Rabeca's sophomore jazz pop album tackles 'Junk' of the 2020's

a group of musicians pose for a portrait
Band Rabeca.
Courtesy of Anna Dolde

The Minneapolis-based jazz pop band Rabeca releases a new album called “Junk” on Dec. 1. They will perform an album release show at the Hook and Ladder in Minneapolis on Dec. 2.

Anna Dolde is a Minneapolis jazz and pop saxophonist. She co-leads the band and joined MPR News host Cathy Wurzer to talk about the new album.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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Audio transcript

["THE AGE OF AQUARIUS" BY RABECA] CATHY WURZER: I wanted to give you a little sneak peek of a song from the Minneapolis-based jazz pop band called Rabeca. They're putting out their sophomore album Friday. It's called "Junk." Oh, this is certainly not junk. This is great. Anna Dolde from the band is on the line to talk about their new album. Anna, welcome.

ANNA DOLDE: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.

CATHY WURZER: Oh, my gosh. I'm so excited to talk with you. Well, the song we just heard, brand new. Ears all over the region just got to listen to "The Age of Aquarium." And that's you on the sax, is that right?

ANNA DOLDE: Yep, that is. Mm-hmm.

CATHY WURZER: Tell me who else is in the band.

ANNA DOLDE: Yeah, so we have Colleen Cowie on guitar, Satchel Bruna on drums, Alex Rack on keyboards, and then David Munkvoid on bass. And then also Colleen and Alex are vocalists, too.

CATHY WURZER: How do you describe your music?

ANNA DOLDE: Yeah, it's really hard to describe it. The first thing I do say is jazz pop fusion, but the fusion I think is very broad. We pull from rock music. We pull from jam band music. So I think the fusion is really the main word. But the key thing that kind of pulls all of us together is we have some form of jazz background, I think, and want to make kind of dancey, fun to play and listen to music. So that's more where the pop comes in. So yeah.

CATHY WURZER: Say, by the way, thank you for having two female instrumentalists. Well, you don't often see that in jazz groups.

ANNA DOLDE: Yeah, I think that was something that really brought Colleen and I together. We met in college, actually. And the second we started playing together, just the two of us, we just noticed that not only the way that we play together, but then also the way that we support each other in the music just felt like, oh, we definitely have to keep doing this, and it's just continued to today. So I feel very lucky to play with Colleen.

CATHY WURZER: I need to play more music, so this is another new song from the album. This is called "Too Much."

["TOO MUCH" BY RABECA]

(SINGING) Every day the world gets hotter. Every night I'm looking at my phone. Making friends with nature means accepting that you'll have to let things go. Growing up means learning that some things will never be in your control. Wish that I could be more patient with myself whenever I'm alone.

CATHY WURZER: Interesting there about things not in your control. I know you wrote this album, the band did, during the pandemic. Did that inspire the album's name, "Junk"?

ANNA DOLDE: Absolutely. Yeah, so it was funny. With our first album, we released it the weekend of lockdown.

CATHY WURZER: Ah.

ANNA DOLDE: So March 2020. And so it was a very strange time. And afterwards, we were practicing together in a big, open church to be able to distance. And I think we were in a time of just really a strange time for music in general, I think, of trying to create, trying to be artistic, but also recognizing how difficult that was and how much more you're being online and not really able to connect in the normal ways that you would as musicians.

So I think "Junk" started out kind of as a joke at first. Like, oh, that'd be funny if we named our album that. But then as we thought about it, we realized it's a playful way of getting at how hard that time was, and also how much we kept going through that time by being playful and enjoying playing music together. So I think that's where we kind of realized like, oh, that actually is a pretty good name for this album. So just recognizing that it was a junk time, but also that we were able to create something that we're proud of through that time.

CATHY WURZER: That's one phrase to use-- it was a junk time, yeah.

ANNA DOLDE: Yes, exactly.

CATHY WURZER: There could be other words to use.

ANNA DOLDE: Yes, exactly.

CATHY WURZER: See, when we have Minnesota artists on the show, we love to hear about the musicians that are inspiring them, musicians you're listening to. So we're going to listen to a song you sent us that is inspiring you right now.

["PART III" BY CRUMB]

(SINGING) I waste my time in the morning and evening. Caught in a feeling. I lose my mind looking up at the ceiling.

CATHY WURZER: OK, so explain this one.

ANNA DOLDE: Yeah, so I think all of us really appreciate the band Crumb. The song is called "Part III." And some of the things that I really appreciate about them is, they have a lot of different kind of moods and feels that they'll put into one song. And that's what we try to do, too. But I think, too, they're really great at kind of taking you to another place, especially emotionally. I think listening even just to this clip, it takes me off to a place that they want to take you. And it feels almost ethereal and a lot of different textures.

So those are a lot of the things that, at least, I really appreciate and want to incorporate in our music, is just kind of taking people to the place we want to take them, and then also just having different textures and feels throughout even just one song.

CATHY WURZER: I appreciate that, audio textures-- haven't really thought about it that way. You have an album release show-- good-- Saturday. Good, this is going to be a great party here. What can we expect from that?

ANNA DOLDE: Yeah, we're really excited. So this is going to be Saturday at the Hook and Ladder. We have two amazing bands joining us, Dr. Goon and the Daily Tribune and TABAH. And so they'll be starting the night out, and then we'll be performing our album. And we also have some fun, little surprises in store. Some of the artwork and things that we included were inspired by I Spy, those old books. So we're going to have an I Spy game. We're going to have some other interactive little games and things and just really make it a fun party for us and for everybody that joins. So we're just really looking forward to it.

CATHY WURZER: We're going to go out here, Anna, with "Frogger." This is another cut from the album. So I think this is appropriate to go out with this. And I appreciate you being here, and best of luck. Thank you so much.

ANNA DOLDE: Thank you so much for having me.

CATHY WURZER: That was Anna Dolde, a Minneapolis jazz and pop saxophonist and singer. She leads the band Rabeca. Their new album called "Junk" is out tomorrow. And as you heard, you can catch them live at their release show at the Hook and Ladder in Minneapolis Saturday.

["FROGGER" BY RABECA]

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