Outside World Credit: Wreckless Eric

Outside World
formed in Chicago three summers ago, around the time singer and guitarist Ben Scott’s old band Brain Idea was on its way out. Originally conceived as a trio alongside bassist and vocalist Hazel Rigby and drummer Evan Jenkins, the band’s first couple of tapes were full of sunny, summery indie pop—the band said they were trying to channel the nostalgic vibes of Polaris—you know, the guys who played the theme song from The Adventures of Pete & Pete—but to me they always sounded like Guided by Voices and Husker Du. Scott and Rigby have since relocated to New York, where the two of them holed up in the studio to hammer out their first full-length record, which they self-released last month, and this weekend they hit the road and play two shows in their former hometown: one tomorrow night at a DIY Logan Square show space and one on Saturday afternoon at the Wicker Park Reckless Records.

On the self-titled record, the band shed the cheery simplicity of their early work and trade it in for a jumpy, rhythm-heavy blend of prog-rock and pop. The foundations for these songs are knotty and complex, but as always, the shining stars for the band are the hooks and the harmonic vocal interplay between Scott and Rigby. Check out “Wasting Time” off of Outside World below.