Sophie Brochu (second from right) and her band Fauvely Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Singer and guitarist Sophie Brochu has been a mainstay in the Chicago shoegaze scene for nearly a decade, both with the five-piece Videotape and in the live lineup of Scott Cortez’s long-running Astrobrite. In 2017 Brochu debuted her own project, the introspective Fauvely, with the excellent Watch Me Overcomplicate This, and on Friday, May 17, she releases her best work yet—the EP This Is What the Living Do (via local label Diversion). Lead single “What the Living Do” is perfect dream pop, echoing cavernously but maintaining an intimate feel—it recalls the hushed grandeur of classic Mazzy Star, and seems destined to soundtrack a movie breakup scene or two. Fauvely (which includes Cortez on bass) celebrate with a free show at the Empty Bottle on Monday, May 20, and play again at Sleeping Village on Sunday, May 26.

Chicago DJ Andrew Joseph launched Leisure Records last summer with a smooth boogie 12-inch by the DJ and production duo he’s part of, Paid Time Off. This week its second release arrives, the moody EP Slow Down by Italian disco duo Abstract Matters. On Friday, May 17, Joseph opens for Abstract Matters at a free release party at Gramaphone Records; the Italians also perform Saturday, May 18, at Sleeping Village.

Chicago last heard from Richard “Epic” Wallace of BBU in 2014, when he dropped his solo debut, #OPRAH. Last week he finally followed up with Pot Liquor, under the name Unkl Epic; this wolf particularly digs the ecstatic boom-bap and posi agitprop rhymes of “Fight Back.”

Last fall, baritone guitarist Matt Clark (also of White/Light) rejoined Pinebender, reuniting the band’s original lineup after 16 years. Clark has also been working on his own material, and on Friday he self-released his solo debut, the instrumental album Impossible Lows; the track “Wastyn’d” creates cosmic bliss from psychedelic squeals and thrumming guitar raga.  v

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