Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, possible text that says 'RATBOYS OUT 2/28/2020 PRINTER'S DEVIL ON TOPSHELF RECORDS'

Back in November, Chicago-based Ratboys announced plans for a new album this year. The upcoming Printer’s Devil serves as a follow-up to their 2017 sophomore full-length GN, and its companion EP, GL. Along with that announcement, the band released their raucous, grungy lead single, “Alien With A Sleep Mask On,” and its video.

Now, Ratboys are sharing a second single and video from that forthcoming LP, “I Go Out At Night.” It’s a bit more starry-eyed than the previous single, as soaring electric riffs blend seamlessly with full chord synths throughout. The lyric “I’m lost, but I’m not afraid” — pulled from David Byrne and Brian Eno’s collaboration “Life Is Long” — reportedly became a mantra for Ratboys during the making of the new album.

vocalist Julia Steiner said about the song:

The first verse and main riff of this song is actually the only “older” idea that we recycled for the record — I think I wrote both when I was 19 or 20, maybe 6 or 7 years ago. We wanted this song to feel different from the rest, something like a daydream or a fantasy. We experimented with synths in this song, during the bridge and the outro. I’m extremely happy with how all of the sounds interact — it comforts me for reasons I find hard to describe.

Like the video for “Alien With A Sleep Mask On,” this one was directed by Coool, the working moniker of duo John TerEick and Jake Nokovic. It’s a noirish ode to Halloween that sees the band members trick-or-treating, complete with an evil witch.

Band Members
Julia Steiner – vox/lyrics, guitar
David Sagan – guitar

Printer’s Devil is out 2/28 via Topshelf Records.

We still can’t get enough of Whitney‘s debut, Light Upon the Lake – it’s the perfect record for any season, mood, or time of day. It’s rarely left the turntable since it came out back in 2016, and since then we’ve found more ways to fall in love with it. So we’re excited to announce that the Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings, which was set for a November 10th release. We’ve also got a previously unreleased track, “You and Me,” to share with you, too.

Light Upon the Lake, the debut from Whitney, was born from early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the most brutal winters in Chicago’s history. Vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek began writing unflinching, honest songs about everything from break-ups to the passing of Ehrlich’s grandfather. The pair leaned on one another for both honest critique and a sounding board for working through their newly-discovered truths.

The brief, intense period of creativity for the band yielded Light Upon the Lake’s exceptional, unfussy combination of soul, breezy Sixties/Seventies rock, and somber heartbreak woven together by hopeful, golden threads. After critical acclaim and nearly nonstop touring since the album’s 2016 release, Ehrlich and Kakacek are going back to their roots for the first time, with the full demos from Light Upon the Lake . After a whirlwind year following the debut, the demos offer a way for listeners to get a glimpse into the very beginning of Whitney’s sound.

“After almost two years of non-stop touring we decided we wanted to close the chapter on Light Upon the Lake by releasing the songs in their earliest incarnations alongside a cover of a band favorite by Allen Toussaint, and an unreleased track called ‘You and Me.’ We’re looking towards LP2 as we finish out the year on the road.” – Love, Max and Julien.

Whitney “You and Me” from Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings out November 10th on Secretly Canadian

Girl K is an Indie Rock band from Chicago, Illinois. Weeks before the release of her debut album, Girl K began playing with a band. Since the album’s release on October 6th 2017, this charming group has played out their fun and heartaching tunes in hopes of spreading a message of positivity and passion.

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The ability to feel a range of emotions within the parameters of a three minute song is one of the best reasons to listen to Girl K. They are an indie rock group led by vocalist Kathy Patino, Girl K began as a solo project in early 2017. Her debut album, ‘Sunflower Court’, was released that summer and served as her introduction to the Chicago music scene. Patino Joined by Ajay Raghuraman, Alex Pieczynski, and Kevin Sheppard, Girl K released multiple singles throughout 2018 – earning a spot in Paste Magazine’s list of 15 Chicago bands you “Need to Know”.
Set to release a new album, entitled ‘For Now’, in March 2019 – Girl K is excited to introduce you to their world through new sounds, vivid story telling, and connective melodies.
Band Members
Kathy Patino
Ajay Raghuraman
Alex Pieczynski
Kevin Sheppard

MIIRRORS – ” Gunshot Glitter “

Posted: November 24, 2019 in MUSIC
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New Chicago group MIIRRORS try to do the impossible: successfully and cover Jeff Buckley and give the song the production it always deserved. With Matt Johnson, original Buckley studio and touring drummer in tow (he notably left the band before the Sweetheart the Drunk sessions and now tours with St. Vincent), the band do a very convincing job giving “Gunshot Glitter” the life it never had. Covering Buckley of course is a near herculean task—Buckley had one of the biggest vocal ranges in music history after all—and MIIRRORS pass with flying colors. But nothing is known about MIIRRORS. This is the band’s first ever single, and outside of a few basic facts, their publicist has kept his mouth extremely zipped up despite my repeated questions. Here’s what we know: “Gunshot Glitter” was recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio and mixed by Brian Deck, and MIIRRORS are set to release more singles starting in January.

“Gunshot Glitter”, an unfinished song written by Jeff Buckley, originally appeared in demo form on select international releases of My Sweetheart the Drunk (1998), the posthumous follow-up to his critically acclaimed studio album Grace (1994).”

Whitney are releasing a new 7″ single to celebrate their upcoming sold-out, four-night hometown run at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. One side is “F.T.A.,” an alternate version of the title track from this year’s terrific “Forever Turned Around”, with a cover of Wilco’s “Far, Far Away” on the flip.

Whitney was born from a series of laidback early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the harshest winters in Chicago history, after Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek (former members of Smith Westerns) reconnected – first as roommates splitting rent in a small Chicago apartment and later as musical collaborators passing the guitar and the lyrics sheet back and forth. 

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released November 22nd, 2019

Ryley Walker is the reincarnation of the true American guitar player. That’s as much a testament to his roving, rambling ways, or the fact that his Guild D-35 guitar has endured a few stints in the pawnshop. Swap out rural juke joints for rotted DIY spaces and the archetype is solidly intact.

Charles Rumback and Ryley Walker are both known for their creativity and curious spirits. Rumback is a drummer in high demand in Chicago’s free-jazz circles, and a pillar of the second wave of improvisers in a scene first shaped by the legendary players like Sun Ra and other members of the AACM. Walker draws deeply on other distinctly American styles, bringing a strong sense of folk tradition to his playing that is as arresting as his freewheeling performance style. Together, Rumback and Walker find common ground in their kinetic, intuitive playing and yearning creative outlook.

Little Common Twist, their sophomore release as a duo, finds both players at their most adventurous. It compiles instrumental pieces that convey a striking range of emotions, at once introspective and expansive, with a delicate interplay that delights as they move with ease across a spectrum of styles. The recording has a pastoral quality that recalls Van Morrison ’s classic album Veedon Fleece , and captures a remarkably dexterous performance by both Charles and Ryley that make this album so expansive and fresh. Little Common Twist was recorded over several sessions throughout 2017 and 2018 with producer John Hughes , capturing the duo playing in the moment with minimal overdubs. The guitar and drums duo eschewed each instrument’s traditional roles of rhythm and melody, experimenting with texture and rhythm. This album is the culmination of a creative partnership that has seen Rumback and Walker constantly challenging each other. In stretching the bounds of their interplay even further than before, the duo created their most evocative and expansive work to date, conjuring the afterglow of sun-scorched landscapes and ethereal after-hours ambience.

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Ratboys, the Chicago based band, that is built on the duo of Julia Steiner and Dave Fagan have become one of my favorites over the last couple of years. Their unique tales sung to their own brand of indie make them an easy band to reach for. New album “Printer’s Devil” is out on 2/28/20 via the fine folks of Topshelf Records.

Upheaval and change are themes spread throughout the songs on Printer’s Devil, the latest Ratboys LP, out February 28th, 2020 via Topshelf Records. But all the while, singer-songwriter Julia Steiner embraces moments of uncertainty as a necessary part of growing. Steiner recalls a David Byrne lyric, “I’m lost, but I’m not afraid” as inspiration for the transformative outlook, considering the line a personal mantra while writing Ratboys’ third full-length record. “There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty about what’s next, but I like to think that, in the midst of creating a lot of vulnerability for ourselves, we’re confident and becoming more self-assured.”

This is the official music video for “Alien with a Sleep Mask On” from the album ‘Printer’s Devil’ by Ratboys

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Chicago quartet The Hecks have been at it since 2012, starting out as the duo of guitarist Andy Mosiman and Zach Hebert. The band drafted guitarist Dave Vettraino into the fold, a recording engineer who was recording the band’s s/t debut (Trouble In Mind, 2016) & ended up joining the band shortly thereafter. The band’s journey to the end result of “My Star” their second album – has taken them nearly three years in the making.

The new Hecks album is way more fun than anything released by a godchild of Women has any business being. Despite mining the same corner of ’80s pop culture at nearly the same time as Ceremony and Omni, neither of those bands were quite as playful with their homage to new wave, even if that recreational period doesn’t extend all the way to My Star’s repetitive eight-minute closer. The slow build-up of vocals, percussion, synths, and an additional guitar over a single, simple riff across the title-track’s extensive runtime is subtle in a way the rest of the record definitely isn’t, recalling the harsh guitar-rock of their debut.

After recording an initial version of the album in 2017, The Hecks started gigging with new fourth member & keyboardist Jeff Graupner, whose synthesized squiggles added some welcome heft & swagger to the band’s tunes. After reworking & rearranging much of the new material to integrate Graupner, the band scrapped the recordings & rebuilt them from the ground up, incorporating Graupner’s skills at the keys.

Dave V: Vocals / Electric Guitar / Electric Bass Guitar / Engineering
Andy M: Vocals / Electric Guitar / Electric Bass Guitar / Drum Machine / Synthsizer
Jeff G: Vocals / Synthesizer
Zach H: Vocals / Drums / Electric Drums / Drum Machine

“My Star” Trouble In Mind Records, Released on: 2019-10-11

DEHD – ” Letter “

Posted: November 5, 2019 in MUSIC
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’Letter’ is a visual and sonic representation of the physical embodiment of subtle lingering grief and the arc of healing that follows once love has lost and relationship dynamics have shifted. The pain of one party moving on before the other, leaving a feeling of replacement. The empowerment and strength found from non-sexual friendship, from creative pursuits, and from constant, unapologetic self care, self soothing, and acts of self love. A moving on and moving forward that only happens once one has returned truly to oneself. ‘Letter’ is the beginning of the end of an era.

As if Emily Kempf’s throaty vocals weren’t pronounced enough on Dehd’s sophomore album “Water”, the Chicago trio dropped “Letter” as conclusive evidence that her voice is equally fit for fronting a metal ensemble or going solo as a theatrical pop singer of the exclusive tier pioneered by Kate Bush. As if to prep for another winter on the frigid coast of Lake Michigan, the band seems to be closeting their surfboards and infiltrating the icy post-punk scene, the track opening with nearly a minute of ambient synths before a familiar surf-rock guitar gets to work thawing things out.

released October 10th, 2019, Recorded by Jason Balla

Beach Bunny started in 2015 as a solo outlet for the lead singer Lili Trifilio to process her feelings about a budding relationship. Her early recordings were spare, lo-fi and home-recorded, delicately tackling heartbreak and loss across EPs like 2015’s Animalism, 2016’s Pool Party, and 2017’s Crybaby. In 2017, the project became a full band with Matt Henkels (guitar), Anthony Vaccaro (bass) and Jonathan Alvarado (drums) joining on.

With the 2018 single “Sports” and their breakout 2018 EP Prom Queen, Beach Bunny is now one of Chicago’s most exciting indie rock bands. Their infectious and muscular new musical palate perfectly translated to a raucous, sing-along heavy live show. Though Trifilio’s songwriting remained just as resonant and intimate as her earliest efforts, having her self-described “family unit” backing her has brought a new vitality to these songs. Tracks like “Prom Queen” have earned them millions of streams and their obvious onstage chemistry charmed on tours with bands like PUP and Remo Drive.

With the announcement of Beach Bunny joining the M+P family, we are excited to give you the first single, “Dream Boy,” off their upcoming debut LP Honeymoon out February 14th, 2020. The album is available for pre-order everywhere with limited-edition merch and signed posters available on the band’s webstore. Check out the first single .

Along with the announcement of the new single and album, Beach Bunny has revealed a full headline tour across North America this Fall/Winter.