Soul food: Gotta get up to get down – Southside Desire means it, too

a1336121722_2BY JEANETTE YOUNG POWER

In the tradition of many indehiscent bands before them, Southside Desire is releasing their second album eponymously on Oct. 22, 2014. Like a big sister mourning for her youth, the album is a step back in time both in its reminiscent lyrics and retro-styled album artwork/sound. While the sounds you might recognize as being modeled after old-time soul (with a tinge of serious punk), the cadence represents a new honing of musical togetherness for SSD. Eventually polished by Jacob Grun and Aaron Baum at The Sound Gallery, the recording itself was done at several    spots around town—The Pearl (Zachary Hollander), Disgraceland (Eliot Gordon), Albatross (Mike Wisti), and The Sound Gallery (Jacob Grun and Aaron Baum). SSD is calling it their “most sonically diverse” album yet, with 11 songs in 36 minutes with several guest musicians. It’s the band’s most cohesive and immediate work to date, and they’re very proud of it.
Since their first release, “Songs to Love and Die To” (2012), the band has come a long way. Once a musical project of four wayward South Minneapolitans, the now-six-piece have two First Avenue shows, a quadrupled (at least) Facebook fan base, and dozens of other local tally marks behind them. Marvel Devitt’s lyrics represent something that has come full circle—a mature intro/retrospect of the neighborhood, her childhood and their closest friends.
The band has truly grown up—the married outnumber the singles, the babies are being born, and they are embracing their roots, billing themselves as “garage Minneapolis R & B.” Serious about sticking to their basement-punk-show roots, hardcore riffs and tragic lyrics are carefully disguised as pop songs that are understandable and radio-worthy.
Another big difference from the last LP is the addition of singer Joy Spika, an extremely talented mixed media artist. She joins Marvel Devitt (vocals), Gloria Iacono (vocals), Trevor Engelbrektson (bass), Paul Puleo (guitar), and Damien Tank (drums). Joy’s writing contributions on the upcoming album include “Dirty Hands Prayer.” Spika is a native of Longfellow, as are Devitt and Iacono. Returning from studying art in Chicago about five years ago, she was a fantastic addition to SSD, leaving them all wondering why they hadn’t thought of this before. She is also responsible for the meticulous album artwork.
In addition to SSD’s record release show at the 7th Street Entry on Oct. 22 (with none other than BOTH Red Daughters and Mary Allen & the Percolators), you can catch Southside Desire on Radio K’s “Off the Record” (Friday, Oct. 17) and KFAI’s “MN Sound with Jonathan Kennedy” (Friday, Oct. 17).
This record tastes like bitters and ginger ale—three sugar sweet ladies deliver their heartbreaks growing up in a land of loyal disfunction. If “Songs to Love and Die To” was the probiotic, this second LP is the prebiotic, the sweetness bacteria craves.

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