Antipop musician Willis Earl Beal is wildly talented—he caught our ears nearly three years ago with a few beautiful and unusual antifolk songs he recorded on a cassette-based karaoke machine while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Beal’s life has changed quite a bit since he landed on the Reader B Side cover two years ago; he signed a deal with XL imprint Hot Charity, toured around the U.S. and Europe, moved from Chicago to NYC, took on a starring role in an art-house movie (the forthcoming Memphis), and released a couple albums. His latest full-length is a genre-hopping double LP called Nobody Knows, and it’s tremendous.
Beal returned to town last month to celebrate the release of Nobody Knows with a headlining show at Schubas. We met up with Beal before his set to interview him for our ongoing Soundcheck series, and we talked to him about uncertainty, his new album, and, um, toilets. We also have a snippet of Beal in action onstage so you can get a taste of his powerful, commanding performances. Check it out below: