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Are You There


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Album Review

Its been more than 25 years since Peter Himmelman decided to turn his new wave band Sussman Lawrence into his backing combo and transformed himself into a solo artist, long enough that Himmelman has gotten the itch to do something collaborative again. While he is clearly the leader on the studio project Minnesota (named for his home state where the material was recorded), he created the album Are You There in tandem with writer and filmmaker David Hollander, who directed the 2009 movie Personal Effects and created the TV shows The Guardian and Heartland; Himmelman, who also composes music for movies and television, crossed paths with Hollander when he scored a few episodes of Heartland. Hollander's presence on this project is fitting, since Are You There has a very cinematic mood and feel, with the melodies creating a dark but expansive temper that's bolstered by the spare but finely detailed and evocative production. Are You There could reasonably be described as Midwest Gothic, with the lyrics full of apocalyptic imagery ("Deep Freeze"), tales of grim fate ("Death by Snakebite"), and lives gone haywire ("Ash and Chickenwire"), and the sharp dynamics of the music are a good fit, especially the wiry tones of Jake Hanson's guitar, the explosive drumming of Noah Levy, and passionate but expert vocals from Himmelman, Claire Holley, and Kristin Mooney. Are You There is a tougher and less forgiving listen than one familiar with Himmelman's solo work might expect, but it succeeds well enough on Minnesota's own terms; from a sonic standpoint, this is an ambitious and compelling work, and Himmelman's collaborators have helped him achieve something striking he might not have been able to conjure on his own. Are You There is perfect for late nights of uncertainty on the windy prairies of the Midwest, and if that's not where you happen to be physically, this music could easily take you there in your mind.

Customer Reviews


This album has incredible depth and soul. It's music is both haunting and upbeat. The lyrics have hope and pain and dreams of freedom. Its an album with a storyline , if you pay attention. Has some elements that feel old school combined with new and hip - never heard before twists. Both complex and classic. Highly recommend!

Great Album

This is a fantastic album and shows incredible musical talent in every song. It is deep and soulful, and the lyrics are plain amazing. There is nothing bad about this album! Everyone should have it!

Great sound w/superb song writing!

Some sweet gazer-esque tunes like Arabesque coupled with genuine foot stomping'-hand clapping' songs like Death By Snakebite…..a definite quality addition to any playlist.


Formed: Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '10s

Formed as a vehicle for veteran singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman and filmmaker/screenwriter David Hollander, Minnesota leans hard on the soulful, blues- and pop-tinged sound of the former, while working in the narrative-driven, cinematic scope of the latter. The two longtime friends had been dabbling creatively for some time before deciding to put their ideas to tape. In 2011, they recruited a crew of seasoned, local players in Jeff Victor (Honeydogs), Jacob Hanson (the Pines),...
Full Bio
Are You There, Minnesota
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Nov 06, 2012

Customer Ratings