Corolla, from left: Carlos Lowenstein, John Dugan, Ben Taylor, and Erik Cameron Credit: Penelope Lowenstein

A couple weeks ago, local indie-rock four-piece Corolla dropped two breezy tunes fit for the dwindling days of summer: “Forget This Song” and “Fading.” Formed by guitarist-vocalist Carlos Lowenstein and drummer John Dugan (formerly of Chisel and the Chicago Stone Lightning Band), Corolla solidified their relaxed underground-pop sound with the addition of bassist Ben Taylor (formerly of JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound) and lead guitarist Erik Cameron. The new songs—the band’s first releases since the July 2019 EP Falling—were recorded at a pre-pandemic session, which also produced four other tracks that will be released in pairs later in 2020.

Black Bobbin opened for business earlier this month as an online guitar-and-gear shop and coffee-subscription service, but founder Shelby Pollard and business partner Pete Falknor—who worked together at Chicago Music Exchange—are also planning ahead for a brick-and-mortar “guitar cafe” in a post-COVID future. Falknor says it could be a place “where everyone in the community is welcome to hang out, drink some coffee or beer, and catch a small performance.” Black Bobbin has already established several “batched partnership projects,” selling coffee beans with Gallery Cafe and effects pedals with Old Blood Noise Endeavors, but this wolf hopes to grab a cold brew with Pollard and Falknor in person soon. In the meantime, interested folks can keep updated via Instagram at @blackbobbinchicago.

Gossip Wolf has been hip to Chicago singer-songwriter and theater veteran Bethany Thomas since 2017, when she put out her debut EP, First. On Friday, Thomas self-released her first full-length album, BT/She/Her, where her show-stopping vocals hold together a mix of gritty classic rock, expansive psychedelia, and heartwarming doo-wop, flavored with a touch of funk and a healthy dash of musical theater.  v

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