Posted inConcert Preview, Music, Music Review

Smushie’s psych-pop will make you believe in endless summers

Smushie main man Austin Koenigstein (also half of Chicago duo Berta Bigtoe) plays psych-leaning indie rock whose relaxed, sun-dappled melodies will convince you he’s figured out the secret to an unbothered life. Radiant keys, limber bass, loose and understated guitars, and cool, in-the-pocket drums float through Smushie’s latest album, June’s self-released Doofus Casanova, and Koenigstein […]

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London chamber-pop group the Clientele return to the U.S. in support of a new double LP

London psychedelic chamber-pop outfit the Clientele have been making their hushed, literate songs for 32 years, evoking peers such as the Go-Betweens, the Left Banke, and Felt while maintaining their own baroque and brainy mystique. Earlier this year, they released an ambitious double LP, I Am Not There Anymore (Merge), which lead singer and guitarist […]

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Local noise rockers Something Is Waiting take a left turn into 90s metal swagger on the brand-new Absolutely

When Something Is Waiting formed in 2016, the band consisted of five dudes whose stacked resumés included stints in several Chicago heavy favorites, and on their first few releases they focused on big, mean, chaos-bringing noise rock a la Unsane. Over the past few years, though, they’ve charted a new direction, trading in nihilistic bludgeoning […]

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Lifeguard make a break for indie’s big time with Dressed in Trenches

In Nina Corcoran’s recent Pitchfork Rising profile of Chicago postpunk trio Lifeguard, guitarist-vocalist Kai Slater described what draws together the teenagers in their Hallogallo scene. “It feels like everyone involved is really desperate to make music,” Slater said, “like it’s not a choice, but their natural role.” This sense of necessity invigorates the high-wire tension […]

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Indie-emo group Hey, ILY come from Montana but sound like they climbed out of an N64

In the Bandcamp credits of their 2022 full-length debut, Psychokinetic Love Songs (Lonely Ghost), Montana indie-emo band Hey, ILY snuck in what looks like a mission statement. Lead guitarist Trevin Baker and front man Caleb Haynes mention their instruments, of course, but also their “average” or “above average” skill at Nintendo’s Smash Bros.—add in the […]

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Rising star David Virelles joins jazz eminences Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman in Trio Imagination

Drummer Andrew Cyrille (born 1939) and double bassist Reggie Workman (born 1937) have worked with many of the most profoundly influential figures in post-1950 jazz; a short list of artists with whom one or both musicians have recorded includes Art Blakey, Alice and John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Cecil Taylor, Marion Brown, Peter Brötzmann, Mal Waldron, […]

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Local darkwave outfit Replicant return to Chicago stages with new music

Replicant are a Chicago three-piece who make dark, sleek synth-pop that could score a blockbuster dystopian epic as easily as it could provide a scuzzy, sensual soundtrack for an all-night subterranean club. The group’s members—brothers Jordan and Justin DeLay and longtime friend Garrett Vernon—moved here separately from Michigan and formed Replicant in 2012, and they’ve […]

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Australian four-piece Psycroptic drown you in epic blackened death metal

The core of Australian four-piece Psycroptic is two prolific Australian brothers, drummer Dave Haley and guitarist Joe Haley, and they’ve been bashing out clotted tendrils of technical death metal with their main project for nearly a quarter century. The band’s early self-released albums are defined by charismatic vocalist Matthew “Chalky” Chalk, who alternated between bloody […]

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Xylouris White’s introspective new album delivers a paradoxical kick in the seat

Xylouris White’s fifth and latest LP, April’s The Forest in Me (Drag City), stands apart from everything else in the duo’s discography. Cretan folk musician George Xylouris—who contributes laouto (lute), lyra (upright fiddle), and vocals—and Australian MVP (most valuable percussionist) Jim White have typically recorded music that feels a lot like their live performances. Their […]