ISSUE #71 / August 8, 2019

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Retirement Party
Free Will

An easy-going listen, something to nod your head against the acoustic guitar and catchy vocals, Chicago’s local Retirement Party releases new song, “Free Will.”  While the acoustic melody seems up-beat, the lyrics speak of decision-making in life within the chorus: “old enough to know better, young enough to take a hit.”


Retirement Party will be at the Beat Kitchen Aug 27th. Tickets are $13.



The first track since Deeper’s excellent self-titled debut last year, “Run” is a tight power pop gem that hits in all the right places. Grab a preorder of the 7” from Fire Talk records, out October 4th.   

Deeper is hitting Thalia Hall “In The Round” with fellow Fire Talk label mates Dehd, Patio, and Fran on August 30th. It’s only $15; what are you waiting for?! 

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Sean Green
Thinkin’ Bout U

We slept on this excellent track from Chicago artist Sean Green last week, but upon discovering “Thinkin’ Bout U,” we just can’t stop taking in it’s catchy chorus and deep groove. 

He has several upcoming gigs. Check out the schedule on his FB page


Pivot Gang
Two Piece Tour Pack

Straight off their appearance at member Saba’s Lolla set, local rap collective Pivot Gang drop two new fresh tracks. This is Chicago hip hop at it’s finest. Just listen . . .

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Angel Olsen
All Mirrors 

“All Mirrors” is the title track to Angel Olsen’s forthcoming album All Mirrors, due out October 4th. The single was released with a music video to accompany it. Olsen has shared that the album will be about owning up to your dark side. Not an easy task or anything most people want to confront. The music video help serves as an explanation of the concept of All Mirrors. “All Mirrors” is shaping up to be one Olsen’s fullest and most complete sound album and now will be highly anticipated with this release. 

Angel Olsen is playing at The Riviera on November 14th. Tickets are $32.50



Black Bull

The new single from Foals signals a dramatic change of course for the UK outfit's Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost part 2. If part 1 was a love letter to delightfully dreary synth/goth rock, then part 2 is shaping up to be a full-throated, no frills rock album. Black Bull is an explosive track that brings a level of aggression that we haven't seen from Foals in a while. Be sure to check out the album art for the single, as well as ENSWBL1, from Ecuadorian photographer Vicente Muñoz.


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ok ok? 

One of our Lolla discoveries this year: half•alive’s power pop is as memorable as it is inspiring. “ok ok?” is a beautiful track that pairs with “RUNAWAY” and Pure Gold” as excellent singles from their debut, full-length Now, Not Yet, dropping this Friday.

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Channel Tres
Black Moses EP

Featuring East Coast indie rapper JPEGMAFIA,  while blending a soft jazz melody with electronic beats, California rapper Channel Tres create this smooth hip-hop song, “Black Moses.”  Tres has this Kid Cudi-esque vocal style in the chorus, then contrasts to this all-in-your-face rap style in his verses.  This is one to blast in your car while cruising. 


Channel Tres will be at The Riviera Theater on Nov 1st with Toro y Moi. Tickets start at $30


I Dream Guillotine

These Bristol punks can do no wrong, and “I Dream Guillotine” is the perfect protest song. We can’t wait to see them again. IDLES’ put on a show to be reckoned with, as TLM and KPL discovered last week.

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Black Belt Eagle Scout 
My Heart Dreams 

Katherine Paul maintains her breathy vocals while bringing confidence and strength to her sound. This preview has a harder rock sound and is def getting me excited for Black Belt Eagle Scout’s forthcoming album, At a Party With My Brown Friends (out August 30th). 


She will be at Thalia Hall November 3rd, Tix start at $31.


Summer Girl

Ok, let's address the elephant in the room: the video for Summer Girl is the same music video as Want You Back. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, HAIM’s Summer Girl is a delightful, late summer anthem punctuated by a sumptuous sax section. Underneath the smoothness, however, is a powerful message of hope as this song was inspired by efforts to uplift a friend of the Haim sisters, during a battle with cancer. Mid-summer or mid-winter, this is a ray of light for dark times.



Such is Life EP

Nashville rock band, FFN, debut their first EP, Such is Life, after releasing hit single “Ugly”.  The southern artists drive into fans’ feelings with their acoustic first track, “For You My Only,” to a pop rock-inspired “Just Friends,” the band talk about topics from insecurity to breaking up.  They have southern, hard rock, and pop rock influences to light riffs on the electric guitars and higher vocals tones (to even a light screaming) known in emo and pop rock bands. Such is Life, gives full honesty and fuller emotion in each song.  


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Rancho Bizarro
Possessed by Rancho EP

Italian instrumental psychedelic rock outfit, Rancho Bizzarro is rock and roll put into a blender, and on their latest EP, 'Possessed By Rancho,' they bring a rollicking chaos straight to your front door. A little bit ‘70s fuzz, a lotta bit Detroit garage rock, and a metric ton of stoner brilliance, and you can begin to approach the throwback wall of sound that is Rancho Bizzarro. Hop in your painted van, crank the 8-track to 11, and headbang until you go blind. 



Loneliness Is a Beautiful Thing EP

It's rare to hear something genuinely unique, but here's Lordless, an indie synth pop outfit from England that draws influence from across the pop and indie landscape. Debut EP, Loneliness Is A Beautiful Thing is a richly textured series of songs that, at times, invokes late ‘00s pop, while in the next moment soaring post-rock breaks, and, in other moments, stripped-down, one-man guitar folk affairs. What ties it all together is the powerful, emotional earnestness that keeps things grounded and ensures this is a group to keep an eye on.



Molly Burch
Ballads EP 

The heartbreak is real in this one; Austin singer/songwriter Molly Burch brings a 1940s piano bar confessions in EP, Ballads. Her vocals are similar Nancy Sinatra, somber and mournful, accompanied by a slower country guitar melody.  If you need a good cry, Burch has your back. 



Oliver Tree
Do You Feel Me?

It’s easy to mistake Oliver Tree as a joke act. After all, the human meme does everything possible to present himself as a fake artist, but with the release of his third EP, Do You Feel Me, the SoCal Native proves that he is as real as they come. Tree’s blend of electronica and  indie rock is so infectious, making this a propulsive and memorable six songs. Standouts include the surprisingly contemplative “Hurt,” and the ear worm, “Alien Boy,” but each song is high energy and expertly crafted, making Oliver Tree a major force to look out for. 



Red Hearse
Everybody Wants You

Jack Antonoff might be the busiest man in music, and his newest project, Red Hearse, appears to cement his place at the top of the indie pop field. The third single, Everybody Wants You, is a pained track about unrequited love but with Antonoff’s eminently listenable flair. Simultaneously relatable and heartbreaking, this is an encouraging sign of what’s to come from Red Hearse’s debut album, slated for later this summer.