Early in the pandemic, Zoë Miller and brothers Cameron and Matthew Chapleau launched Beloved to release music on vinyl. The demand for the format was pushing manufacturers past their limits, though, resulting in prolonged pressing delays. Beloved’s first of two releases so far—a reissue of the 2011 EP Demonstration by Urbana indie-rock band Easter—wouldn’t come out till the middle of 2021. By that point, Beloved had already entrenched itself in Chicago’s music scene with a weekly mix series that brought in a wide variety of guest curators, among them photographer Jacob Pesci (mix 11), FroSkate founder Karlie Thornton (mix 24), Dehd guitarist-vocalist Jason Balla (mix 17), and indie songwriter Mia Joy (mix 33). Last summer, the Beloved team decided to take advantage of their growing Rolodex to launch an Internet radio station that could serve Chicago’s many niche music communities—a local answer to Dublab in Los Angeles or to NTS and Balamii in London. Beloved Radio launched Friday, December 30, 2022, and has maintained a regular schedule ever since: Friday through Sunday, 10 AM till 11 PM each day. Each DJ gets one monthly hour-long slot, so an average month includes 156 hours of original mixes. Beloved Radio creates some of the same magic we almost lost with the passing of the golden age of college radio: somebody you might bump into unknowingly at a show (or at a coffee shop or bus stop) can put together a selection of songs just because they want strangers to get excited about them, and it can light up your whole brain with joy.
best of chicago: music & Nightlife
Best of Chicago 2022 is presented by