Music Quick Hits | June 2019

Eric Christenson |

Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis

Even though it’s well-established that there won’t be a traditional version of the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival this summer, the Oxbeaux street concert that preceded the last two fests will return for a blockbuster third concert, now with an extra day. On August 9 and 10 – that’s right, two days – it’s Oxbeaux III. Friday night will see a local band showcase in the Oxbow Hotel parking lot featuring Arms Aloft, Drunk Drivers, Pit Wagon, and North of Dixie Bluegrass Band. Then on August 10, Galloway St. shuts down and transforms into a massive block party concert with headliner Jenny Lewis, The Shouting Matches, Flock Of Dimes, Alpha Consumer, Sanborn/Roseneau, and Sniffle Party. Tickets for Friday are sold out, tickets for Saturday are $25. They went on sale at 10am on Friday June 14, so grab yours before they sell out at

Chippewa Valley native Johanne Swanson released her mesmerizing second album last week for her buzzworthy musical project Yohuna. Now based in New York City, her new record is called Mirroring, and it’s the follow-up to her critically-lauded debut Patientness. The album is already getting some awesome ink in major music publications like Pitchfork, Stereogum, and GoldFlakePaint who had this to say about Mirroring: “With repeated listens this album has become so incredibly necessary to me. Notes hang like morning mist on your nostalgic mind, collecting in the deeper pockets of meaningful memories, thoughts are allowed to reach fruition. Which opens the floodgates, if you let it, to the poetry of past mistakes.” You can check out the record on all streaming services and purchase it at

Sarah James uses her solo musical project The Nunnery to build stunning sonic landscapes using only her voice and a loop station. Now in Minneapolis, James released her second album called We Are The Stars last week at the 7th St. Entry with a whole team of dancers and striking visuals by Erik Elstran. We Are The Stars is a bold step forward and a remarkable vision coming from one of the most unique and mystical music projects to ever come from a Chippewa Valley native. And that’s saying a lot. Learn more, listen, and buy the new album at

Justin Vernon
Justin Vernon, shown here with random foliage.

Some of you may have heard of a band from this part of the world called Bon Iver. Well, they’re back in a pretty big way. Last week the band, headed up by hometown hero Justin Vernon, dropped two singles – “Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like)” – and a whole bunch of tour dates. The tracks feature a huge roster of collaborators like Moses Sumney, Bruce Hornsby, Jenn Wasner, Elsa Jensen, Psymun, Phil Cook, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. A quote from a press release, attributed to JV22, reads, “This project began with a single person, but throughout the last 11 years, the identity of Bon Iver has bloomed and can only be defined by the faces in the ever growing family we are.” Stream the new tracks wherever you do that kinda thing. And maybe be on the lookout for more Bon Iver stuff coming this summer.

Sofar Sounds, an international DIY showcase organizing group that promotes shows in unique locations, now has an Eau Claire branch and its first local show booked. Co-organized by a team of local music enthusiasts, the first Sofar Sounds gig is on June 18 at an undisclosed location. You can sign up to be in the running for $15 tickets at The location of the show will be revealed the day-of, but one band has already been announced: Nick Anderson & The Skinny Lovers. To learn more and pique your interest, check out the Sofar Sounds Eau Claire Facebook page.