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Harry James of Chandeliers draws from soul, jazz, and ambient on his solo debut

New Jersey native Harry James Brenner found his footing in Chicago’s music scene partly by playing in art-rock group Chandeliers; he joined in the mid-aughts as a percussionist, and he’s since played keys for them too. The sharply defined clatter of Brenner’s drums has kept Chandeliers’ mercurial instincts from running away with them, giving even […]

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Chicago soul man Nate Barksdale makes smooth sounds to get us through the city’s coldest months

On the eve of the first day of fall, prolific Chicago soul man Nate Barksdale self-released Summer Was Over Before It Started. The pandemic eliminated so much of what Chicagoans cherish about the city’s warmest months, but Barksdale’s supple blend of neosoul melody and hip-hop percussion, wrapped up in R&B smoothness, captures the wistfulness that […]

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Eccentric Chicago musician Zango the Third warps soul, pop, and lounge into strangely magnetic songs

Chicagoan Frank Zango possesses something like magic: under the name Zango the Third, he’s able to create oddly soothing, stylistically scrambled outsider-soul songs fast enough to fill several full-lengths a year. In early April, he self-released his second album of 2020, Aunt Ida’s Asteroid Mixtape, where he continues to stretch to the outer edges of […]