Eric Novak is a prolific Chicago multi-instrumentalist who plays with jazz quartet Whtvr Frvr and jazz-fusion sextet Cordoba. They’ve also loaned their talents to a variety of local artists, including indie-rock band the Curls and folk singer Reno Cruz, and most recently they added warm woodwinds to Portrait, the new album from rapper Davis. Novak […]
“Prince: the Immersive Experience” begins with purple light through stained glass. Guests in groups of ten to 15 are led through double doors to a replica of the “When Doves Cry” music video set: portraits hung on purple walls, bouquets scattered on the floor, and a white claw-foot tub to pose behind. The only thing […]
Chicago drummer Luke Titus and New York rapper-singer Cisco Swank unite jazz, R&B, and hip-hop on their new album, Some Things Take Time (Sooper). Brief but stimulating, the record feels like a walk around the block as the neighborhood awakens. Swank and Titus are both young multi-instrumentalists and producers with prodigious backgrounds: Swank attended New […]
Noir Disco’s new debut album, Now! 2073, belongs to a proud tradition of art-rock. Siblings Nolan and Carter Dickson lead the Chicago group, and their music draws on specific reference points from a lifetime of shared music nerdery. On Now! 2073, the band take inspiration from 70s classic rock, 80s European new-wave pop, and 00s […]
On their debut album, All of Them, local pop ensemble Glad Rags explore how interpersonal transgressions can ripple through creative communities, and even as they grapple with anger and grief, they never lose the sense of joyful discovery that underground scenes can provide. Led by vocalist-keyboardist and Sex No Babies member Mable Gladly, Glad Rags […]
Jackie Hayes left behind a devout Christian upbringing in Waukegan to move to Logan Square at age 19 and pursue her music career on her terms. As a frequent opener at Schubas and other local clubs, she refined her attitude-heavy vocal melodies supported by simple, sludgy guitar lines and loose hip-hop drums. Hayes worked at […]
On their new EP, Happy Medium, everyman Chicago rap group Jyroscope reflect on navigating middle age in what remains of the middle class, while the production from fellow local Montana Macks evokes the halcyon hip-hop sounds of 90s crate diggers such as Pete Rock and DJ Premier. IB Fokuz and Collasoul Structure rap about balancing […]
Azeez Alaka and Brandon Holmes run a music and video production company with a pipeline to the majors and a headquarters shaping up in Little Village.
The new EP by Defcee and producer August Fanon, We Dressed the City With Our Names, ties Defcee’s history in Chicago’s rap and poetry scenes to the primordial hip-hop culture of New York graffiti artists depicted in the 1983 documentary Style Wars. The first track opens with a sample of a young graffiti writer explaining […]
Chicago rapper D2x has poured all 23 years of his life so far into his debut album, The Color Blue. Across its 13 tracks, he delivers lines about his childhood in the south suburbs, his time playing basketball as a student at Western Illinois University, his struggles with depression, his faith in God, his recent […]
Solos in shutdown can be a win-win.
Chris Crack has released five albums of no-frills trash-talking hip-hop in 2020 alone, but he’s not worried about saturating the market. When he talked to Audiomack’s Matthew Ritchie upon the release of his first album of 2021, Might Delete Later, the west-side rapper quipped, “Did Aunt Jemima make too much syrup? Can Clorox ever make […]
Beach Bunny singer, guitarist, and songwriter Lili Trifilio established herself as a surrogate older sister to a generation of listeners when the band’s single “Prom Queen” went viral on TikTok in 2019. The Chicago four-piece are more than a “TikTok band,” though. Sure, the teens who dominate the popular video-sharing platform connected with Trifilio’s concise […]
With concerts and tours on hold for most of the year, Chicago’s music scene doubled down on mutual aid and fundraising for community groups.
On their debut album, Cliff, Chicago duo Big Branch combine warm vocal melodies with kitchen-sink instrumentals inspired by the dusty samples of underground rap. The record’s ramshackle sound recalls Beck circa “Loser” or Dubya-era TV on the Radio, a hybrid style the group calls “hop ’n’ roll.” Vocalist Jamal Semaan and guitarist and producer Rob […]