Chicago indie-rock duo Orisun indulge in their lo-fi proclivities without ever giving in to slacker entropy. On their self-released debut EP, May’s This Is Orisun, multi-instrumentalist Kai Black and front person Asha Adisa artfully employ gossamer guitars, sophisticated keys, precisely programmed percussion with dampened drums, and relaxed, alluring vocals to calibrate moods that test the […]
Mallory McClaire and Chantala Kommanivanh work as an arts administrator and as a professional artist and educator, respectively—but the couple also run Web-based record shop Beverly Phono Mart. In August they plan to open a brick-and-mortar retail location at 1808 W. 103rd in Beverly. This interview was conducted July 26. As told to Leor Galil Chantala […]
Hannah Sandoz releases a new collection of melancholy avant-garde folk, the famous Danny’s Smiths Night comes back for one evening at the Empty Bottle, and cult house artist Marcus Mixx looks for help with a new apartment.
Few pop acts are quite as prepared to engage with climate change as Chicago’s Air Credits. Since 2016, rapper ShowYouSuck (aka Clinton Sandifer) and producer Steve Reidell (half of the Hood Internet) have turned dystopian nightmares into strangely joyful songs. There’s catharsis to be found in these missives from a future where oxygen is a […]
Hip-hop veterans Coolout Chris and SamIam the MC celebrate a collaborative EP, hybrid performance series ¡Hot Mess! returns to Elastic Arts, and more.
I routinely scroll through all the new music people have uploaded to Bandcamp using the “Chicago” tag, and in January I noticed something curious: Still Paying, the previously unreleased second album by local hip-hop duo Abstract Mindstate. The group recorded it in 2004 and planned to release it in ’05, but the material got shelved […]
Though live shows are returning, there’s no safer way to support artists and labels than buying music online.
Burr Oak debuts with a long-gestating album of dreamy folk-pop, Experimental Sound Studio hosts an all-star fundraiser in its backyard, and more.
Multi-instrumentalist Liam Kazar has been so crucial to my evolving understanding of Chicago’s bustling, magnanimous music scene that I felt a little heartbroken when he moved to Kansas City in 2019. He’d risen to national fame in the early 2010s as part of the youthful fusion ensemble Kids These Days, whose idealistic collision of jazz, […]
When local folk-pop artist Jessica Risker interviewed Chicago singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emily Jane Powers on her Music Therapy podcast in April 2020, Powers was halfway through recording an album. “I wanted to make a guitar-forward record,” Powers told Risker. “I wanted to let the guitar speak for me.” On the album in question, Isometry (which […]
Veteran sound explorer Kevin Drumm uploads a Bandcamp bounty, reedist Hunter Diamond launches his label by releasing his solo debut, and more.
“Once I started playing piano . . . I felt like I had complete control over something for once, and it allowed me to be a more confident version of myself.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, I became mildly obsessed with a video of Limp Bizkit playing a Moscow venue in February 2020. I wasn’t drawn to the performance so much as to the sight of front man Fred Durst, who’d been an emblem of white male millennials’ bottomless teenage angst at the turn of […]
Modest Mouse front man Isaac Brock can perform a breezy, carefree song in a way that suggests you should be concerned for his well-being. And his recent public comments haven’t exactly quieted those worries; in interviews for the band’s new seventh album, The Golden Casket (Epic/Sony), Brock has dabbled in worrisome tinfoil-hat theories (he made […]
Fundraisers help music writer Scott Morrow recover from a gunshot, Lorna Donley and David Thomas’s post-Da band, the Veil, posthumously release an LP of 1980s recordings, and more.