Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

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Lala Lala, the project of Chicago-based songwriter Lillie West, has released a third single from her forthcoming album The Lamb, out September. 28th through Hardly Art Records. The album is among the most anticipated releases of September.

Lala Lala shares “Dove,” the third song off their new album The Lamb, out September 28th. “‘Dove’ is very plainly about the death of someone I loved a lot and the guilt I had and still have afterwards,” West explains of the plaintive and heartfelt track. “Dove” is out now at all DSPs .

“Dove” confronts directly the topics that have hung in the periphery of the band’s previous two singles, “Destroyer” and “Water Over Sex.” West has talked often of the traumatic experiences that contributed to the writing of The Lamb, including “a home invasion, deaths of loved ones and general violence around me and my friends.”

On “Dove,” West focuses her grief into a powerful, unflinching track that addresses the past directly. ”’Dove’ is very plainly about the death of someone I loved a lot and the guilt I had and still have afterwards,” West said. The song fashions West’s hazy guitars and ethereal voice into an miniature anthem of regret and longing. It’s a watery shout into—and about—an absence.


After the stunning “Birthday”, Gia Margaret looks deeply into the space that remains after a loved one leaves your life. “Birthday” is a gentle, mid-tempo rock song that couches the weight of its lyrics in lush electric guitar chords, gleaming synthesizer patches, and big, expressive drums, hitting the sweet spot between Imogen Heap and Broken Social Scene. In a voice that barely rises above a whisper, the Chicago-based singer/songwriter details a sudden, devastating breakup. “I can’t pretend I didn’t know it/But then the night came and you were gone,” she sings, her voice multi-tracked and produced in a way that makes the edges of her consonants pop. After the shock of the initial split, Margaret starts to preemptively mourn all the rituals she won’t get to share again with her ex-partner. “Wouldn’t it be so strange/Not to be with you on your birthday?” she asks on the chorus. Her vocal melody skews oddly optimistic, vaulting up toward the top of her range as if she’s trying to put a positive spin on her loss. “Birthday” may be an emotionally moving breakup song, but it’s the kind that lets you self-soothe in the midst of grief.

 Gia Margaret releases the second single from her first record, There’s Always Glimmer. If that first track was about the moment things fall away, “Smoke” is a gorgeous evocation of the moment they come together.

Margaret’s writing taps into the fragility of happiness – the immensely overwhelming feeling of something you’ve wished for so vividly becoming real, the moment you surrender yourself to it. From the gentle cascading piano line that acts as the spine of the song’s crescendo, to the double-tracked near-whisper of the vocal melody, the soft-focus comfort of the song’s feeling of stillness layers itself like a Sunday den.

Even as washes of cello, reversed vocals and an electronic beat flicker into life towards the end of the track, reminiscent of Daughter, it remains true to the sparse feel of its title. Picturing the simple pleasure of making a home with someone through immensely intimate moments – crying in the bathroom, nestling into new sheets – its sensual feel unravels the transportive potential of emotional memory. Ethereal, effortless and all-enveloping, it’s a misty and atmospheric watercolour.


Smoke is one of the older songs on the album,” Margaret tells us. “It’s just something sparse I wrote to reflect on how beautiful the surrender of building a home with someone can be. It’s about sense memory and vulnerability. More specifically all the complicated feelings and memories that something as unremarkable as the scent of smoke can bring. Moving into an apartment with another for the first time and going from childhood home to “adulthood” was a transition. I wanted to capture how much I loved that apartment and the peaceful and still feeling that person and place enveloped me in. I hope the music speaks louder than my plain words. That was sort of my intent with this one.”

Doug Saltzman engineered, mixed and co-produced Smoke,” she adds, on the production of the track. “We worked on it over the course of four months, and the song wouldn’t have been the same without his efforts, his vibrations, and especially his electronic drum production. He really is a wizard! I played all the keys, and Molly Rife added the cello. Doug and I self-released a early version of Smoke two years ago, but it was basically just one of my home demos, with drums overdubbed by Doug. It was the first time I had collaborated with someone who made beats, and I was really into what they added. Doug is super collaborative and easy to bounce ideas off of. I’m so glad I got to revisit the song with him and take it to a new place.”

There’s Always Glimmeris out on July 27th via Orindal Recordings..

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The first time Chicago’s Campdogzz graced my ears, I couldn’t help but feel similarly to when I first heard Hop Along. The Jess Price led quintet has a knack for writing driving, powerful music, evocative of sonorous midwest roads and stopovers. They notched a moderate hit with 2015’s “The Well,” off a promising debut record that sees Price delivering with Frances Quinlan-like fervor. In Rounds will be the first new release on Cursive’s recently established 15 Passenger label and Price’s commanding vocals are already on full display atop the dizzying riffs and consonance of “Souvenir.” Campdogzz capture the bleak yet spirited heart of the industrial midwest in a five-piece band propelled by driving rhythms, insistent dual guitars set in intriguing arrangements, and the haunting, evocative songs and voice of Tulsa native Jess Price. In a moment, Jess turnsa beguiling melody to a darkening storm, rich in portent and meaning.

Campdogzz have earned a devoted following in Chicago and the midwest, with a lineup that has solidified into a potent live band featuring Jess Price (lead vocals, guitar and keyboard); Mike Russell (guitar and backup vocals); Nick Enderle (guitar); Mahmoud Haygood (bass); and Matt Evert (drums). In addition to their own headlining shows and tours (until recently conveyed by a school bus rigged for self-sufficient touring and camping; if you don’t know where to get the best falafel in every American city, you are definitely not a Campdog), the band has opened for Big Thief, Sam Evian, Ohmme, Tim Kasher and others. They were recently seen in the first season of the Netflix series, “Easy,” recorded a popular Audiotree live video session, and self-released “Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven” in 2015. That early recording has been streamed nearly 2 million times. Now, Campdogzz are poised to come aggravate your blues, bang your head, and remind you where you are on the long road away from home.


Mike Russell,
Jess Price,
Nicholas Enderle,
Andrew Rolfsen,
Matt Evert,

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Miranda Winters is a song-writer and musician best known for her role as the indomitable vocalist / guitarist of Chicago powerhouse, Melkbelly. Drawing on deep roots as a song-writer in Chicago DIY, Winters continues to evolve a signature sound by pursuing her music as a solo artist.

Miranda Winters currently fronts the chaotically good Chicago band Melkbelly, and before that she had her hand in a number of other different projects, including Coffin Ships and a solo endeavor called Flowers Everywhere. Last week, she released the first tape under her own name, titled Xobeci, What Grows Here?.

The songs on it have the same confidence that she exhibits while helming Melkbelly, but distill that into songs that sound skeletal but textured. There’s a sense that some of these, like the penultimate “Glitter House” or “With Love From St. Fake, WI (P.A.M.),” could mutate into one of Melkbelly’s signature squalls with the right ingredients, but the restraint that Winters demonstrates allows her lyricism and sour melodicism to really shine.

They also all act as showcases for Winters’ circuitous guitar skills, which can get lost amongst her main band, but here serve as particular highlights, like on the wiry outro to “A Handy Garden Plot” or with the gentle pluckings of closer “O.T.O Revised.” Winters’ solo material has a way of hooking you in


Released June 15th, 2018

All songs by Miranda Winters
Miranda Winters – guitar and vocals

Xobeci, What Grows Here? is out now via Sooper Records.

With the debut album from Chicago based band Deeper. Origins of the project date back to 2014 where the band has made their mark locally supporting like minded acts Omni, Protomartyr, Chris Cohen & fellow Chicago powerhouses Whitney & Ne-Hi. Fresh off official after show appearances at Pitchfork & Lollapalooza the band is poised to jump out wide with this debut record. 9 tracks channel the anxiety and uneasiness of modern life in this pit of endless internet, chiming post punk rave ups with pointed “of the times” lyrics & gorgeous ambient interludes woven in.

“The Chicago quartet’s debut is well-oiled and worn-in indie rock, played with the precision and confidence typically expected from a band much further along in its career.”


Band Members
Michael Clawson,
Shiraz Bhatti,
Nic Gohl,
Drew McBride,

From Deeper’s Self Titled debut album out on Fire Talk Records.

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Chicago band Deeper make wonky post-punk that’s elegantly packaged in bursting riffs, swirling rhythms, and introspective lyrics. They’ve fittingly supported bands like Omni and Protomartyr, and are now set to make their mark with their self-titled debut, out May 25th via Fire Talk Records. The album’s shimmering opening track, “Pink Showers,” is a beacon of hope in a dark world. According to the band, the song “was conceived through the grid lock of Chicago traffic and the ‘pursuit’ to make your monotonous life meaningful.”



Chicago’s Deeper make wonky post-punk that’s elegantly packaged in bursting riffs, swirling rhythms, and introspective lyrics. They’ve fittingly supported bands like Omni and Protomartyr, and are now set to make their mark with their self-titled debut, out May 25th via label Fire Talk Records. The album’s shimmering opening track, “Pink Showers,” is a beacon of hope in a dark world. According to the band, the song “was conceived through the grid lock of Chicago traffic and the ‘pursuit’ to make your monotonous life meaningful.”


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Alright boys and girls, strap yourselves in: this was the concert to end all concerts. It feels unfair to be so limited by language in trying to communicate the sheer epicness of this show on December 30th. The Twin Peaks dudes sold out three damn nights for a New Years Eve run to close out 2017 at Thalia Hall in Chicago, joining forces with support bands Dehd and Post Animal for the Saturday night show. This performance was truly Twin Peaks at their… peak.

When Twin Peaks finally took the stage and blasted into “Strawberry Smoothie,” the audience lost whatever chill they had left: bodies immediately went over the barricade, beer cans went flying, and a mosh pit opened up into a swirling vortex of thrashing limbs. The stage was equally as chaotic, with Cadien Lake James whipping his head back and forth and Clay Frankel thrashing on his white teardrop guitar and jumping around. By the third song, a girl in a red felt cowboy hat had already broken the nose of the poor dude standing next to her. At some point south of “Have You Ever,” a bra flew onstage from somewhere near the barricade, but it didn’t remain there for long. By the next song, the owner of the bra crowdsurfed onto the stage to personally retrieve the bra from Frankel, who responded with a confused remark of “Uh.. she wants her bra back.. I’m not sure what to say about that.”

In the midst of the absolute chaos in the pit, it would have been easy to miss the extra members onstage. Accompanying Colin Croom, Connor Brodner, Frankel, JD, and James were three horns and three backup singers. Though their presence in the background seemed a little out of place, the layer of sophistication they provided served as a delicious contrast to the shouted lyrics. Twin Peaks is one of those rare bands that actually sound better live – the boys somehow harmonize their screamed lyrics (I wonder if they ever lose their voices). This was especially evident in “Wanted You,” “Butterfly,” and “Walk to the One You Love.” .

The screaming took a backseat near the middle of their set when Frankel brought out his roommate, Marisa Nakamura, to sing “Shake Your Lonely.” The cute duet was a brief moment of relief from the headbanging and moshing, which picked right back up again at “Have You Ever,” continuing all the way to the last song in the set, “Butterfly.” But what’s a show without a shirtless Frankel and a gigantic confetti cannon to close out the encore? Not a Twin Peaks show, that’s for damn sure. The encore featured four gems – “Heavenly Showers,” “Blue Coupe,” “We Will Not Make It,” and “Boomers.”

This show was so good that I spent an obscene amount of money to do it all over again on NYE. I think what makes a Twin Peaks show a Twin Peaks show is the excitement of its sheer unpredictability

If you haven’t listened to their new compilation of singles, stop reading this right now and go listen. They are notorious for their fierce loyalty to Chicago and the Midwest in general,


After years of sweaty DIY shows, career shifts, and jam sessions will all come to fruition for Chicago neo-psycho rockers Post Animal this week. Tomorrow, the band will embark on a massive headlining tour of North America in support of their debut album, “When I Think Of You In A Castle”.

When I Think Of You In A Castle began to coalesce during a 2016 retreat in a haunted Michigan lake house where the band began recording in the midst of what drummer Wesley describes as “an uncertain time for us as a band.” In a press statement, he adds, “Before this album, we weren’t sure what the future of the band was going to look like. I was considering moving to Los Angeles and [guitarist] Joe Keery was off filming Stranger Things. We didn’t know where we were all going but we knew we wanted to make an album with all of us in the same room.”

Those sessions, which the band describe as “magical,” served to solidify Post Animal’s future as a unit. The band toured extensively in 2017 while bassist Dalton Allison perfected the album’s mix and Jared Hirshland, brother of guitarist/keyboardist Jake, handled mastering. What you hear on the final effort is the sound of a band of brothers, including drummer Wesley Toledo and guitarists Matt Williams and Javi Reyes, connecting over a shared passion for psychedelic, poppy rock. Lead vocals are shared by all — even Keery, who despite not joining the band on the road sings on the peppy “Ralphie” and the sludgier “Gelatin Mode” — a testament to the fact that this is the work of a truly collaborative group of musicians.,2949701197,2949188750,883565729,600831834,1677880829,1543366433,376990513,3740641719,2750180958,3384202944/esig=1ddafe7a6cb90502c36295351a3ac719/

When I Think Of You In A Castle is due out on this Friday, April 20th via Polyvinyl. The band has broken down the album Track by Track.

“Everything All At Once”:
This song didn’t start as an instrumental intro; our early demos had vocal harmonies moving throughout. We recorded it first of the bunch, and set up a few mics on an acoustic guitar and a Casiotone portable keyboard. It started to rain outside, so we opened the window and tracked two takes straight through. In post production, our friend Adam mixed some pads and synth bass in. The instrumental version reminded us of our time at the lake, so we left the vocals off.

“Gelatin Mode”:
The first song we finished for the album. We took segments from the original demo and organized the intro, verses, and choruses. It needed a climax, so we workshopped riffs until we found one dramatic enough. Before we decided on the lyrics, “Javelin Throw” was the main phrase, then “Gelatin Mold”, and finally “Gelatin Mode”. Don’t be shocked if you hear something else live.

“Tire Eyes”:
This one’s been in the oven for at least three years. The first version was much less frantic with a melodic, meandering guitar riff playing through the verses, which are now very rhythmic. It probably wouldn’t have made the cut for the record, but just before we left to track, we rehabbed it in a jam and fell back in love. We had our friends Mr. Cadien and Mr. Malcom join us for some harmonious joy at the end; Malcom’s responsible for that angelic yell in the finale.

This was the first song we recorded with a live guitar ensemble. Javi had just arrived to start guitars and Dalton was dehydrated and noise-fatigued after recording drum — lying on the porch in woe. We set up the mics in a circle in the living room and decided to start with something difficult. After about 20 tries we had the take of the Ralphie intro that made the record, and with this take we established the way we’d police ourselves for the next tracks to get live takes we’d be proud of.

“Heart Made of Metal”:
Life, in this song, is a person named Lorelei. It’s lyrically about convincing oneself to not fear the change around them, and eventually succumbing to the answerless way we’re all tossed through existence.

“The Castle”:
When I Think Of You In A Castle
 was originally the title of this song. The short vocal verse is about love, and longing, and using imagination to create a feeling of togetherness. It’s placed at the beginning of Side B as a mostly instrumental breath; some peace before the deep dive that follows.

“Special Moment”:
This song is a response to the pop tunes in the album’s first half, using a quirky half-step progression to create something both off-kilter and digestible. We didn’t have enough headphone inputs or good amps to accommodate all four guitars recording at once, so Jake recorded “Special Moment” headphone-less and through a 10-inch Fender starter amp.

“Victory Lap:Danger Zone”:
Our rowdiest track. It’s about playing through a conflict in your head and building it up until you hit rage, aka the “danger zone.” The meditative end acts like a partial resolution to that inner conflict. Falling in line, but not completely satisfied. For when you’re stuck in a metal box.

“One Thing”:
This song is the slow cooking burner on the record. In the same suit as the end of Victory Lap, it’s about coping with something that you can never get away from. The song arrived at the lake house as only bass and synth. All of the guitar harmonies were written just before recording.

was the last song we tracked drums for. Immediately after finishing we had to take a break because a cup of coffee spilled all over Dalton’s computer. We had no back up of the two days of work and played a disparaged game of catch in the front yard as the computer dried out. Three hours later, we fired it up and it worked. Everything could’ve ended right there. The computer is fine.

“Susie (Bonus)”:
When you’re done with the record, crack a cold one and take Susie for a spin.

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As a follow up to their debut LP, Chicago based, Lucille Furs have released a 7″ single titled “Another Land” plus “Leave It As You Found It”


Band Members
Patrick Tsotsos
Nick Dehmlow
Brendan Peleo- Lazar
Trevor Newton Pritchett

Recorded at Treehouse Records
Chicago, IL

“Another Land” co-written with John Zabawa
“Leave It As You Found It written by Lucille Furs


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