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Keep for Cheap: New voices on St. Paul music scene

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen


Band co-founder Autumn Vagle said, “Song writing started for me as a way to gather my thoughts. I’m from northern Minnesota, from a musical family. I grew up listening to classical rock like Paul Simon and the Beatles. I write songs when something is on my mind, or when I’m frustrated.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

According to Autumn Vagle, she and her fellow band members chose the name “Keep for Cheap” because they just liked the way it sounded. Called KFC for short, the five-person band has been playing around town for a couple of years now.
They’ve opened twice at the 7th Street Entry, played several times at Honey in Northeast Minneapolis, and entertained during events at Hamline University – where three of the band members are students.
Vagle (song writer, lead vocals) is a senior there, studying communications and digital media arts. She founded the band with junior Kate Malanaphy (electric bass, backing vocals). The two met in Hamline’s A Capella Choir, led by Dr. George Chu. Under his direction, the choir strives to push musical boundaries. Vagle and Malanaphy have been doing that together, both with the a capella choir, and with their commitment to developing their own music.
According to Vagle, punk music is very popular on the local music scene. She said, “With KFC, we’re doing something different. Our style is country-flavored indie rock with strong female vocals. As a band with non-male voices, we know it is important to speak up. We strive to be safe people – allies to those who are from marginalized communities.” The band is filled out with Bert Northrup on guitar, Lydia Williams on drums, and Ted Tiedemann on guitar.
Keep for Cheap just released their debut EP (extended playlist), called “Get Along.” Vagle said, “This is what new bands do now, make an EP. It was our first time in a recording studio. We had some 12-hour recording days at Henriksen Sound, but we loved it. The songs are kind of sad lyrically, but not musically. The message is that even when things are hard, we should try to get along. We were able to pay the production costs with money we had earned as a band, which felt good.”