Sick Day
Credit: by Hungu (@hungu1995 on IG)

In December, Olivia Wallace launched an email newsletter for her Chicago indie-rock band, Sick Day. The first message included info about upcoming shows, photos from home-recording sessions, and a crudely drawn cartoon about self-doubt, awkwardness, and creating art in an economy that’s built to make it unsustainable. The newsletter’s simple design and casual language have a refreshing, down-to-earth intimacy that social media apps seem only able to simulate, despite their promises of hyperconnection. It’s earnest in the way that indie-rock zines were in ages past, and so is Wallace’s band. Sick Day evoke the scruffy homemade eccentricity of many of the great 80s K Records acts, but Wallace and her bandmates treat the familiar style of that bygone era as a suggestion, not as a template—and that lets them break new ground, even on turf that’s been claimed many times over. On Sick Day’s self-released debut album, September’s Love Is a State of Mind, they play shambolic, sometimes stripped-down songs with a youthful giddiness that makes their most well-worn sentiments about romantic longing and blossoming crushes feel new. They sound so easygoing that it’s easy to forget how skilled and sharp they are as musicians; on the taut “Take a Little Bit of Love From Me,” by the time Wallace’s bouncing multitracked vocals deliver the hook, Sick Day have already made their case as one of the city’s next great emerging indie acts.

Sick Day Grace Bloom headlines; Reggie Pearl and Sick Day open. Thu 1/12, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, free, 21+