On the surface of things, Ally Mattson is just another gifted singer/songwriter from the insultingly amazing Minneapolis/St Paul music scene. As my Audio Bonsai partner and Twin Cities local, jesse constantly reminds me….the outstanding music scene up there means you can’t walk into any club or coffee shop without finding a troubadour impress you.
But, I’m going to contend that Ally Mattson’s new debut album “The Bones of Bandits” album is different.
“Out of Touch” from that album was featured on Audio Bonsai’s Listening Post 16.27 and was my favorite track of that week’s releases.
“Out of Touch”
The Bones of Bandits
|Alternate Track Link||SOUNDCLOUD|
|Selected from||Listening Post 16.27|
Song Spotters: In an interview with City Pages, it was mentioned that the songs on The Bones of Bandits weren’t originally written to be shared, that these were more of a self-cleansing project. I’m very interested in that process. Were you anticipating a much different album that you would make after this private palate cleanser or was there no real thought of an album as such?
Ally Mattson: In terms of anticipating the second album I’m not sure I ever thought about The Bones of Bandits with that sense of finality. Music will always have an element of palate cleansing for me; that’s how I started writing music and is a lot of the reason why I continue to write music. The difference now is knowing that people will actually be listening this time. The palate cleansing of the first album coupled with this greater confidence in my ability as a musician has lead to a lot more experimentation with the songs for my next project, in addition to a sense of learning to just have fun with it. That letting go has been a defining element of the new material I’ve been working on and I’m very excited to show people that progression, as well as the dynamic it’s strengthened between me and the band. So it will definitely be a very different album, but no matter what I do that element of personal catharsis will always be there.
Song Spotters: As a music fan and podcaster, I’m always interested in the the way that music, the creative process, the music industry, and real life intersect in artist’s lives. I’m intrigued by musicians who can do this as a full time job. I’m in awe of artists who juggle these pursuits into other careers. In short, I am interested in where music fits into your life. Shows, tours, the writing process.It’s an open ended question…
Ally Mattson: Music has a very organic place in my life. I’m not sure if it will ever become a full-time career, but I essentially try to follow what my gut tells me to do. I play guitar, sing, and write because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my time. I started taking music more seriously when I realized that I loved playing shows live and sharing what I do with people. So essentially what started as a passion that I did only for myself has turned into an exercise of what sounds I can push myself to make and what new directions I can take that sound, while continually trying to achieve something that is distinctly my own style. It’s definitely still for me, but has a greater sense of collaboration and certainty. I work full-time at a local bookstore and spend the rest of my time doing something with music- even if it’s not something strictly dedicated to my own material. Although I always make time for video games or reading, cause ya know, everyone needs a break now and then.
Song Spotters: I’m curious how the line up came together for the CD release show at the Turf Club.
- The Controversial New “Skinny Pill” (a self-described Frat Rock band)
- Kid Ukko (a Twin Cities hip hop artist)
On the one hand, I love the Twin Cities’ ability to break down genre walls and form collaborations that just wouldn’t happen in other music scenes. On the other hand, it’s a strange enough mix that it got me curious. How did that come together?
Ally Mattson: The story with the Turf Club lineup is actually fairly straightforward! I’m friends with a lot of musicians who aren’t folk artists so I’ve played a lot of multi-genre shows, and I wanted to keep that theme for the CD release show because they’re always a great time. Kid Ukko is a really close friend of mine and we both sort of discovered our sound when we were living in the midway area of St. Paul. So when I found out that we’d booked perhaps the best venue in the midway there was no question that I wanted him to perform. It also helps that he’s super talented and makes fantastic music. As for CNSP I’m essentially just a superfan of theirs and was honored when they agreed to join on the bill for the night. We’d performed together at a show last winter so when I’d decided on putting together a variety show for the Turf I knew I wanted to reach out to them. I urge everyone to check them out, as well as Kid Ukko- they’re both crazy good!