Eighteen-year-old Chicago singer, songwriter, and guitarist Sofia Jensen started working on the material for Free Range’s new debut album, Practice (Mick Music), about four years ago. Their lyrics confront and reflect on youthful confusion and alienation, and the feelings that inspired them were (and clearly still are) intense—but Jensen communicates with unwavering control and confidence through their tender indie rock. They express intimacy and vulnerability with ambling arrangements, gentle playing, and sure-handed precision. Jensen’s two bandmates, drummer Jack Henry and bassist Bailey Minzenberger (the latter also plays in Friko, and both are members of Morinda), support Free Range’s melodies with understated care or ratchet up the intensity when a song requires a stronger hand. “Growing Away,” which deals with Jensen’s decision to get sober, falls into the latter category—it’s one of the most hopeful, energized songs on the album. Jensen’s rootsy guitar strumming and soothing singing give Practice an irresistible gravitational pull and a disarming, personable charm—you’ll be won over before you’ve even listened all the way to the end.
Free Range Minor Moon and Henry True open. Fri 2/24, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, $15, $13 in advance. 18+