Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

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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.

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Chicago rockers Post Animal have returned with their brand new song “Safe Or Not,” just ahead of their upcoming US tour with Cage The Elephant. This is their first new song since 2018 and brings their guitar-heavy prog-rock sound it’s a slightly more dance-friendly and electronic direction that expands their sonic-palette into new uncharted territories that feel like a natural evolution for them.

Here’s a little bit about the song from the band themselves:

“We wanted to leave the content more open ended for the listener to navigate, but it’s about self reflection. We played around with more somber, serious lyrical content over a particularly dance-oriented song to juxtapose how one may feel internally versus how they’re outwardly portraying themselves in the moment.”

Enjoy a listen to “Safe Or Not” below

“Safe or Not (Extended Mix)” is the new single from Post Animal, out everywhere October 30th, 2019.

Orindal Records is proud to present the first vinyl release by Chicago singer/songwriter/guitarist Julie Byrne.

The first time we heard Julie’s debut cassette, You Would Love It Here, It’s The Perfect Place For You (Solid Melts), we immediately fell in love with her gentle, understated folk songs. Accompanying herself on a fingerpicked acoustic guitar, Julie sings about memory, hope, and coping with loss. There is restraint and measure in her singing and playing, and both ache with the same fragile beauty.

The two songs on this brief EP tell a complete story; “Holiday” recalls a New Year’s Eve in New York City, future plans made, and the fall-out of a fleeting romance, while the b-side, “Marmalade,” carries a dimming torch into the future, through changing seasons, bringing peace and closure to uneasy memories.

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Faster or Greener than Now was recorded live to tape on an April afternoon by Owen Ashworth. Vintage echo and spring reverb effects were added to color Julie’s performances, lending a haunted atmosphere to these raw and intimate recordings.

The title of this record was taken from a Frank O’Hara poem.

Originally released December 4th, 2012

Songs, vocals & guitar by Julie Byrne

Wilco

Ode To Joy. Featuring 11 new songs written and produced by Tweedy and recorded by Wilco at The Loft (Chicago, IL) in January 2019, Tweedy and Glenn Kotche were the launching pad from which most of the songs on Ode To Joy materialized – Kotche’s percussion propels the music forward while Tweedy’s measured words flesh out the cleared paths. As a result, the album is comprised of “really big, big folk songs, these monolithic, brutal structures that these delicate feelings are hung on,” notes Tweedy. Across the entire album, drums pound and plod with a steady one – two pulse, meant to mimic the movement of marching – a powerful act utilized on both sides of the authoritarian wall. There’s also a sense of comfort that comes with the rhythmic marching sound.

The album largely does away with conventional rock and folk song structures; instead, it embraces spare, impressionistic arrangements—often led by booming, elemental percussion—to create one of the moodiest and most haunting records in Wilco’s catalog, more movingly understated than the experimental Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and darker than the uptempo Americana of Sky Blue Sky“For this record, we tried to intuit rock music pretending we hadn’t heard any…we’d tell each other what we wanted to hear,” Tweedy says. And while he is quick to acknowledge that the band didn’t exactly “reinvent rock music,” it does sound, to a certain degree, like they reinvented Wilco. As Ode to Joy makes clear, from the tense and restrained opening track “Bright Leaves”—which hangs glimmering sonic textures on thumping drums like ornaments on a Christmas tree—all the way through “An Empty Corner,” the mysterious heart-wrenching waltz that closes the album, Wilco have built nothing less than a world unto itself;

“Ode to Joy” Wilco’s 11th studio album – will be released October. 4th, 2019 via dBpm Records. The album features 11 new songs written and produced by Jeff Tweedy and recorded by Wilco at The Loft (Chicago, IL) in January 2019. “Everyone Hides” is the second single from the forthcoming release.

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Twin Peaks blend 60’s garage rock swagger with something of the skater slacker cool added to it. Their live performances reveal the band’s staggering amounts of energy. The rock band from Chicago, Illinois, is comprised of guitarists and vocalists Clay Frankel and Caiden Lake James, drummer Connor Brodner, backing vocalist Colin Croom on keys and Jack Dolan providing vocals and bass.

The band formed whilst all the members were still in high school during 2009. They recorded their debut album in James; basement during 2012. The stunning scuzzy album thriller named Sunken was released the following year through the independent label Autumn Tone Records. their fourth album, Lookout Low, Twin Peaks sound like they’re having a ball. The Chicago quintet formed in the early 2010’s as a precocious group of teenage garage-rock disciples, and their first few records fit snugly alongside the San Francisco garage revival of the time.

Their second album Wild Onion was released in 2014. Recorded in their hometown of Chicago, the album features the song Making Breakfast which has had well over 300,000 hits on YouTube.

Their new album Down In Heaven is out now. Wowing audiences around the world, this band certainly has a bright future ahead of it. Recorded in Massachusetts, the record contains the singles Walk To The One You Love, Butterfly and Holding Roses.

The Chicago-based indie-rock outfit Twin Peaks have unveiled the details of their newest studio effort Lookout Low. Described as their most deliberate and seamless record yet, the follow-up to 2016’s Down In Heaven was pieced together with the intent of capturing the raucous energy of the band’s live shows. Prolific alternative producer Ethan Johns helmed the project to help refine and solidify the band’s live recordings. The announcement arrived with the album’s first cut, and the band’s first track since wrapping their Sweet ‘17 Singles series in 2018: a lounge-lizardy groove set ablaze by heavy bass, swelling horns and warm organ tones titled “Dance Through It.” “Writing and arranging ‘Dance Through It’ felt like a dive into and embrace of experimenting with a new palette for us,” guitarist Cadien Lake James said in a statement. “After having been directly involved in the creation and direction of all of our videos, it felt fitting to allow this song the breath of collaboration in having Ariel Fisher take the helm and run with it.”

Standouts like the breezy “Better Than Stoned” and the funky “Dance Through It” lock into grooves that gradually crescendo into hearty group choruses, surrounded by plunky keyboard solos and warm trumpet gusts, respectively. “Ferry Song” recalls the uplifting tempo and sweet melody of Hall and Oates’ “Rich Girl,” and co-vocalist Colin Croom pays obvious homage to The Band in the folk-rockin’ “Laid In Gold.” But Twin Peaks sound the most comfortable and the most themselves on the album’s title track, a bombastic sing-along that’s speckled with Clay Frankel’s charming “oh’s” and “ow’s” during the song’s generous climax.

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This latest iteration of the band sounds virtually unrecognizable from their early work, and that may be a turn-off for longtime fans. But Twin Peaks have never sounded as joyfully in the moment as they do on Lookout Low, and hearing them let it rip in real-time almost makes you feel like you’re up there with them.

“Acts like Twin Peaks are a revelation … an outfit in it for all the right reasons. ” – NME

“A delight … A prime contender for mainstream success. ” – The Independent

Twin Peaks are masters of their craft. ” – DIY

“… their best LP to date. ” – The 405

“ Twin Peaks have become not just one of the most exciting young bands in the Chicago music scene, but in the entire rock landscape. ” – The Line of Best Fit

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 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. Walker’s musical explorations are not limited to his own songwriting: the guitarist regularly collaborates in Chicago and now New York with innovators of every genre. 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. Rumback and Walker remarkably paint in both broad, gestural strokes and intricate melodic details. “Half Joking” and “Self Blind Sun” are warm, deep songs that draw on structures from the American primitive guitar songbook. “Idiot Parade” leaps into more explorative territory, Rumback setting an urgent, rolling cymbal groove while Walker paints melodic sonic vapor trails across the sky. “Menehbi” experiments further with abstract forms, atomizing guitar and drums into an ambient haze where loose flourishes from Rumback hint at rhythm and structure, while a steady electronic pulse provides an anchor amidst the fog.

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Little Common Twist 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 ambiance.

Releases November 8th, 2019

With Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim) at the production helm, Alio stretches well beyond Fort Frances’ Americana roots to unlock the potential that’s been building for the past two years with louder guitars, jubilant horns and dueling rhythm sections. 

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If there was any concern that David Berman had lost any of his stunning acuity with language in the 11 years since the last Silver Jews record, the record is set straight right out of the gate: “You see the life I live is sickening/ I spent a decade playing chicken with oblivion/ Day to day, I’m neck-and-neck with giving in/ I’m the same old wreck I’ve ever been.” The musical milieu may be different this time out—lush indie rock that feints frequently toward Americana—but Berman’s knack for weaving evocative narratives shot through with hope, doubt, and self-destruction are as strong as they’ve ever been. The album feels like a gift: when Berman blew up Silver Jews in 2008, he disappeared entirely; the long silence that followed made it seem like things might stay that way. Purple Mountains rewards the patience of his ardent followers with some of his strongest melodic songwriting to date, and also has enough clean hooks and clever barbs to reel in a few new ones.

Centerpiece “Margaritas at the Mall” likens the futility of human existence in the face of a silent God with day-drinking at a shopping center: “See the plod of the flawed individual, looking for a nod from God/ Trodding the sod of the visible, with no new word from God/ We’re just drinking margaritas at the mall/ That’s what this stuff adds up to after all.” The melody in the chorus sounds triumphant; the lyrics are anything but. The album is dusted with traces of pedal steel, barroom piano, and string-like keys, but—as it should be—the centerpiece is always Berman. “If no one’s fond of fucking me/ then maybe no one’s fucking fond of me/ Maybe I’m the only one for me,” he sings wryly in the album’s closing number. Berman may feel alone, but his legion of disciples cheer his return—and hang on every word.

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David Berman comes in from the cold after ten long years. His new musical expression is a meltdown unparalleled in modern memory. He warns us that his findings might be candid, but as long as his punishment comes in such bite-sized delights of all-American jukebox fare, we’ll hike the Purple Mountains with pleasure forever.

Released July 12th, 2019

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