Jeff Hanson, a 31-year-old singer-songwriter signed to the Kill Rock Stars label, was found dead in his apartment in St. Paul, MN yesterday. The Star-Tribune is reporting that he "likely died from a fall or other accident."
Hanson started rocking very young, as the frontman for Milwaukee-area teen-emo kids M.I.J., one of many bands inspired by the success of The Promise Ring. But Hanson really found his voice on his own, clearly inspired by Elliott Smith—another rocker who decided to follow a quieter muse. Hanson sent a tape of demos to Kill Rock Stars, which ended up releasing three albums, including last year's Madam Owl.
I knew Jeff a little bit, starting with his M.I.J. days—the band always wanted to open shows in Milwaukee, where I promoted shows occasionally. He was always a genial guy who had no problem talking about his "ladylike" voice. (He didn't speak that way, no.) Here's a link to an interview Hanson did with Decider last year. He will be missed.