisaker. -Diane

Kavyesh Kaviraj

Minneapolis-based jazz musician Kavyesh Kaviraj has been playing piano since the tender age of two. Originally based in India, he received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College Chicago and master’s from Berklee College of Music. A true arts academic, he now teaches jazz piano at St. Thomas University and Walker West Music Academy while also making a living as a gigging freelance musician. Kaviraj is hosting a four-part residency Monday nights at Icehouse this month. Fans of classical, world, jazz, and contemporary improvisational music will enjoy his engaging/beautiful compositions accompanied by other gifted local collaborators, including drummer Kevin Washington, trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim, and keyboardist Tommy Barbarella. -Diane

Selah C.

Rapper, singer, songwriter, and activist Selah C. released her debut album MIND BODY SOUL in 2022. Originally from Georgia, she is now based in the Twin Cities. Out of the chaos that was 2020, she found herself wanting to share her positive affirmations and messages with the world. Selah is a breath of fresh air as a young hip-hop artist with an old school style. Her single “Stars” is a beautiful story about a soul- and star-aligned connection, mixed with fun astrological references. I love the curiosity that resonates throughout the song and the eagerness to get to know someone on a much deeper level. -NT

Double Grave

 Double Grave, formerly known as Ego Death, reemerge after a couple of years with new music. Their latest single “Heavy” is the first off the EP Till the Ground, their third album was written “via file sharing” over the past two years. The single, as the name suggests, is indeed heavy as it opens with dense guitar riffs and folds in foggy, drawn-out droning noise with tumbling beats and tightened compact vocals. Look out for an album release show to celebrate the new music coming out March 31. -YV

Annie Fitzgerald

Oftentimes musicians become who they are because they understand the power of sound and what it can do for an individual's livelihood. Annie Fitzgerald, a singer/songwriter, also works as a meditative practitioner in sound healing. Her latest single is “Anam Cara,” which means “soul friend” in Gaelic. It showcases her talent for leaning into pleasant frequencies. Her beautiful singing is accompanied by an arpeggiated electric guitar line with trickles of reverberated notes from various instruments layering in a bed of atmosphere. Lyrically, the song is about the sacred bond of friendship and what it means to be in the comfort of people who allow you to truly be yourself. -Diane

Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment
This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.