Eric Reyes of Snow Ellet
Eric Reyes of Snow Ellet Credit: Courtesy the artist

Eric Reyes writes clean, bittersweet rock songs whose hooks almost feel like a sugar rush. Under the name Snow Ellet, he renders the admittedly fine lines separating emo, indie rock, and pop punk entirely meaningless; his guitar frizz and yearning yelp belong to all of the above, and he can win over dyed-in-the-wool fans of any one of those genres. When Reyes self-released Snow Ellet’s debut, Suburban Indie Rock Star, in March 2021, few people took notice, but in April local punk writer Hugo Reyes (no relation) praised it in the final post in a four-part series about Chicago emo revival he published on Medium. That kicked off a wave of interest in Snow Ellet, and Pitchfork raised the project’s profile still further by running a positive review in May. The whole story is a nice reminder of the need for thoughtful music critics to point us in directions we otherwise wouldn’t know to look. You never know where you’ll find the next Suburban Indie Rock Star.

Snow Ellet’s Bandcamp page calls this record “indie rock for the pop punk kids, pop punk for the indie rock kids.”

Best of Chicago 2021 is
presented by

Green Thumb

sponsored in part by

Goethe Institut
Chicago History Museum

Refer to the closed final ballot to see all the categories and finalists that were voted on.