The 2004 DC graduate hits the Twin Cities music scene
By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN - Local singer and songwriter Holly Hansen has hit the Twin Cities music scene with her new band, Zoo Animal, debuting its new album “Young Blood.”
Hansen, a 2004 Dassel-Cokato High School graduate, currently attends college at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Her passion lies in singing, songwriting, and playing guitar for her band, which she helped organize last January.
Before her career began with Zoo Animal, Hansen was writing songs, recording them herself, and playing during open mic nights around the Twin Cities.
She was also playing on occasion with Tim Abramson, who is formerly of Dassel and now living in Minneapolis.
Abramson started writing what Hansen calls “great bass lines” and she thought it would be best for the two of them to combine their aesthetics to create a whole new sound, and therefore, a new band.
“He is my favorite bass player, not just because he plays with me; he is just very creative and melodic,” Hansen said of Abramson.
Zoo Animal’s drummer position is shared by either Justin Korhonen of Duluth or Thom Reimer of Minneapolis, depending on the show, according to Hansen.
The band’s music is considered alternative pop, according to Hansen.
The band draws from an array of influences including The Talking Heads, film score composer Phillip Glass, minimalist composer Arvo Part, Radiohead, The Beach Boys (especially the album Pet Sounds), The Cranberries, a Duluth band called Low, and the band Feist.
“If someone hasn’t heard these bands, they may consider our sound unconventional. Our music wouldn’t fit on any Minnesota commercial radio station, but does fit on public stations such as 89.3 The Current or KVSC 88.1,” Hansen said.
Hansen and Zoo Animal perform about two shows a month in Minneapolis. Some of the spots the band has performed at are Clubhouse Jager, 331 Club, The Nomad, and The Beat Coffeehouse.
A few of the titles from the new album includes “Black and Gold,” “My Lord,” and “Sailor,” which seem to be people’s favorites, according to Hansen.
Hansen is going to school for sound art, which is audio engineering, music business, and composition all built into one degree.
She also interns at a music venue, works at her college, and is also employed at a music store in uptown Minneapolis.
Hansen was also pleased to announce her recent engagement to Josiah Newsom.
“It seems to me I do the most good to society when I make music, and wish someday to devote more time to it so I can create better and more inspiring, thoughtful music for the listener,” Hansen said.
“A dream of mine is to someday gain enough momentum to bring other artists under my wing and give them a boost to help them create what God has given them,” Hansen said.
In turn, Hansen hopes her students will help others and, in a sense, create a snowball effect of inspired, purposeful, and worthwhile art.
“I’ve worked very hard to hone my songwriting skills, but it’s still a very spur-of-the-moment, holy spirit-influenced time, where I feel almost removed from the act,” Hansen said.
Hansen enjoys playing most when she feels like the listeners are just as involved in the music as she is; not simply watching her perform, she said.
“It’s not about me, it’s about what I’m singing for,” she said.
“Young Blood” on sale now
The album is for sale at the band’s performances, iTunes, cdbaby.com, and The Grounds in Cokato.
For more info and show schedule, check out www.zooanimalmusic.com or www.myspace.com/zooanimalsound.