“Hylton makes an indelible mark...balances quirky humor, clever slice-of-life observations, and raw emotion.”
— MPR 89.3 The Current
Southern Resident Killer Whales
JUNE 2020 UPDATE: Southern Resident Killer Whales released the new single, "Let It Go," off the forthcoming EP, Wave Forms, on June 12. The song, finished via remote recording sessions in spring 2020, is accompanied by a video inspired by (and drawing footage from) an April streaming performance by frontman Dan Hylton. The performance replaced an originally-scheduled full band show that was canceled due to quarantine, and it seemed to Hylton like a natural extension of the experience to endeavor to create a video that might preserve a bit of bittersweet nostalgia about the quarantine era for a period afterwards that can be a little tough to see in the moment.
Minneapolis-based alternative rock/craft pop quartet Southern Resident Killer Whales “...makes an indelible mark...balancing quirky humor, clever slice-of-life observations, and raw emotion (89.3 The Current).
“...and if the phrase ‘Craft Pop’ evokes something between a workbench and great deal of focused labor and, well, a fine beer,” writes Camden News, “well, that’s sort of the point.” While many in the alt-rock scene favor a guitar-driven “wall of sound,” Southern Resident Killer Whales remain steadfastly driven by the craft of the song, applying their efforts at lifting the melodies, the harmonies, and the words, which Rift Magazine proclaims as “…fresh, smart, yet deeply personal and emotional words capturing life’s significant moments and its lessons taught.”
Musically, the ‘Whales’ catchy yet sophisticated acoustic-driven pop sounds something like a slightly offbeat Glen Hansard meets a slightly upbeat Morrissey, with songs that range from intimate chamber-pop arrangements with horn to driving, harmony-laden indie rock. Lyrically, frontman and songwriter Dan Hylton bares all with a words that alternate between potent advocacy and those with an almost embarrassing level of intimacy. He strives to write the sort lyrics that, in his words, “make people feel like they just had a conversation with a really good friend:”
Hylton calls his Southern Resident Killer Whales the most "trippy" band he has fronted to date, enjoying the ability of his bandmates to “take each song where it wants to go.” The formally-trained multi-instrumentalists Mark Anderson (bass, horns,mandolin) and Krista Johnson (drums, percussion, keys), along with versatile guitarist Brian Siegel, add a depth of training and theory to Hylton’s varied original works, and variety to live shows.
Southern Resident Killer Whales is seen most frequently at Minneapolis area craft breweries, festivals, and fundraising events where their music - catchy, cool, and not over-the-top - is right at home in support of a lively, upbeat scene. They are currently recording their Wave Forms EP, slated for a mid- to late-2020 release.