Claudia Ferme-Giralt, aka Claude Credit: Photo by Tod James

Gossip Wolf got hip to local dream-pop singer-songwriter Claudia Ferme-Giralt, who performs and records as Claude, via her standout 2019 single “Turn” and an immaculate live set opening for Jimmy Whispers and Jungle Green at the Hideout that fall. On Friday, February 12, Claude will finally drop her debut EP, Enactor, via Side Hustle Records (run by staffers at music PR firm Big Hassle Media). Its six sparkling songs are beautifully sparse and glacially paced, and lead single “Screen” (with a video by queer filmmaking collective Bitchcraft) feels especially timely: it captures the disquiet of being confined to communicating through digital technology. Even though Claude wrote it more than three years ago—she’s recorded all this music at least twice since 2018—”Screen” is highly relatable in this age of social distancing!

  • The video for “Screen,” directed by Aliya Haq of the Bitchcraft collective

Brooklyn label Fire Talk Records has been a boon to Chicago’s indie-rock scene: it released two of the best albums to come out of the city in the past year, Deeper’s Auto-Pain and Dehd’s Flower of Devotion. Earlier this week Fire Talk announced it had added another great artist to its roster, signing ace Chicago singer-songwriter and Gossip Wolf favorite Mia Joy. Her first single for the label, the mesmerizing “Haha,” rides gentle waves of subtly echoing guitar and synth; Joy’s soothing singing sounds simultaneously warm and weary. This wolf can’t wait for her forthcoming Fire Talk album!

On Monday, February 1, Chicago underground rapper and Slumpgang777 cofounder Säge, the 64th Wonder will drop his first project since 2019, the EP The Gods Here Are Stupid. Gossip Wolf has heard only a few tracks so far, but Säge’s self-reflective verses on the hazy single “Ketchup” go straight for the gut. Fingers crossed that this is the first in a torrent of new Säge releases.  v

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