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The Scouting Report

10 Minnesota musicians with magical new music for May

The Scouting Report - Nikki Lemire
The Scouting Report - Nikki LemirePhoto: bellevueheroes | Graphic: Natalia Toledo

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 7 p.m. to midnight, hosted by Diane. In April 2024, The Current compiled the first Minnesota Music Month Scouting Report with votes from the local music industry.

Nikki Lemire

Nikki Lemire has been making music and performing for some time as a member of the Foxgloves and the Josh Cleveland Band. She has also collaborated with artists such as Charlie Parr, Taylor James Donskey, Molly Maher, and more. At the end of this month, Lemire will release her debut album Live at Lakewood Cemetery. Lead single “Mend It (Live at Lakewood Cemetery)” is a dreamy, simple, and beautiful song led by the sounds of her harp. She describes her sound as “artfully blending folk traditions with innovative modern pedal harp effects and expressive vocals.” Her album arrives on May 30 and an all-ages release show is the same day at MetroNOME Brewery in downtown St. Paul. -NT


Formed in 2022, MüLLET is a three-piece rock band comprised of Mark Ritsema (songwriter, vocalist), Jared Isabella (drums) and Bobby Volpendesta (guitar). In their new single “Goin’ Blind,” fuzzy, warm, and dreamy guitar tones complement the lyrical themes of being blinded by love. Their exciting sound is reminiscent of ‘80s British pop/rock, and fans of The Ramones, The Pastels, and The Jesus and Mary Chain may enjoy MüLLET. Their next live show is tonight with Leslie and Shrimp Olympics at the White Squirrel Bar in St. Paul (Tuesday, May 7). -AD


Filthy Kittens 

Singer-songwriter Henry James Patterson has been flying under the radar for several years in the Minnesota music scene. His new project Filthy Kittens presents a more polished step forward from his earlier lo-fi recordings. The single “It’s Alright” may appeal to fans of Phantom Planet or Semisonic, with its approachable melody and light, alt-pop appeal. The song also includes backing vocals from Zofia Smith, lead singer of local favorite shoegaze band she’s green. Filthy Kittens will celebrate an EP release this May 29 at Green Room with Hazelcreak, Lily Blue, and Full Catholic. -Diane  


Odd Prospect

Odd Prospect is a Minneapolis-based trio that masterfully meshes genres and keeps us on our toes. Featuring Luverne, their recent single “PUSH ME TO THE FLOOR!” opens with a cozy, smooth R&B groove with a Steve Lacy feel. Then the sound shifts completely — the lyric “Now that I have your attention” pushes listeners into the track’s high-energy punk section with punchy vocals and satisfying guitar riffs. Their upcoming album WHEN I FALL ASLEEP arrives on May 10. They will celebrate with performances at Midwest Music Fest in Winona on May 10 and Chop Shop in Minneapolis on May 11. -AD


For half a decade, ahem have been churning out melodic, driving tunes that entertain and elicit goosebumps. Their songs feature tight harmonies and punk hooks that sometimes follow the footsteps of Minneapolis alt-rock forefathers like the Replacements and Motion City Soundtrack. The band will put out their fifth studio album on May 11 with a release show at Zhora Darling. They’re sharing the bill with Sick Eagle, also celebrating an album release on the same night, and Good Doom. -YV

Trash Date 

Trash Date is the combined sound of three of the busiest indie musicians in Minneapolis. Bassist Megan Mahoney, drummer Joey Van Hayes, and guitarist Kate Saoirse are active in more than 25 bands, including local favorites Lissie, Early Eyes, Huhroon, and Papa Mybe — among many others. Naturally, the three musicians share chemistry — not to mention raw talent and adaptability. Trash Date is a new project exploring the intersection of trash punk, shoegaze and, dream pop. Be sure to watch the band’s goofy and unapologetically DIY video for their latest single “Fluorescent.” You can help fund their debut album here. -Diane

Osa Deraé

Rising artist Osa Deraé is a Nigerian-American Afrobeats/Highlife artist based in St. Paul. He has begun performing around the Twin Cities and connecting with other Minnesota Afrobeat artists such as Mack OC, with whom he collaborated on “WA BA MI (Pt.2),” and Kion Rose. After releasing an EP named DERAÉ in 2023, he has put out new music consistently this year, including the single “Sulowa.” The high-quality production is immediately recognizable on “Sulowa,” a fun Amapiano track looking ahead to summer. -NT


Ava Levy

Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter Ava Levy returns with another lovely single, “cat song.” Levy’s crystal-clear voice and honest lyrics combined with atmospheric production by Henry Breen (WHY NOT) create a captivating tune that excites us to hear more. You may recognize her soft, yet powerful, vocals from her former indie punk band Sapphire, active from 2016 to 2021. Ava Levy typically performs solo, and her live shows are unforgettable — you can catch her next show on June 15 at 7th Street Entry with Dad Bod and Neptune’s Core. -AD

Waking Hours

Waking Hours is relatively new to the music scene, having released their debut EP it’s getting cold out there in December of 2023. The band came together at Gustavus Adolphus College and have performed with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra. Waking Hours describe themselves as an “indie rock band with a unique sound inspired by rock, folk, and shoegaze” which you can hear on their latest single “miss the dog.” The song features Liv Hedley on vocals/guitar, Hayden Tourtelotte on guitar, Henry Lundeen-Detisch on drums, Conor Jolly on bass/piano, and Elle Berquist and Elliot Steeves on cello. -NT


Bigg Kiaa

An Arkansas transplant, Bigg Kiaa has been making music since she was very young, opening for OMG Girlz at the Armory at the tender age of eight. The artist, formerly known as Nakia Marie, took a long break to find herself and redefine her artistry, eventually emerging as Bigg Kiaa. Self-diagnosed with ADHD, Bigg Kiaa will often go into the studio with nothing written, using beats or something arbitrary to inspire her. On “Bigg Bagg,” a collaboration with Sophia Eris and Mark McGee’s MAKR AN ERIS project, her intensity shines through. (For even more, check out her new single, “10s Across the Board.”) ME 2 by MAKR AN ERIS is out now and will commence with an album release show at Icehouse on May 25 with Naeem, Mike Mictlan, and Shannon Blowtorch. -YV

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