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The Scouting Report

Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report 2024: she's green

she's green (from left to right): Kevin Seebeck, Liam Armstrong, Zofia Smith, Teddy Nordvold, and Raines Lucas
she's green (from left to right): Kevin Seebeck, Liam Armstrong, Zofia Smith, Teddy Nordvold, and Raines LucasNate Ryan for MPR

by Diane

April 10, 2024

For Minnesota Music Month, The Current polled the local music industry for April’s edition of The Scouting Report. More than 90 people filled out this year’s Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report ballot, and 253 unique artists were chosen overall. The top 10 artists — well, 11 because of a tie — who received the most support include she’s green.

Minneapolis shoegaze quintet she’s green are right on time with their artistic development. As bands around the world are leaning into louder, dreamier ways to make rock records, they are a shining example of how to be inspired, but still have something new to express. Singer Zofia Smith, guitarists Liam Armstrong and Raines Lucas, bassist Teddy Nordvold, and drummer Kevin Seebeck fill out the current lineup. They released an EP, Wisteria, in 2023.

Catch them live at Varsity Theater with fellow Minnesotans Miloe, Heart to Gold, and Christy Costello on Friday, May 3. The band visited Diane to talk about being a popular choice in the Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report, relive past live glories, and explain their name.

Profile: Enter the glimmering dream world of she’s green

Diane: she’s green got the most votes for the first-ever Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report. That’s pretty cool. What’s your reaction to that?

Zofia Smith: That’s incredible.

Liam Armstrong: I never would have expected something like that when we started making music.

ZS: We went into this with zero expectations.

Then you did Best New Bands recently. What was that experience like at First Avenue?

ZS: It was really scary.

Kevin Seebeck: That's probably the most nerve-wracking a show has been by far.

Raines Lucas: My anecdote to explain how the night was going for me is there was no soundcheck. I get up there like three minutes before we’re supposed to start, and my amp just won't turn on. It turns on, and then it turns back off, and then it turns back on. And then we have to get off stage to get announced. And I just had to go on and hope it worked. Then the show was awesome. Like, we were all super nervous. But we had so much fun.

LA: Once we started playing, it was incredible. Like the most present I've ever felt.

Teddy Nordvold: The set itself was just like a total blur. It was really crazy to be on such a sacred stage. Absolutely. Everything leading up to it was just escalating stress. There was a 15-minute window to get all of our gear on the stage, then soundcheck as quick as we could as good as we could, and then just hope for the best.

Tell me about how you got into this [shoegaze] style of music and how you learned to craft it.

LA: What originally really drew me to shoegaze is the textural aspect of it, and the ambiance of a lot of the bands that are prominent in that genre.

ZS: Cocteau Twins and Beach House. I was extremely inspired by them. That's what drove me into that part of music.

LA: It was fun to just try to obscure the natural sound of a guitar as much as possible, and then use that as an emotional expression.

ZS: It really amplified the emotions. We would go into writing just with an acoustic guitar, and it was mostly about the songwriting. And then it was really fun to play with those sounds in order to enhance like the emotion.

RL: People forget sometimes with a lot of those bands of that era is that the great ones are also amazing songwriters, too. Their aesthetics and their style really served to elevate that but all those songs stand their own if you do like an a capella cover of them. You know what I mean?

LA: It also served an era of my youth when I was feeling a lot of emotions. It was always there as a soundtrack.

ZS: There's something really beautiful about having a lot of sounds going at once, especially nowadays. You know, life is so busy and we're so overstimulated by so many different things. It almost gives you that calm aspect of there's just so much happening in the song that your mind can relax.

“Syndulla” was one of the first songs I played on The Local Show. From start to end, it's just this wall of sound. You can feel like this power. It's very much an identifying theme of a lot of your music. Talk to me more about about this power, especially playing it live.

TN: It's typically a good thing to protect yourself from loud noises. For me, I'm a big fan of heavy music and stuff that's played very loud. Some of my favorite shows I've ever been to, like Boris at the Fine Line, the volume becomes an integral part of it. You feel it. Trying to capture that has always been some of it. It's not the best for the sound engineers in the venues, but we do like to make the presence of the sound physical. Trying to kind of capture that within the recording has always been something really challenging and very fun.

RL: You'll find in a she's green live show — I love the bands that are start-to-finish loud the whole time — but there's a lot of ups and downs, too. There are lots of quiet, serene moments where [Zofia] can really take over vocally. It's awesome to be loud, but we don't want to be the four guys covering up her beautiful vocals either.

What is she's green? What is that? What does that name mean? I'm very curious.

ZS: Tell ‘em, Liam.

LA: I mean, it was kind of just a couple of words that sounded cool. Like Mother Nature and there's also cultural significance that we found, cultural coincidences that we found with Scottish heritage. There's a green lady that lures people into a cave with music. … I think of it as Mother Nature. … I kind of like it because it's like one you have to repeat to people once you say it, because they're like, “What did you just say? Cheese?” 

ZS: Yeah, they think cheese a lot. … Or cheese and mean.

What are some other highlight experiences for you as a band?

LA: We went to Urbana[, Illinois] and played this house show. It blew our minds. The amount of people that came.

 ZS: There were like 400 people. And there's like a whole backyard of people trying to get in. It was insane.

LA: We played with Soft and Dumb from Chicago.

TN: We played some shows with them last year. And we kind of closed out this little run we did with them. And I guess it was kind of a hometown show for them because they came from the college there I believe. And yeah, just all expectations were just blown out of the water by like, just the people we met. The vibe there was amazing.

RL: We love playing in Minneapolis. We have so many good shows here, but also it's super special anytime you play in a different city just because you meet so many new people. We've had so much fun in Chicago meeting people there. And then the Hotline TNT Show in Madison was really fun. We played some shows with Friko. And I love them so much.

ZS: For Minneapolis shows, one of my favorites was the Cemetery Ridge show. I don't think it's a DIY venue anymore. But it was so fun. It was just in a garage and they opened up the back. They had a whole backyard, too. And we're playing with Flooding from Kansas. There was something about the energy that was really amazing that night.

KS: Any time we get to go on the road and every time we get to play a DIY place just feels so special. I think it's just like it's so much more laid back and intimate.

LA: Yeah. It makes us feel like that's what we really do it for.

Related: Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report 2024: The top 11 new local artists

Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report 2024: The complete ballots

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