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Minnesota-based singer and songwriter Erik Koskinen’s new EP Cruising Paradise features six songs that were recorded over the past few years but never planned to be released until now. “I’ve been working on all kinds of projects the past few years and have written a lot of new songs,” says Koskinen. “But these six seemed to have a thread all the way through, a story from song one to song six.”

The title, “Cruising Paradise,” was an homage to Sam Shepard, the actor and writer who died earlier this year. “Shepard’s death is a significant loss to me. This has been a year where we’ve lost giants. Pioneers in literature and music are gone. Who’s gonna step up and fill the vacuum?”