new releases

ISSUE #73 / August 22, 2019


Major Stars / Roots of Confusion Seeds of Joy / Drag City

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An epic, psychedelic trip of a record from Boston collective Major Stars, Roots of Confusion Seeds of Joy is a guitar orgasm of immense proportions out on Chicago imprint Drag City.


Jadu Heart / Melt Away / VLF

Lush, evocative soundscapes meld into each other as London duo Jadu Heart explores the vast spaces opened up by their electronic explorations on second record Melt Away.


We Are Only Human Once / The Prettiest Boys in Town / We Are Only Human Once

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The lo-fi rock of Adalyn “Clarke” McComb is awash in the relentless heartbreak of the mid twenties, captured in affecting snippets and glimpses of emotive outpourings. The Prettiest Boys in Town is just the latest incarnation of We Are Only Human Once. McComb’s whole catalog deserves a dig-through.


Madison Cunningham / Who Are You Now / UMG , Verve

If Madison Cunningham is this good of a songwriter at 21, we can’t imagine what she’ll accomplish throughout a promising career. Who Are You Now is a showcase for a mature artist that belies her years.


Off With Their Heads / Be Good / Epitaph

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This album starts with vocals you wouldn’t expect from a punk band. They are low and soulful, much more indie/folk. Power chords build up tension behind the vocals. When the full force of the band crashes onto us and the vocals move into a yelling wail, bringing that thrash punk edge, it is beyond cathartic. By choosing when to take the music there, it makes it that much more powerful. A strong start to a great album. -TLM 

Sold out show at Beat Kitchen August 24th.


Press Club / Wasted Energy / Press Club

A second, excellent effort from this Brunswick, Australia quartet who draw energy from pop punk but delve deep into their collective despair. As Press Club says, they are “the musical embodiment of the attitude of a generation experiencing impermanence in every way,” and Wasted Energy is the result of  the ignored and repressed. A hard-hitting rock opus of the lesser generation.  

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Blanck Mass / Animated Violence Mild / Sacred Bones

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A ruthless protest against the age of consumerism cloaked in the dark, industrial hell of Benjamin John Power (Fuck Buttons), Animated Violence Mild is a super-charged burner of a record that leaves us lusting for more from Blanck Mass

He will be coming through The Empty Bottle on September 26th. Tix are $15.


Red Hearse / Red Hearse / RCA , Sony

If you find yourself missing the sweet harmonies of boy bands. If you think there is no such a thing as too much falsetto. If you are in constant search of beats to make you move. This EP by Chicago's own Sam Dew (LoveHate Thing), Jack Antonoff (Bleachers, fun, Steel Train), and producer Sounwave (aka Mark Spears) will hit all those sweet spots and more.


Sold out show at Schubas September 11th.

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Ikebe Shakedown / Kings Left Behind / Colemine

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Where else does an Afro-beat collective with the chops of Ikebe Shakedown originate other than the Big Apple? This seven-piece jam machine kills it with their fourth full-length Kings Left Behind.


Pro Teens / Two / Broken Circles

The latest lo-fi post-punk rambling from Phoenix’s Pro Teens is as addictive as the rest of their catalog. With Twos, their repulsive charm hits in all the right ways.

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Ride / This Is Not a Safe Place / Wichita , Kobalt


Ride, one of the originators of shoegaze, returned several years ago from a very long hiatus to deliver a stellar new record and now follow it with the equally resonant This Is Not a Safe Place

Ride will be at this year’s Riot Fest on Sunday September 15th. Tix start at $49.98


Here Lies Man / No Ground To Walk Upon / Riding Easy

Look no further for your dose of funky African rhythms melded to melodic rock than Here Lies Man and their new record No Ground To Walk Upon. A double dose of what makes us tick!

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Eilen Jewell / Gypsy / Signature Sounds , Bear Run

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Singer/songwriter Elien Jewell releases new album, Gypsy, that is full of American classical genres: rock ‘n’ roll, country, folk, and blues.  She has vocals that can be rough around the edges with the bad-ass rock ‘n’ roll guitar strums like in “Working Hard for Your Love,” or the country grit with her smooth and loving vocals and acoustic guitar in “Miles to Go.” Whether it’s her lyrics about women’s sociological second shift in country-inspired, “79 Cents (The Meow Song)” to her heartbreaking blues song, “Witness,” she has a great narrative in song placements and musical approach blending all these genres into one 12-track album.   


She will be in Evanston on Friday, Oct 25. Tickets start at $20.


Jason McCue / Wasteland / Jason McCue

With Wasteland, Seattle indie-folk artist Jason McCue shows his true colors. A layered and complex protest record that is full-on impressive. 

McCue will be in town next Friday August 30th at Teal Nebula, one of Chicago’s many DIY spaces. (It is our policy not to link to DIY spaces or their ads as not to expose them to legal issues.)

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Old Salt Union / Where The Dogs Don’t Bite / Old Salt Union , Compass

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Simply bluegrass perfection. Especially their collab with mandolin legend Bobby Osborne, “Tell Me So.” Those reedy vocal harmonies, layers of picked melodies, and counters! Check out this album and be ready to do a jig of happiness. -TLM 

Nothing in Chicago, but touring around the Midwest.


Bryony Jarman-Pinto / Cage and Aviary / Tru Thoughts

A stunning debut from this London-based singer/songwriter. Combining soul and R&B with elements of folk and jazz, Brynoy Jarman-Pinto has taken Cage and Aviary into the stratosphere of musical perfection.

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Amason / Galaxy I / Amasonason


A supergroup of Swedish greats including members of Miike Snow, Little Majorette, and Dungen led by the gorgeous vocals of Amanda Bergeman. What else is there to say, Galaxy I is a trip down psych-pop lane, and we’re hoping from plenty more from Amason in the future.


Magic City Hippies / Modern Animals / Magic City Hippies

Magic City Hippies’ vibe is Miami in a nutshell, and Modern Animals is the quirky funk high we’ve been looking for all summer.

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Black Mekon / Destroy Nostalgia / PNKSLM

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Garage punk of the highest order straight from the gritty streets of Birmingham. Black Mekon is the real deal, and Destroy Nostalgia rocks the roof off.