Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Hailed indie-rock duo Ohmme as both a Chicago band to know and an outstanding live act, so you could say we’re pleased to report they’ve announced a new album, the follow-up to their 2018 debut Parts. Fantasize Your Ghost, coming June 5th via Joyful Noise Recordings, is preceded by lead single “3 2 4 3,” which arrives alongside an arresting music video somewhat reminiscent of Jordan Peele’s Us. Stewart and Cunningham are both classically trained musicians and are established players within the Chicago music scene. They are especially involved in performing and working for venues within the local experimental music scene. They’re constant collaborators and have recorded and toured with homegrown acts as varied as Tweedy, Whitney, Chance The Rapper and Twin Peaks.

Cunningham and Stewart are multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriters with a penchant for two instruments in particular. “The band started because we knew we could sing well together and we wanted to make some noise with the guitar,” says Cunningham. Stewart elaborates, “Sima and I are both trained classical pianists and we know many of the sonic spaces keyboards have to offer. Since we were interested in experimenting and creating something different from what we had both done in the past, we chose guitar as our outlet for this band. We wanted to create both new and uncomfortable parameters for ourselves to force us into a different creative space.” These guitar-heavy experiments are sometimes earthy and resounding, at other times shimmering and buzzing—swirling around the duo’s expertly crafted vocals while creating a chaotic bed of harmony. Cunningham’s smoky alto complements Stewart’s higher-register croon, all underpinned by the restrained yet highly inventive polyrhythmic percussion of drummer Matt Carroll. Think Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian-era Dirty Projectors.
Band Members
Macie Stewart
Sima Cunningham

Official Video for “3 2 4 3” by Ohmme off the album ‘Fantasize Your Ghost’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings.

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The growing notoriety and the conception of Beach Bunny’s debut album, “Honeymoon” this Bunny is a Chicago based pop band led by Lili Trifilio, who just graduated from DePaul University. After recently being signed to Mom+Pop Records, whose roster includes Courtney Barnett and Flume, the band released their first studio album, Honeymoon, on Valentine’s Day. During these years she has recorded several projects, found bandmates, toured and played Riot Fest and Lollapalooza, become verified on social media, signed to a major label and gained almost two million monthly listeners on Spotify – yet she remains incredibly humble. Although her bright purple hair and permanent warm smile stand out in a crowd, unless she’s on DePaul’s campus, one wouldn’t know that she is about to blow up into a major pop star.

This cover of a 100 gecs crossover status update: Their songs are being covered in whimsical fashion by pop-punk bands. This is a great thing.

From start to finish, Honeymoon is the bookends to a relationship – the highs of a new beginning and the lows of an unwanted end. But with each song there is a chapter filled with words any lover could highlight, with enough margin space to attach our own memories and feelings.

The album opens up with “Promises” – a song about the lack of closure post-break up. In the following track, “Cuffing Season,” themes smoothly form from these unresolved problems, resulting in the idea of commitment sounding impossible after heartbreak. Even with Trifilio’s trust issues, a motif listeners have heard before in her older tracks, Honeymoon comes with a new sense of ressaurance. Trifilio experiments with new vocal melodies and sounds confident. She is validating her own feelings and sings about setting boundaries.

Halfway through the album, “Rearview” slows things down and focuses on Trifilio’s voice and solo guitar. The band enters at the back end of the song with a thematic build up into the drums emphasizing her lyric, “I hate it when you catch me crying.” “Racetrack” is another minimal track that tugs on nostalgia with its music box-esque piano. The album ends on a high note with  “Cloud 9” – a pop banger that reveals the freedom and euphoria that can come from a happy and healthy relationship. The final words are, “You will always be my favorite form of loving.”

Greetings from Chicago!

We just got back from our glorious EU/UK tour, thanks so much for coming out! We’ve got Lots of tour news to share, so we’ll get right to it.  In case you missed it, the rumors are true — we’re heading back to Australia for a headline tour next month! , we’re also going on tour with Car Seat Headrest in May and June. These dates should be big and we’re excited to get back to all these cities. we have a new video to share with you for “Unfamiliar Sun.”

“Unfamiliar Sun” is a song about navigating life while struggling with depression. It’s about trying to find beauty and love in the day to day, week to week, season to season in an otherwise ugly world. Still, it’s meant to be hopeful. Nobody is or should ever feel truly alone. We want to thank Wyatt Grant for helping visualize this song with his wonderful artwork and his genuine understanding of the messages this song attempts to convey. We would also like to thank the entire Weird Life Film Crew for once again delivering a beautiful finished product and for helping us organize and execute this little project. The world could always use more empathy, don’t be afraid to reach out to somebody you love.

Listen to “Unfamiliar Sun'”on Twin Peaks‘ album “Lookout Low”

Califone - Echo Mine

In the early years of this millennium, Califone were one of the most prolific forces in indie rock. Year after year, the Chicago experimentalists — led by Tim Rutili, previously of bluesy sonic explorers Red Red Meat — would return with a rewarding new collection of tunes at the intersection of folk, noise, post-rock, and whatever else burbled up from their imagination. So it’s wild to realize Califone haven’t released an album in seven years, and it’s exciting to learn they’re about to rectify that.

The group’s last new album was Stitches way back in 2013. Since then, there has been scattered output from the Califone camp: an EP called Insect Courage, a reissue of 2003’s masterful Quicksand/Cradlesnakes with the attendant unreleased bonus tracks, a droning Rutili collaboration with Craig Ross called Guitars Tuned To Air Conditioners that quite literally delivered on the title’s promise. At first glance, their latest release might be perceived as that kind of peripheral excursion: an album that doubles as the original score to a dance performance by Robyn Mineko Williams.

But Echo Mine is also a real-deal Califone album, one that will either remind you why they were so great in the first place or introduce you to a new favorite. Rutili and company continue to come up with fresh spins on their signature sound, perhaps thanks to inspiration from Mineko Williams’ graceful motion. “The movement and the music started together and grew together, like two clear entities,” Rutili explains in a statement. “At times totally intertwined and at other times bouncing off one another, sort of like reflections. But, somehow, always connected and listening.” He continues, “Robyn is an abstract painter. I’m not sure how to explain what she does, but we all felt it deeply while creating this music.”

You don’t need to see the dancing to appreciate what Califone have come up with here. On Echo Mine, they continue to conjure a sound unlike any other, Rutili’s weathered vocals creeping their way through electronic blues-folk songs that sound like a post-apocalyptic cityscape. The label’s triangulation of Low, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Yo La Tengo pretty much nails it — or, as I’ve been telling potential converts for years, imagine a more avant-garde spin on Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sound.

More from Rutili:

Ben Massarella, Brian Deck and I worked in a way that felt like a return to home; Brian handling the engineering, electronics, drums and overall sound of the piece, Ben adding percussion, feel, essential textures and colors. I felt like my job was to hover over all of it like a moth. Find melody in everything. Leave openings for everyone to work at the top of their creativity. We made our album, Roomsound, in much the same way (almost 20 years ago). Three of us in the studio, Be humans. Play together as much as possible. A good feel beats perfection every time. Add other musicians to add other voices and other colors, to do the things we can’t do.

Echo Mine is out February 21st on Jealous Butcher Records.

Chicago songwriter and guitarist James Elkington—who has collaborated with everyone from Richard Thompson to Jeff Tweedy to Tortoise—has announced his new album, “Ever-Roving Eye”, out April 3rd, alongside the video for lead single “Nowhere Time” and UK tour dates with Joan Shelley. He recorded his sophomore album at Wilco’s Loft Studio, expanding upon his “beautiful, complex, and assured” (Pitchfork) 2017 debut Wintres Woma, as well as his recent production and arrangement work for the likes of Steve GunnNap Eyes (he produced their upcoming Snapshot of a Beginner), and Joan Shelley.

Casting glances back to British folk traditions as well as toward avant-garde horizons, these brilliant new songs, as accessible as they are arcane, buttress Elkington’s brisk guitar figures and baritone poesy with strings, woodwinds, and backing vocals by Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station.

Ever-Roving Eye is even more elaborate, shrewd, thoughtful, and confessional than its predecessor. Though it sounds like a line culled from a murderous Child ballad, the title has everything to do instead with the slipperiness of satisfaction, and the equal parts virtue and vice that is being your own mule and driver. The album’s lead single/video, “Nowhere Time,” is a call to take up arms against procrastination, and features some of Elkington’s most daring guitar-wrangling. “A more cosmic acquaintance of mine once told me that when your life is going in the direction you want it to, it’s the universe’s way of telling you that you are in the place you’re meant to be,” Elkington says. “Does that sound likely? Not at all, but the song asks the question anyway…” The track’s accompanying video, directed by Tim Harris, features James, Spencer Tweedy on drums, and Nick Macri on upright bass.

James Elkington’s “Ever-Roving Eye” is out April 3, 2020 on Paradise of Bachelors.

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Chicago indie rock group Melkbelly have announced their forthcoming LP, “Pith”, and released the first single from their latest album, “LCR,” in tandem with an animated music video. The album will be released April 3rd via Wax Nine/Carpark Records. Their forthcoming release, Pith, found its roots in the mourning process of the band, who had lost someone close to them. “We lost an incredible friend suddenly and nostalgia always acts as a helpful tool for me in navigating difficult times,” says frontwoman Miranda Winters in a statement. “Revisiting emotionally challenging moments or significant social interactions helps shed light on confusing feelings for me. Lyrically, grief gave way to considering life.

“LCR” is taken from Melkbelly’s forthcoming record, ‘Pith,’ out April 3rd, 2020 on Carpark/Wax Nine Records.

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Fresh off a sold-out performance at the Tomorrow Never Knows festival in her native Chicago, Lala Lala aka Lillie West has shared a new digital single, “Legs, Run,” available to stream or download worldwide today. The song was written and performed by West, with production by Yoni Wolf of WHY?. Additionally, Lala Lala has debuted an accompanying music video from production house Weird Life that homages a familiar late ’90s favorite.

What happens at the end?? New song for you. Legs, Run. Preview of what’s to come, or something like that. Video homage to The Truman Show. See you in the multiverse

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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.


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