Electronic music became more mainstream in the 1980s and has been enjoyed by a wide array of audiences since. In Minnesota, several popular electronic bands have come onto the scene and built up a cult following. Using sound synthesizers, computers and experimental music technology over traditional instruments, electronic bands produce a unique sound not easily duplicated. Have a listen to any of these fun bands from Minnesota.
A flashback to the 1980s, Information Society is one of the most popular electronic bands to come out of Minnesota. Originally formed in a dorm room at Macalester College in St. Paul, Information Society featured the sound of new wave “synthpop.” The group’s first hit to enter the top of the charts was the 1988 tune “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy).” Today, Information Society consists of some new members and a new sound, however, it still sticks to its electronic roots. Information Society features the use of audio samples, the oscillator and synthesizer in its current music. Although there are no performances scheduled this summer, Information Society has been performing for over 25 years and is due to feature a show pretty soon.
An electronic band to come out of southern Minnesota, Owl City has risen to the top of the pop charts while maintaining a cult following. The band was founded in a basement in the small town of Owatonna, Minnesota in 2007 under the genre of “electronica music.” Using computer programming, a vibraphone, keyboards and some traditional instruments, Owl City has managed to construct enjoyable music and fun tunes. The group’s biggest hit came in 2009 and was titled “Fireflies.” Currently working on their fifth album, Owl City is taking a small time out from touring but expects to be back on the performing scene before the end of the year.
A solo DJ who has made his way into the electronic scene, Woodtekr is Andy Wood from the Twin Cities. Woodtekr’s love of electronic and experimental music grew from his days of listening to local college radio. Woodtekr has been creating music for a while now but his first musical release is more recent. Although he is new on the electronic music scene, Woodtekr has already established a following and is featured on iTunes and other sites for music streaming. Check out his latest releases and collaborations over the internet including two of his hit singles, “Cumulus” and “Point In Time.”
With members born and raised locally, Polica is one of the best synthpop and electronic bands to come out of Minnesota. Officially formed in 2011, Polica is fronted by Channy Leaneagh, a Minneapolis native who graduated from a local music program. Channy has taught violin to local students in the past and inspires young musicians to continue with their musical education. Polica combines the sounds of synthesizers with traditional instruments to produce a unique and haunting sound. The group’s first album, “Give you the Ghost,” was a huge success and brought Polica gigs on network television as well as an invitation to play with Bon Iver. This summer, it will be touring in Europe and working on new sounds.
The Cloak Ox
One of the most popular and fun electronic bands to come out of Minnesota was called “Fog.” After disbanding, the front runner of the band, Minneapolis native Andrew Broder, formed Cloak Ox in 2011. All four members of Cloak Ox are from Minneapolis and seek to carry on the tradition of experimental music and enjoyable rock n’ roll. The group’s music has been loved by locals and national critics as well and Cloak Ox continues to perform in Minnesota and gain new fans daily. A music video produced by Cloak Ox for the song “Pigeon Lung” features local talent and has been shown on music networks to add to its acclaim.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.