Posted inMusic

TheMIND celebrates the deluxe version of Don’t Let It Go to Your Head with his first Chicago headlining gig

Chicago singer and producer Zarif Wilder, aka theMIND, has lent his gilded vocals and carefully crafted instrumentals to more hip-hop and R&B releases than I could possibly list here. He’s worked with practically every important rapper to emerge from the city in the past decade, including the three in the supergroup Ghetto Sage: Smino, Noname, […]

Posted inMusic

Rising Chicago pop artist Yesterdayneverhappened packs a year’s worth of parties into The Demon at Dusk

Angel Day makes freewheeling underground pop as Yesterdayneverhappened, and their new second album, The Demon at Dusk (Loveshock/Daybreak), zips around with such restless energy you might think they never sleep. The Chicago producer and vocalist has a knack for bricolage and an ear for the cutting edge, evident in the album’s effusive collision of dance […]

Posted inMusic

Kehlani sails into perfect sun-dappled R&B

Kehlani’s second album, 2020’s It Was Good Until It Wasn’t (Atlantic), features the brooding, moody, left-of-center R&B that’s become their signature. The singer’s new LP, Blue Water Road (released this spring on Atlantic), is still left-of-center, but its musical palette is significantly lighter and more eclectic, with tinges of folk and orchestral pop. To that […]

Posted inMusic

Nigeria’s Joeboy makes life-affirming pop music

Throughout the next few months, Chicago will host several concerts featuring contemporary Nigerian pop stars, and Joeboy in particular is a must-see. Born Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus, the 24-year-old singer attracted international attention in 2019 for his summery single “Baby,” a love song with a loping chord progression and an overarching yet understated chipperness that’s ready […]

Posted inMusic Review

Dreamer Isioma yokes their wildly maximalist aesthetic to their pop-star ambition on Goodnight Dreamer

In March 2020, Chicago singer-songwriter Dreamer Isioma released their breakthrough EP, Sensitive, whose slyly funky title track became a slow-burning hit—in a little under two years, it’s racked up nearly 70 million Spotify streams. Isioma is clearly a pop star in the making, and treats the history of recorded music like a grand buffet: they […]

Posted inMusic

The modern soul of the O’My’s sounds smoother than ever on No Swimming

As the O’My’s, singer-guitarist Maceo Vidal-Haymes and keyboardist Nick Hennessey carefully control the heat they apply to their luxurious contemporary take on soul, so that it smolders instead of burning off the roof. The Chicago duo mostly stay cool and low-key on their latest EP, No Swimming. During the songs’ hushed passages, Vidal-Haymes’s almost hornlike […]