Gossip Wolf is still digging through the heap of new Chicago music that came out on May 1, when Bandcamp waived its revenue share on all sales for 24 hours, but so far Berta Bigtoe is right at the top of the favorites list. The band’s cofounders and sole members, Ben Astrachan and Austin Koenigstein, made Berta Bigtoe Publicity Stunt as a lark. They decided to write and record an entire album on May 1, specifically to post on Bandcamp then (though they spent much of that 24-hour period working on it). The sweet, joyous indie pop on Berta Bigtoe Publicity Stunt feels effortless but clearly takes a lot of skill to pull off—especially in less than a day. Berta Bigtoe moved to Chicago from Boston last year, and this wolf is already looking forward to one day seeing them play a show in their new hometown.
Sunshine Boys’ debut full-length, Blue Music, was one of Gossip Wolf’s most-loved indie-rock albums of 2018, and this local trio (guitarist Dag Juhlin, drummer Freda Love Smith, and bassist Jackie Schimmel) played such a killer set opening for Juliana Hatfield at SPACE in January that the band couldn’t release new jams soon enough! After a successful Indiegogo campaign earlier this year, Sunshine Boys dropped a scrumptious sophomore album, Work and Love, on Friday, May 1. It’s filled to the brim with jangling power pop, and standout singles “Infinity Girl” and “Summertime Kids” sound like instant classics. Naturally, the band were forced to cancel an April 30 record-release show at SPACE due to the pandemic, but this wolf strongly recommends going whenever it’s rescheduled!
When Gossip Wolf last checked in with producer Jeremiah Meece, he was finishing a Halloween-centric album called Mutant Future. Earlier this month, he self-released a full-length of material he’s made during self-isolation—it’s called Suffering, but these warped pop tracks won’t make you suffer unless you miss them! v
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