Mankato’s Musicians: A Year in Review

Mark Reynolds
Staff Writer

The past year has been an incredibly dense year for Mankato’s music scene. We’ve seen single releases, EPs, albums, tours, concerts and much more. Here are a few highlights of some musicians from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Irie Minds

This Mankato-based reggae group has had quite a year. Led by David Ostrom, who graduated from the University last spring, Irie Minds has played dozens of shows, including as an opening act for world-renowned Somali singer Aar Maanta. They also released a new single “It’s Alright” on April 11 and announced their second EP “Big Love” and a summer tour of the same name.

Alec John and The Sky Surfers

Alec John and The Sky Surfers found their own niche with their indie surf pop music. The band wasn’t even formed at this time last year, and now they are setting up to release their first EP “Surf Mania” in June. They have also been busy playing lots of shows including a weekender in Sioux City, Iowa and Omaha, Neb.

Last Import

This melodic surf-punk trio has exploded in the past year. With MNSU student Emily Bjorke on guitar and lead vocals, this all-girl group has found something special. In the past year, the band has opened for Bastille at the Palace Theater; sold out Honey in Minneapolis with Foster the People; sold out the Turf Club with Bob Mould; sold out the 7th Street Entry twice; released a self-titled album; and much more.

Anastasia Ellis

Listening to Anastasia Ellis’ music is a very personal, disarming experience. She has been spreading her messages of self-love and mental health awareness throughout the many shows that she’s played in the past year. Ellis toured several Minnesota cities in February, when she also released her 3-song EP “Love & Attention.”

Selma Wedberg

Since moving from Sweden to Minnesota when she was 15, Selma Wedberg has been using her unique perspective to create beautiful music. This past year, she has been hard at work in the studio. 

Wedberg released her first single “Turn it Off” on Feb. 22, and is currently producing an upcoming EP.

Brandon and The Clubs

This pop music powerhouse has been extremely hard at work over the past year. Along with being a leader in the Student Events Team, Brandon Weideman has been performing on campus and working on his first EP “Love Club.” He has already completed two singles from the EP, “Love Club” and “U,” and created music videos for each. “U” will be released on May 10, with the video releasing the following week.

Matthew Ruff

The up-and-coming songwriter has spent a lot of time developing his brand, playing shows, and working on his upcoming EP, “Fire.” He performed in two songwriter showcases and several events for MavHouse Records. He, along with Weideman, also sang in the A Capella group “Maverick Vocal Precision,” which placed first in the SingStrong NY Acapella competition.

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