Keep for Cheap keeps the beat

A Hamline band begins to take off.

Keep for Cheap performs at the Hi-Watt House on March 13.

Kelly Holm, Senior Reporter

Even outside of Sundin Music Hall, melodies are thriving on campus. Just ask Hamline-grown band Keep for Cheap, fresh off the release of their inaugural single “Day Without You.”

Comprised of five Pipers from all class levels, the 1960s-influenced “easy breezy rock and roll” ensemble features junior Autumn Vagle on lead vocals, sophomore Kate Malanaphy on bass and background vocals, senior Bert Northup and sophomore Ted Tiedeman on guitar and first-year Lydia Williams on drums.

Vagle and Malanaphy first met in Hamline’s A Cappella Choir in the fall of 2017. They decided to collaborate upon noticing how well their voices blended together, and thus Keep for Cheap was born in Vagle’s basement. A few months passed with just the two of them, then Malanaphy invited her longtime friend Northup to join in. Tiedeman and Williams were introduced to the trio through mutual friends later on.

“Day Without You,” written by Vagle and released to Bandcamp on Feb. 8, has been gaining traction on local radio. Although Keep for Cheap, and Malanaphy as a solo artist, have previously been featured on student-run college radio stations, March 11 marked the single’s debut on 89.3 The Current, thanks to Malanaphy.

The Current has a submission form on their website for anyone who wants to submit their music,” Malanaphy said. “I submitted the single and a week or so later I got an email from Andrea [Swensson], who is in charge of the Current’s segment The Local Show, asking for the file for the song.”

Vagle was not listening to the radio at the moment the song was first played, and initially thought it was a joke when friends informed her of it, according to an email interview.

“It was bizarre,” Vagle said. “Then I saw the Current tweet that they were playing it and I was literally like ‘Holy sh*t!’ It’s kind of unreal… This is the first time I have had anything of mine played on the radio, so it feels pretty awesome for my first ever recorded song to be put out there in the world like that.”

As of March, Keep for Cheap has written and performed seven original songs in total, and hopes to release a six-track EP sometime this summer, with another single possibly due to drop beforehand. They also hope to tour outside of the Twin Cities soon, although no concrete plans have been made.

In regards to the more distant future, the band envisions themselves sticking together through their respective graduations. While post-college life can be daunting, Vagle counts on Keep for Cheap to be there after she dons her cap and gown in 2020.

“This is something that I absolutely dream of doing full-time for years to come, and I think we are setting ourselves up to be able to do that. We all love playing together and I think our hearts are collectively in the music, so I like to believe our passion will take us far,” she said.