Chicago DIY rock duo Post Office Winter take an audible joy in playing scruffy, comfortable indie rock whose charming shabbiness feels like an accident they wouldn’t have any other way. The band’s founders, Johnston and Huffman (Jones College Prep juniors who prefer to go by their last names), belong to a local teenage DIY rock collective called Hallogallo, whose members have already made strides on the national stage: in March 2021, the imprint of Georgia music magazine Chunklet issued a single from noisy three-piece Lifeguard, and the following month totemic indie label Matador signed jangly trio Horsegirl. Some Hallogallo acts overlap in personnel too—Johnston plays in an ambitious group called Dwaal Troupe with Kai Slater from Lifeguard. Johnston and Huffman live a block apart, and they formed Post Office Winter in the early months of the pandemic to try to have a little fun. They based their debut album, June’s Songs for a Scientist (Hallogallo), on a series of stories they made up about a world of anthropomorphic animal characters. Johnston and Huffman say the stories are complicated, and it’s hard to tell what’s going on in their lyrics—the main feeling you get from their mellow performances is coziness. They sing in hushed voices that occasionally come across as hesitant, as if they’re spilling a secret that just happens to be set to frilly guitar riffs, loose drumming, and unruffled keys. Post Office Winter recorded and mixed Songs for a Scientist in Johnston’s parents’ garage, and as a pandemic precaution they left the door open—occasionally you can hear a CTA train in the distance, which adds to the album’s homegrown charm.
Your Arms Are My Cocoon, Post Office Winter, Colleen Dow, Bleached Cross, Sun 2/27, 6:30 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, $12, all-ages