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Ondara, 'An Alien In Minneapolis'

After first shedding the "J.S." part of his name, Minnesota-based Ondara has now shed the largely acoustic guitar-based folk sound found on his first two releases. What the Kenyan-born singer-songwriter has not shed, however, is his troubadour's heart. On "An Alien In Minneapolis," Ondara shares yet another poignant observation of what it means to be an outsider in a foreign place. It's a true story shaped by real life experiences that don't quite match the idealized impression of America he developed from afar as a boy in Africa listening to shortwave radio.

Ondara has done more than simply add an electric bass or drum kit on the new single. It's a completely new sonic package that embraces both his intriguing voice and a unique accent that remains present when he sings. "An Alien In Minneapolis" will lead his new album Spanish Villager No. 3, due out in September. The villager referenced is an alter ego of sorts, a created vantage point through which Ondara channels his compelling narrative.

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Eric Teel