Gentle Heat
Credit: courtesy of the artist

Chicago band Gentle Heat play no-nonsense indie rock that captures the allure of a towering blaze in the space of a single spark. On their new full-length, Sheer (Flesh & Bone), they pack dream-pop’s gauzy atmosphere into tidy, loud-quiet-loud tracks. The songs hit hard and move briskly, driven by sprocket-wheel rhythms, while retaining shoegaze’s heavenly whoosh—despite their solid, grounded drumming, they’re dreaming of the stars. Guitarist David Algrim and keyboardist Sarah Clausen take turns on the mike (and occasionally duet), and their contrasting personalities—Algrim seems to be testing out a nasal affectation on his dry, strained voice, while Clausen pushes out her downy coo with straightforward gusto—lend the material an extra depth of character. When everything clicks into place, like it does on the rollicking single “Total Orbit,” Gentle Heat sound like they could fit an album’s worth of music into two and a half minutes.

Gentle Heat, Discus, Smut, Thu 5/19, 9:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $12, 21+