new music: DAY WAVE

reppin: oakland, ca // harvest records // 2014 - present

sounds like: reliving your best moments under one of them vintage filters, everything just looks that much more fun and vibrant

day wave | photo cred: popmatters.com

day wave | photo cred: popmatters.com

last album drop: hard to read (march 2016)

featuring: jackson phillips (previously fronted the duo, Carousel) // 25 years old

day wave | photo cred: weallwantsomeone.org

day wave | photo cred: weallwantsomeone.org

After introducing myself to mr. phillips earlier in 2016, I did some reading on that internet about him and see some similarities in our music listening habits (by no means does this correlate with actual making music talent because I have none of that..probably in the negative now that I think about it). Anyway, I think us heavy music lovers really respect the DIY dudes, which is what day wave surely encompasses. So how exactly did he get to this point of talent? Much like fads, memes and food we go through these cycles of what we are into. This is exactly what jackson did in a music listening sense...being exposed to different genres of music depending on variables like age and the weapon of choice (that is instrument for all of you aren’t keeping up). He is rooted in jazz, but slowly morphed to this pop, alt rock sound that is so delicious and comforting in your ears these days. As he explains in his interviews, the progression of being a jazz drummer, then picking up piano followed by experimenting with production and beats led to forming the synth-pop group Carousel.

Sometimes these new ideas just pop into musicians heads and the timing of the market out there as well as where one is in their musical evolution makes sense. Enter day wave...and what is so cool about this project isn’t so much that this is the next step in his musical ladder, but a combination of all his experience and past groups. The balance of soft and shy riffs, lyrics that remind me of the glorious emo days, any 20 something can relate to, and overall laid back vibe make for a fast rising star in the making. Nothing ever gets too heavy or stretched out either, which in my opinion works so well with his vocals. This formula screams less is more, simple is better. There is no right or wrong way to run through his short but loaded track list at the moment, but I would start with “gone” or “drag.” The mellow sounds mixed with that surf pop singing will devour you ever so gently. This dude is young, hungry and already will give you all the good feels...which makes me quite excited to see what his first full length will be all about.

day wave | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

day wave | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

suggested listening experience: bbq and beach action // whenever you are feeling down this will get you back up // a soft start to the day

listens: gone // wasting time // nothing at all // we try but we don’t fit in // stuck // total zombie

dw // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: OTHERKIN

reppin: dublin, ireland // rubyworks records // 2013 - present

sounds like: that night you got drunk, had a rolling brown-out, smoked weed and woke up the next morning with a smile being totally okay with it

last album drop: the new vice EP (june 2016)

otherkin | photo cred: goldenplec.com

otherkin | photo cred: goldenplec.com

featuring: david anthony // luke reilly // rob summons // conor andrew wynne

otherin | photo cred: rockforpeople.com

otherin | photo cred: rockforpeople.com

It was love at first listen for me with these dudes...the sweaty, head banging, screaming type of beautiful love. Still baby-faced irish kids, these guys only started in 2013 and they seem to have packed decades of British rock sound into these years. Back then, Luke, Conner and David found a dude named Rob and they formed this in your face rock n’ roll band we see before us today. The story so far reminds me of punk bands playing in the Chicago suburbs. Packing the local house party, small venue in the burbs and clawing their way to touring. Gaining a fan at a time, otherkin played college dorms in the close knit and talented Dublin live scene. You do whatever you can to get music out there as they self-released tracks and did not worry so much about putting an album together. They certainly did it the old fashion way and being rough around the edges is better than anything smooth and conservative I’ve ever come across. Perhaps the best quote I found from the guys: “We want our records to be punchy, lean and blazing. Straight in, no kissing.” If only I could get girls to think the same thing about me…

otherkin | photo cred: irishtimes.com

otherkin | photo cred: irishtimes.com

I am all about the front to back album, but with the first few EPs you can sniff gold with the music (that was not meant to be an Irish joke). Start with their first single, “ay ay” of the 201 EP and clear some space to jump around. What is a mixture of 90s grunge and new wave punk-pop, they so clearly have perfected their sound super early. Moving along to 2016, “the new vice” ep, i mean holy shit where to start. The riffs have the perfect amount of edginess that won’t let anyone shy away. The vocals layer over the guitars like mozzarella on pizza dough and those quick solos are just the icing on the cake (you would eat cake and pizza together, admit it). Top your listening experience off with “yeah, i know” and then come sit with me as we beg for more. They sure as hell know how to rock a club to the core...can’t wait to see what these crazy cats do next.

suggested listening experience: getting rowdy before, during or after going out // waking up your friends in the morning after a night out // hanging with friends outside during a sunny day

listens: ay ay // yeah, i know // howling // i was born // feel it // white heat

otherkin // sc // fb // twitter // ig // spotify

new music: CHAD VALLEY

reppin: oxford, uk // cascine records // 2010 - present

sounds like: taking one of those rafting rides through super cool caves --> eye opening and soothing

chad valley | photo cred: thelineofbestfit.com

chad valley | photo cred: thelineofbestfit.com

last album drop: entirely new blue (oct 2015)

featuring: hugo manuel

chad valley | photo cred: einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz

chad valley | photo cred: einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz

Mr. Manuel hooks you in with his chill synth-pop so you may as well call it a win for him getting you hooked. His soothing sounds at the right speeds and voice to match really set the tone for what this man has done since 2010. While it totally does not make sense to talk about a English artist on this shitshow of an election day, this dude is way more deserving of headlines than the turd sandwich and giant douche. Chad Valley started as a side project as he headed the band Jonquil, quickly releasing two EPs that were just the beginning to mastering his craft. I really dig the way way his vocals kind of drag over the synthy beats, giving it a very friendly sort of feel. Listen to “shell suite”....so good! As we move toward his first full length, Under the Radar, you could start to notice the smoothly produced tracks, blended 80s pop beats...clearly from an out there, creative thinking artist. So, to bring you up to speed, Chad Valley’s sound has truly evolved, especially when you tune into his latest, entirely new blue.

 If you love funky beats and the 80s this album is definitely for you. The range is clearly audible, be it slower songs vs more upbeat ones. There are some very creative drums involved that takes the childish sound of synth wave away (think about those silly synth pop bands from high school). “Arms away” takes you back in time, while showing one how to layer some great beats, yet have a simple overall listen. Dare I say some of his tracks even get a bit tropical, which fits well with the overall flow of the album. Throughout his career, Hugo loves using guest artists and producers on his tracks because he his in fact a solo artist. Being one dimensional is no fun for anyone. This does not take away from the talent he posses, both on the vocals and production side of things. Given his creativity and ability to collaborate with others, I can see a lot of cool and different tunes coming our way soon.

suggested listening experience: on the way home after a very long day at work // bubble bath // pre dance floor warm up routine

listens: shell suite // arms away // now that im real (how does it feel?!) // moon under water // fast challenges // true

cv // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

new music: MTNS

mtns | photocred: soundcloud.com

mtns | photocred: soundcloud.com

reppin: brisbane, australia // create/control records // active since 2013

sounds like: falling down backwards forever with all those crazy kaleidoscope patterns around you...in slow motion

last album drop: salvage (2013) // new single released oct 17 

featuring: tom eggert // joseph thiang // robbie hellberg

Close your eyes for a second on the commute to work (not if you are driving, bad idea), lay down on your couch; take a moment away for the nonsense we all encounter day after day. Each one of mtns tracks, from second one, offers an escape from what we worry about day after day. Whether it is Tom’s luscious vocals, the subtle, downtempo beats or synthy waves, you are now allowed to put a smile on your face. These Aussies are still babies as far as how long they have been around, but damn, they killed it with their second EP, “salvage” in 2014 and are finally back with a mind-numbing new tack, “insight.” There truly is a perfect blend of electronic and instruments that can bridge the gap (see “lost track of time”). I was not able to dig up much information on these dudes, but it seems like they are starting to build their band into a full time gig. Which is totally why you need to get some ears all up in their business now.

mtns | photo cred: bandsintown.com

mtns | photo cred: bandsintown.com

So, back in 2013 these guys made a ton of noise in the land downunder and earned honors to open at the BIGSOUND showcase in Brisbane then. That was a few years ago and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Their ambient tracks layer oh so well with those mellow beats and sprinkled with just enough pop sound to attract all those ears. The processed, as described in a triple j interview, starts with keyboards and builds with the computer using sounds, samples and MIDI. The vocals and lyrics work themselves as the song builds, which is why it sounds so fucking good over those beats. This is a very special, special band, not just because they have perfected this indie electronic sound so early on, but they really take you to a place where you can just forget and sway. I dig.

suggested listening experience: making sweet sweet love...so much sweet love // whenever you want to get away from it all // night time cruise by the waterfront

listens: fears // lost track of time // insight // salvage // crave

fb // spotify // twitter // sc

new music: JACUZZI BOYS

jacuzzi boys | photo cred: rollogrady.com

jacuzzi boys | photo cred: rollogrady.com

reppin: miami, usa // hardy art records

sounds like: strolling down the highway with your window down and your tongue out as you try to act like a dog and wake up your best friend in the backseat...worth it

latest album drop: ping pong (oct 2016) // released today!!!

featuring: gabriel // diego // danny

Oh, the feels when you hear their hit track from 2011, “glazin,’” and that simple riff progression comes in, the soft vocals and then it speeds up and you can’t help just rocking out. Most try, few succeed. These southeast rock n rollers got their start back in 2007 and have been grinding out that feel good, slightly grungy rock n’ roll ever since. While having released 3 solid albums and 1 EP since 2009, these are the kids who are constantly touring to build that special bond with their fans. I mean how can you not hear a track like “happy damage” and smile as they take you through these fascinating, upbeat progessions, fun ass lyrics with vocals that just blend perfectly into that rock sound. Plus, these dudes seem goofy and rad. When they describe that they can turn “neon into ice cubes” and are “going grand” by “building limestone monuments to those who boogied before them,” well, you have something quite special here. 

jacuzzi boys | photo cred: psychicgloss.com

jacuzzi boys | photo cred: psychicgloss.com

Speaking of boogieing, these tracks blend the perfect amount of dance in your step with head banging rock (que long hair bobbing to and fro). You can hear just a bit of that southern rock in a few of their tracks. Then that cali guitar rock comes in and what could easily be a hot mess comes together so nicely. Head over to “no sleep” and you get the bounce up and down sound with lyrics you’ll easily be able to pick-up. Seriously, run through that happy damage EP and you will not find a weak song. Then, slap their newest, “ping pong”, back and forth and be even further pleased. By the way, that album just dropped today, october, 21st. They so perfectly place their mini-solos between gabriel and danny’s vocals, giving listeners that extra little bit. Folks, rock n’ roll had a wide range of sounds. Those who pull of one of those types to perfection should be praised. We praise you Jacuzzi Boys (or at least I do). Keep rocking out dudes!

suggested listening experience: bbqing some fucking meat // windown down, crusing the highway during the summer // pregaming with the squad

listens: lucky blade // can't fight forever // happy damage // no sleep // sun // glazin’ // electric days

jb // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

from the vault: JAMISONPARKER

reppin: orange county, ca // interscope records

years active: 2003 - 2005

featuring: jamison covington // parker case

jamisonparker | photo cred: mtv.com

jamisonparker | photo cred: mtv.com

while only together for two short years, these two amazing song writers put out an incredible, as close to perfect, emo/pop album entitled "sleepwalker" that you would have heard in that time frame. Personally, as I was in high school when these guys were together, it holds a special meaning in the midst of teenage angst and not knowing what the fuck you were doing. Powerful lyrics, catchy melodies and ear pleasing tunes

new music: KWEKU COLLINS

kweku collins | photo cred: culturecreature.com

kweku collins | photo cred: culturecreature.com

reppin: evanston, il // unsigned // 2015 - present // 19 years old

sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city...the perfect mix of chill, inspiration and the evolving sounds

latest album drop: nat love (2016)

Chicago. Hip Hop. It’s a perfect marriage. that is continuously out doing itself in front of our very ears and eyes. I don’t want to take away the focus from Mr. Collins, but check out this short list: Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Lucki Eck$, Towkio, Noname, Taylor Bennett, Air Credits...and so many more waiting their turn. I love it though. It is not saturation...it is the beautiful and constant challenge from artist to artist to collaborate and push one another to create new genres. As music lovers we only get to reek the benefits and we should take it all in...seriously, do it. Kweku got his start in music at the young age of 4, learning drums from his father who is an African and Latin percussionist. He also repped the poetry club at Evanston Township, just north of the big city (source: pitchfork.com). And oh man can you hear the diverse range of foreign sounds that blend so well with his voice.

kweku collins | photo cred: artisticmanifesto.com

kweku collins | photo cred: artisticmanifesto.com

He has always had a wide range of taste from Kweku’s flow is so organic and balanced; so peaceful and impactful at the same time. He slides out of his verses and into the chorus with the beat, which builds too perfectly with those vocals. There is a mixture of beats, acoustic guitar and amazingly placed drums that make you not quite be able to place a specific genre on it. Or if anything, it just kinda stands in the corner away from the “cool kids.” A true outsider quickly learning how to stand out from the rest. Little do those mainstream cool kids know, that Kweku is secretly plotting something bigger and better. This guy has been at it for just a few years...he is only two short years removed from high school. Can you not wait for what is next..I sure as fuck can’t.

suggested listening experience: twist one up and just listen // sitting at the campfire (or fireplace for most of us) // mid-day work break

listens: life part II // ghost // death of a salesman // lonely lullabies // holla if ya hear me // kings

fb // twitter // spotify // ig // sc

concert shenanigans: SAVOIR ADORE

reppin: brooklyn, usa // nettwerk music group // 2009 - present

sounds like: smelling a fresh bouquet of flowers while floating on clouds...they give you that weightless mental state

savoir adore | photo cred: slapthebass.com

savoir adore | photo cred: slapthebass.com

latest album drop: the love that remains (aug 2016)

featuring: paul hammer // lauren zettler // alex foote // ben marshall // andrew pertes

savoir adore | beat kitchen, chicago | 10.15.16 | @thefaakehipster

savoir adore | beat kitchen, chicago | 10.15.16 | @thefaakehipster

There aren’t many bands out there that just make you smile song after song. Not just the euphoria sounds that get you giggly as you sway back and forth, but how the lyrics mesh and bring even more meaning to the moment. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing these cats at the intimate Beat Kitchen and I am quite bummed that I never got my ass to see them before. Before I get into the crazy rush these guys give you a short yarn of the history here. Paul Hammer has music running through his veins as he is the son of producer, Jan, and became a multi-instrument machine. At NYU (you are def smarter than me dude), he met Deidre Muro and got off an running with fun experiments. First, they wrote and recorded and EP in one weekend (hope you both showered). They soon discovered how delicious their vocals sounded overlapping one another and soon enough a three piece backup band was on the road with them. Deidre moved on in 2014 and Lauren Zettler filled the role.

 Talk about timing...cubs game ends in historic fashion and I get to scoot over at the start of the set. We use recordings vs. live to really understand the quality of bands, and these kids blow you away at the venue. What is a mixture of indie and electro-pop, their upbeat songs never have a bleak moment. I love how the guitars stay simple and play off the keyboards. It meshes with those luscious vocals oh so well. Their latest release, the love that remains, lifts your spirits, gets you dancing a bit and is overall a solid play, front to back. And that is what really matters...whether you throw this group in your earbuds or go see them live, you are going to be so pleased from start to finish.

 

suggested listening experience: gettin close and cuddly // warming yourself up for a night on the town // when you need to get shit done

listens: giants // dreamers // savages // paradise gold // mountains (love won’t burn my heart) // lovers wake // other worlds

sa // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

savoir adore | photo cred: onestowatch.com

savoir adore | photo cred: onestowatch.com

from the vault: THE USED

reppin: orem, utah // hopeless records

years active: 2001 - present 

the used | photo cred: altpress.com

the used | photo cred: altpress.com

the used | photo cred: topphotosgallery.blogspot.com

the used | photo cred: topphotosgallery.blogspot.com

featuring: bret mccracken // jeph howard // dan whitesides // justin shekoski

you know their 2002 self titled was your go to in high school. after all these years, this still gives you the feels...these dudes are still going strong and rocking out...i applaud you

listens: taste of ink // pretty handsome awkward // the bird and the worm // a box full of sharp objects // all that i've got // i caught fire // on my own

new music: KEVIN ABSTRACT

reppin: houston, usa // currently unsigned residing in la, usa

sounds like: walking through a sunny rain storm with your squad, you are front and center and even Mom is diggin it

kevin abstract | photo cred: genius.com

kevin abstract | photo cred: genius.com

next album drop: american boyfriend (2017)

featuring: ian simpson // 20 years old // part of the group, BROHAMPTON

kevin abstract | photo cred: kevinabstract.com

kevin abstract | photo cred: kevinabstract.com

This dude is only 20?! Well fuck my life, may as well just retire right now. I’m not one to associate or attach someone to another human, but he reminds me of someone’s personality out there. He can sing, rap, write and he has one hell of a creative side that can very much take him beyond music. Since 2015 he’s jumped around, first beginning his journey with producer, Romil and quickly earned praise from solid publications. He pushed along and joined the group, BROHAMPTON, where they earned their stars and stripes with MTV. I can just hear the talent oozing out of this guy as he is already well seasoned and it shows in his ever name-changing album, now titled American Boyfriend. It is due out in 2017, but for now, let me try to envision that future.

Let’s start at the foundation...Ian boats a wide range of influences from Tyler the Creator and Kid Cudi to Justin Timberlake and Quentin Tarantino Something you immediately recognize, especially in those latest singles, is his range of sound. A well balanced, blended smoothie of alternative riffs, 80s influenced keys and slow motion drums...he just knows when to sing, when to spit and when to mix them together. His lyrics also tell a story as I am assuming he has a lot to tell us moving around frequently during his childhood. The slated album is going to open up even more about this young talent and if he progressing like he is, then watch out kids!

suggested listening experience: if you’re a high schooler - that good ol’ cruise around the neighborhood // weed & wine wednesdays // long day after work

listens: empty // ECHO // drugs // tame cab

ka // twitter // fb // ig // spotify // sc

concert shenanigans: UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS

reppin: cambridge, uk // rise above (formed 2009)

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

sounds like: dropping acid with Johnny Depp during his crazy days, but it is really a flashback to 1967 or something, and waking up after an hour saying "I blacked-out, but that was the most out of body experience i've ever had"

last album drop: the night creeper (september 2015)

featuring: kevin starrs // yotam rubinger // itamar rubinger // vaughn stokes

That Metro Chicago smell and vibe always gets me amped up as I pass Wrigley Field and head on into the venue. I’ve seen countless acts there ever since my mom gave me permission to go to concerts by myself back in 2001 (I’m 29, do the math, I was never good at it). The spot hits a different level when you get pure rock n’ roll on stage...and an even higher level when the mates from Great Britain that are Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats grace the stage. Before we dive into all the feels of the set, a little setup for y’all: their name was taken from Rusty Day, most known for the band Cactus, who had formed another group called Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band. Everything from their name and sound to their look is influenced heavily by one of the best eras of music around. So, how does one stay relevant in today’s era of music? Throw some pop in there, much of what we got in the 1970s and much of what you’ll hear in their more recent joints. Just put these dudes on shuffle and I highly doubt you’ll be skipping any songs.

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

As for the show, from the opening note us kids in the crowd were taken through a journey that we wished did not end. While it was hard to tell dudes and chicks apart from behind...because of you know, all the hair, it was extremely well received. It is one thing to just attend a show and that next morning when your friend ask how was it your response is “yea, it was fun.” When you go see UA&TD live, your response is, “holy fucking shit I was taken to a new planet.” Personally, I want that set to tell me a story, to immerse me in emotions where I can smile because it is so damn good, and that is exactly how it went down. There was no small talk between sets, just straight, psychedelic rock n’ roll..channeling their inner Pink Floyd, our jaws dropped over and over from solo to solo. In between those beautiful solos?? Headbanging riffs that keep you at attention and off those cell phones...no seriously, those riffs are so heavy with just the right amount of distortion. When it is all said and done, you get this package that is so deliciously evil, yet so beautifully constructed that you are quite okay with the music taking you over...ya dig?

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

suggested listening experience: roll a j, throw on their vinyl and just lay back // when you need to blow off some steam for whatever reason // end of the work day when you can't wait to bust on out of there

listens: i'll cut you down // pusher man // death’s door // melody lane // over and over again

ua&td // spotify // ig // fb

from the vault: BRAND NEW & JIMMY EAT WORLD

with the 2016 edition of Riot Fest Chicago around the corner, i'm doubling down on "from the vault" and bringing you two living legend bands...both these groups define longevity by the way they constantly evolve and recreate their sound

jimmy eat world | photo cred: concart.net

jimmy eat world | photo cred: concart.net

reppin: BN - levvitown, ny // JEW - mesa, az

featuring: BN - jesse lacey // vincent accardi // derrick sherman // brian lane // garrett tierney // JEW - jim adkins // zach lind // tom linton // rick burch // mitch porter

brand new | photo cred: punktastic.com

brand new | photo cred: punktastic.com

jimmy eat world | photo cred: jimmyeatworld.com

jimmy eat world | photo cred: jimmyeatworld.com

years active: BN - 2000 - 2016 (retiring after this year) // JEW - 1993 - present //

listens (thru 2006):

BN - seventy times 7 // logan to government center // jude law and a semester abroad // mix tape // sic transit gloria...glory fades (see video) // okay i believe you, but my tommy gun don't // the quiet things that no one ever knows // sowing season (yeah) // jesus christ // archers

JEW - call it in the air // crush // the middle // sweetness // a praise chorus // bleed american // if you don't don't // hear you me // my sundown // futures // the world you love // polaris

new music: ANNA OF THE NORTH

reppin: gjovik, norway // honeymoon, different recordings

sounds like: a magical journey through a warm, pleasant forest with animals that smile and say hello to you

anna of the north | photo cred: letsloop.com

anna of the north | photo cred: letsloop.com

next album drop: unknown

featuring: anna lotterud // brady daniel-smith

I usually end with saying I can’t wait to see this band in concert, but I’m going to swing for the fences from the start...I can’t wait to see what this woman is like live. She is so new to the scene, but came on strong with a few great singles like Sway and The Dreamer. When you come into the scene that strong you open up a world of possibilities for a debut release...which hopefully the label does not draw any boundaries with. One of the first beautiful things you may pick up with Anna is her flowing vocals through each song...it blends quite nice with brady’s production, all of it just sounds at ease. With that comes a very inviting duo.

anna of the north | cred: Larm & At The Loft Presents: Anna of the North

anna of the north | cred: Larm & At The Loft Presents: Anna of the North

So the music world classifies Anna of the North as electro-pop, which I totally agree with. Pop is a funny thing...if you’ve read a few of my previous blogs, or listen to any pop on the radio, you’ll be able to notice a very generalized formula. Even the lyrics can be very similar across the board. Yes, Ms. Anna is pop, but there is something unique and special about her. My first impression is there is no bullshit overproduction in her vocals or music. It is more raw, pure and from the heart...I totally get blown away from the start of every song by that authenticity. From the appearance (yes, she is toats a cutie) to her lyrics, I can hear it. Another horrible thing about top 40 as well is the unneeded complexity it tries to bring by overlapping vocals and adding too much noise. Everything is so simple and forthcoming with this woman and she absolutely can bring you in close with that idea. Take a seat on your comfy couch and let these two take you through this magical journey that I speak of...

suggested listening experience: chillin in your bubble bath // making sweet sweet love // evening stroll through the closest nature environment you can find

listens: us (see video) // sway // the dreamer // baby // undervann 

aotn // fb // spotify // sc // twitter // ig

new music: THE SOIL & THE SUN

reppin: grand rapids, mi 

sounds like: that game you played when you were a child at day camp with the big colorful parachute looking sheet...the moment when it was as inflated as it gets and you smiled

the soil & the sun | photo cred: localspins.com

the soil & the sun | photo cred: localspins.com

latest album drop: “actual replica, vol 1” (may, 2016 // 2 song ep)

featuring: benjamin // alex // ashley // kellen

When you think of soil and how the sun makes it grow, well, that is exactly how this band has grown. What started as a duo in 2008 has spurred out of the soil to a seven-piece and has settled into a four-bagger. Personally, i could care less how many folks are in this band because they make some of the most pleasant sounding music around. Think 70s psychedelic sound with a shift into more of a melodic mixture of upbeat sounds, yet still some dark moments. They were able to accomplish a ton with their first two albums in just a tiny home studio, with very little musical experience. Their latest 2014 release, “meridian,” allowed them to up their recording and equipment game, and their sound certainly matches that. While they are laid back at the core, the complexity in overlapping vocals and melodies make for a bigger sound than may appear...and i dig that.

Take your pick as far as the type of sound. Want some soul...listen to “How Long.” Want some folk all up in your face...give “Are You?” a shot. Want to go a little darker...then “Samyaza” is at your fingertips. While this group may be ameatur in the standards of the big ass music industry, they have done so much with so little resources. Their two newest joints released in may entitled “actual replica, vol 1” take you more into pop territory and are quite pleasing on the ear muscles. All in all you have a pleasant sounding group of humans no matter which way you look at it and you should be listening right meow

suggested listening experience: a nice long road trip // hanging out with your boo // enjoying a late morning sunday brunch

listens: are you? // throughout the night // how long // samyaza

ts&ts // spotify // twitter // fb // ig // sc

from the vault: NAME TAKEN

reppin: orange, ca // fiddler records

years active: 1999 - 2005

featuring: chad atkinson // blake means // ryan edwards

fun fact: the lyric "Panic at the disco / Sat back and took it so slow / Are you nervous? Are you shaking?" from their song, "Panic," is said to have been the inspiration for the name of the platinum band, Panic At The Disco

Their music is emo to the core, but contains this melodic energy that is missing from just about every other band from this era

"Hold On" is one of the more incredible albums in the 2000s time period

name taken | hold on | 2004 | fiddler records

name taken | hold on | 2004 | fiddler records

new music: WHITE ARROWS

reppin: la, usa // votiv records

sounds like: If you went on the excellent adventure that is Bill & Ted, but you could actually function as a human while still smoking weed

last album drop: in bardo (sept 2014) and hopefully another soon!

featuring: mickey church // andrew naeve // john paul caballero // jake nielsen

white arrows | 2.13.15 | schubas, chicago | @thefaakehipster

white arrows | 2.13.15 | schubas, chicago | @thefaakehipster

Some beautiful things in this world get started by accident (just spitballing here, but human existence is a good example) and White Arrows is no exception. They launched after writing a song out east that immediately caught the attention of Nylon Magazine. The "stokeness" could not be ignored so they packed their bags and headed out to la to officially form White Arrows. What I dig about these guys, as they are quite young and only two albums deep, is how they span generations of sounds. The dance-rock first vibe is great, and has the ability to wheel in the masses, but even more spectacular is how they incorporate a bit of psychedelic and sprinkle it with 80s. Expanding on their vibeness, each one of their songs just makes you happy and want to dance and smile.

I would tell you to start with a song off one of these albums, but close your eyes and pick. Clear some space because mikey’s squinty vocals, andrew’s axe, john’s bass and jake’s beats will make you want to groove immediately. I had the pleasure of seeing them with Chappo in February of 2015 and they certainly delivered. It’s like a freaking time machine with Bill & Ted...stellar backing melodies, solid riffs and a dance party in the making. “Can’t Stop Now” is progressive and upbeat and “We Can’t Ever Die” is an awesome party song to name a few. There are a ton of dancy rock bands out there, but I truly think these dudes can rise above. I can see some of these jams being pretty timeless when you want to go back and give them a listen 10 years from now. So White Arrows, I speak for all of your fans when I say “Get your asses on tour again” :)

suggested listening experience: dance party (duh) // any form of sweating when needing motivation // getting real weird with friends and/or weirding out locals by singing in front of them

listens: can't stop now // nobody cares (below & super trippy)) // get gone // we can't ever die

wa // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

from the vault: HOT ROD CIRCUIT

reppin: auburn, al // new haven, ct

years active: 1997 - 2007, 2011, 2014 - present

featuring: andy jackson // casey prestwood // joe ballaro // mike poorman

hot rod circuit | photo cred: propertyofzack.com

hot rod circuit | photo cred: propertyofzack.com

a few thoughts: try not to sing along to their songs, especially from the album "sorry about tomorrow" // these guys were doing indie rock before we really knew what indie rock was...just listen to the lead guitarist and steel pedal (yes, they are emo too)

listens: at nature's mercy // let's go home // safely // the pharmacist 

concert shenanigans: THE ORWELLS - A look into a pair of shows @ 1st Ward dubbed "The Midwest ShitFest"

THE ORWELLS

also featuring: The Symposium, Post Animal, Joe Bordenero & The Late Bloomers

the orwells | 1st ward @ chop shop | 8.12.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

the orwells | 1st ward @ chop shop | 8.12.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

reppin: elmhurst, il // canvasback music

sounds like: that proud moment when you feel good about giving the middle finger to someone with a big smile

next album drop: fall/winter 2016 release will follow up "Disgraceland"

featuring: matt o'keefe // henry brinner // matt brinner // dominic corso // mario cuomo

First...a brief history

Let's catch you slackers up on what the awesome dudes known as The Orwells have accomplished before most of us have even graduated college. All five guys grew up in suburban Chicago, Elmhurst to be exact, and formed in 2009 in the early stages of high school. It only took a quick 3 years to get discovered, signed and release their first album, “remember when” in 2012. Whether it was from within, or trusted sources, there was something special there so they graduated early, hit the festival circuit, wowed Letterman and earned the hearts of fans everywhere. Shortly thereafter, they released their follow up, “disgraceland.” While the journey for them had already been incredible, this beautifully crafted garage rock album received not only praise from the music folks out there, but an enormous, positive reception from the fans. Oh, and these goofballs are only 21/22 years old as we jump to the present.

fast forward to right meow

In any aspect of life, there is something special when humans get together to create a masterpiece. I wholeheartedly believe that these five young dudes will forever have that “special sauce” from being so close to one another at a very young age. We mold our personalities and values as we grow through high school and beyond, and they were able to do it as one entity with five different, laid back personalities. A majority of musicians out there will go their whole career without gaining even a dedicated local following...already veterans on the show front; hanging with them I immediately felt a vibe of humility. So easygoing, connected to one another and welcoming to the newbies (like myself) to take in a slice. Flicking beers and tequila back like it’s nothing, laughing, taking cracks at one another and living in the moment are all key aspects to preparing for a killer show

Now, the crowd is getting more and more anxious and the guys are ready to take the stage in Chicago for the first time in awhile. Before them, three local, talented acts warmed everyone up. There are no nerves...just anticipation to engage their fans and have probably more fun than they are. That middle finger (or the toilet plunger that Mario found) are raised high in the sky...they don’t care what you think of them; all they want is to bring out that emotion in every fan through their rock n’ roll. You may call it chaos. I call it an organized, sweaty good ass time (speaking of butts, Mario was not shy in mooning everyone). Both nights, moshing and crowd surfing were at the max despite a sign every 15 feet clearly reading: “No moshing or crowd surfing.”  I still see the energetic youth in The Orwells much like I still try to cling onto what’s left of mine. However, there is a level of maturity with Matt, Grant, Mario, Henry and Dominic; they not only understand and vibe off their audience, but they understand each other. That magical formula is going to lead to countless masterpieces to come. Much love to these guys for the opportunity to kick it this past weekend.

suggested listening experience: anytime you need to smile and forget about about shit // any house or backyard party // trying to build the courage to tell your ex to fuck off

listens: the righteous ones // mallrats (la la la) // who needs you // let it burn // in my bed

to // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // canvasback

new music: CESCHI

reppin: new haven, ct // fake four inc (co-owner)

sounds like: eating fine cheese and wine in the complete wrong setting...but it still taste magically delicious, right?! folk + hip hop = ceschi

latest album drop: broken bones ballad (april, 2015)

featuring: julio francisco ramos

ceschi | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

ceschi | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

I had the honor of seeing one of the most talented, multi-faceted musicians that graces this wonderful Earth earlier this year. As he took the stage before Astronautalis, you knew this rapper was taking the stage...but wait. Then he picks up the guitar and start playing folk songs...WHAT?! Yes, Ceschi is that man that spans these genres and pairs it with his beautiful story telling. Which leads me to a quick side story that totally tells you the kind of dude he is. On Christmas day, 2010, he got a typical delivery of marijuana was his dealer in the form of Christmas presents...makes sense. Little to his knowledge, his dealer saved his own ass by ratting out Ceschi as his recipient (was pulled over for speeding in Chicago, which is when he told the cops), and of course the cops showed up. They were going to arrest his entire family(!), mother, grandparents and kids unless he took the fall. Instead of ratting out his dealer and getting his family in a mess, he obliged and served time in jail. A man of honesty, humility and just god damn awesomeness.

ceschi | photo cred: ghettoblastermagazine.com

ceschi | photo cred: ghettoblastermagazine.com

Head on into Spotify or Soundcloud and put his joints on random. Each one offers a stellar story, mixture of acoustic folk and hip hop beats. His vocals will spit fire much like Astronautalis and before you turn around he’ll be serenading you with that great singing. And finally, the live show...you just don’t see intimate performances quite like he gives these days. In a pretty packed Schubas crowd, he interacted with the audience, got you to sing along and your head banging. I swear, once this guy gets an opening slot for 1000+ venues, he is going to start turning heads by the masses...you just wait. For now, enjoy his tunes in really any setting.

suggested listening experience: when you need a smile after a long day of work // as the sun is setting // when you need to get in the zone

listens: this won’t last forever (hip hop, see video below) // say something (folk) // forever 33 (hip hop) // bite through stone (folk + hip hop) // barely alive (ft. Sage Francis)

ceschi // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

from the vault: MAE

reppin: norfolk, va // spartan records

years active: 2002 - 2011, 2013 - present

mae | photo cred: idobi.com

mae | photo cred: idobi.com

featuring: dave elkins // zach gehring // jacob marshall // rob sweitzer // mark padgett

fun fact: mae is an acronym for a Multisensory Aesthetic Experience

this band is timeless...a listen from each of their first 3 albums

featured listens: "summertime" from their debut album "destination: beautiful" // "suspension" from their sophomore release "the everglow (see music video) // "brink of disaster" from "singularity"

....and a bonus: "runaway"