Yam Haus and Landon Conrath translate online fame to tour success at M-Shop


Courtesy of sub.iastate.edu

Yam Haus started making music in 2019.

Yam Haus, an independent indie-rock trio, will be performing at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the M-Shop. They will be supported by Landon Conrath, a drummer-turned-singer who is making his music known through Spotify playlists.

Yam Haus rose to fame in 2018 with their debut album “Stargazer.” Their latest single, “Rafters,” was released on March 7.

Both groups are based in Minneapolis, each getting to perform at First Avenue, known for being Prince’s hometown venue and a landmark in the music scene. In 2019, Yam Haus achieved selling out this 1,500-person venue.

“It’s been a dream come true to play at First Avenue, because that’s just the venue you grow up with when you’re in Minnesota,” Conrath said. “Outside of Minnesota, honestly the M-Shop has been one of our favorites to play.”

Conrath was a drummer in the band Harbor & Home, which he started in high school. He continued to play in this band through college before becoming a solo singer-songwriter.

During lockdown in the summer of 2020, Conrath found himself with plenty of time on his hands. He took advantage of this and started working on his first two EPs. His debut album, “Nothing Matters Anyway,” was released in Sept. 2022. Since then, he has gained nearly a million monthly Spotify listeners.

“I never could have pictured any response [to my music] like this,” Conrath said. “I still sometimes look at the numbers and it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s fun to actually come out and play the shows and see that there are real people on the other side of those numbers.”

He never planned on music or songwriting to be his career, but now has goals to continue down this path for as long as he can.

Conrath said large numbers on Spotify have helped him get shows, but the online popularity does not translate directly to his real life. Outside of the Minneapolis music scene, he is often not recognized or known in person.

“There’s bands that have like 300,000 monthly listeners that can sell a bazillion more tickets than me, and it’s because they’ve been doing it longer,” Conrath said. “If I went to, like, Cleveland, Ohio, I would probably push 30 to 40 tickets. I just haven’t had the time to build it in the real world yet.”

He claims many of his current listeners to be casual fans who found his music through a pre-made playlist. He is mostly featured on “Soirée,” which is described as “groovy, dancy, funky stuff.” Touring as a supporting artist and continuing to make music is his plan to gain this real-world popularity he is seeking.

Tickets for the show are available online, with discounted prices for Iowa State students. Advanced tickets are $18 for general admission and $14 for students, with a $2 increase the day of the show.