Last night was billed as a dual album release show, but really it was a triple threat: ahem, Why Bonnie, and DENNIS were all celebrating the release of new material. Each band brought a new sound to the stage at 7th Street Entry, from raucous guitar riffs to dreamy vocal melodies and ethereal electronic pop.
Minneapolis-based trio ahem kicked off the night. The band played material from their new EP, Chutes and Ladders, intermixed with songs from their first release, Just Wanna Be (as well as a cover by fellow Minneapolis-dweller cheap fantasy). In addition to celebrating the release of their new EP, ahem was also sending off one of their members, Sam Stahlmann, who joined the band shortly after the recording of their first EP. Earlier this year, after Stahlmann had to step back from the band, Courtney Berndt stepped in to take her place, and halfway through the band’s set, the two swapped places, as Stahlmann passed the torch (*bass) to Berndt. Ahem ripped through song after song, filling 7th Street with the buzzing of guitar strings and energetic group vocals.
Why Bonnie, a five-piece bedroom pop group from Austin, TX, took the stage next. Throughout their set, Why Bonnie were equal parts powerful and serene. The band played with a confident and measured sense of calm, showcasing the dynamic range of their songs that built from tranquil, synth-driven intros to hard-hitting choruses. They released the EP Nightgown, just two days before the show, and still had even newer material to play, including the song “Sunburn.”
Electronic pop group DENNIS, also a trio from Minneapolis, closed out the night. DENNIS, who describe their sound as a cross between Grimes and Britney Spears, released their album, Alien Fantasy, earlier this month. Despite a few technical frustrations, the trio had the crowd dancing to layered synthesizers, pounding drum beats, and cascades of delay-soaked vocals.