Few pop acts are quite as prepared to engage with climate change as Chicago’s Air Credits. Since 2016, rapper ShowYouSuck (aka Clinton Sandifer) and producer Steve Reidell (half of the Hood Internet) have turned dystopian nightmares into strangely joyful songs. There’s catharsis to be found in these missives from a future where oxygen is a scarce commodity, since so many of us (but hardly enough of us) grapple with the reality of escalating global climate change—humans are wreaking havoc on the planet, pushing us closer to Air Credits’ bleak visions. The duo’s new Believe That You’re Here (Wasteland Radio New Archives) couches its moody futurism in concerns we already have today. On the tense, brittle “Party Outside,” for instance, Show raps about the tightening grip of the surveillance state, and if you’ve ever felt anxious about something you’ve posted online, it’ll hit you square in the chest. The album ain’t all doom and gloom, though: the dreamlike “Time/Space” coasts on slow-moving synths and kindly vocals from Show and Lili K. The future might look grim, but if more musicians take inspiration from the imaginative work of Air Credits, the present could get a little better.
Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest day one featuring Air Credits, A Queer Pride and friends, Environmental Encroachment Fri 8/20, 6 PM (Air Credits perform at 8:15 PM), outdoors on the 1400 block of W. Morse at Glenwood, free, all ages.