Musician and writer Dylan Hicks was born in Austin, Texas, in 1970, and has lived since 1983 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His most recent recording, 2022’s Airport Sparrows, was recorded with Small Screens, a six-piece band that blends pop, jazz, R&B, folk, and chamber music. Other recent recordings include Accidental Birds and Munson-Hicks Party Supplies, a collection of Hicks’s songs mostly sung by John Munson. He’s involved in other collaborative musical projects, including the largely interpretive PPLS, co-led with Michelle Kinney. Hicks is also the author of two novels, Amateurs and Boarded Windows, and has written journalism, criticism, essays, and word puzzles for the New York Times, the Village Voice, Slate, the New England Review, the Paris Review Daily, and many other publications.
Musician and writer Dylan Hicks was born in a bohemian sector of Austin, Texas, in 1970, and has lived since 1983 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His latest album, Airport Sparrows was recorded with Small Screens, a sort of chamber-pop sextet that draws on jazz, R&B, and anything handy, and will be released in September of 2022. Earlier albums include Munson-Hicks Party Supplies, a set of Hicks’s songs mostly sung by John Munson, who also played bass and other instruments, and served as the album’s lead producer. Hicks has also published two novels with Coffee House Press and written journalism, essays, word puzzles, and fiction for the Village Voice, the New York Times, the New England Review, Slate, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Paris Review Daily, Mpls.-St. Paul, and other publications, many of them now defunct.
Hicks started putting out larkish cassettes and performing in clubs in his late teens. Over the nineties and early aughts he released three albums on No Alternative/TRG Records and built up a following in the Twin Cities along with coin pockets of support in other markets. These early musical endeavors were not profitable. In 2002, he shifted his focus to journalism, criticism, and, eventually, fiction and essays. His debut novel, Boarded Windows, was released in 2012. Its companion album, Dylan Hicks Sings Bolling Greene, was presented as a collection of songs written by one of the novel’s secondary characters. Hicks’s fiction was mostly praised. Reviewing Hicks’s 2016 novel, Amateurs, for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Schaub called Hicks a “wonderful, meticulous author,” while the Guardian called the book “sharply observed and very funny.”
Hicks lives with his wife, Nina Hale, an entrepreneur, craftsperson, birder, and photographer. Their adult son, Jackson, lives nearby.