Tag Archives: music

Mourning [A] BLKstar present more than an hour of heartfelt neo soul on fourth LP, The Cycle

Photo from Don Giovanni Records

The Cycle might run a little long with its surplus of slow-to-mid tempo love songs. But, Mourning [A] BLKstar’s ambitious double new album holds interest by drawing listeners into more than an hour of lush, energetic atmospheres that have no shortage of booming drums, soaring vocals and a tight brass section. Continue reading Mourning [A] BLKstar present more than an hour of heartfelt neo soul on fourth LP, The Cycle

Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding share a positive outlook for a world in crisis on new collab, Last Flight Out

Photo Courtesy of Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding

It’s rare to hear jazzy instruments like the vibraphone or the double bass accompanied by the smooth swelling of a string quartet.

But on Last Flight Out, the second collaboration between Chicago singer-guitarist Steve Dawson and his backing band Funeral Bonsai Wedding, unconventional musical pairing intertwine to create a uniquely bright and buoyant soundscape. The album’s musicians skillfully adjust their playing for what each jazzy folk tune demands, supporting Dawson’s lyrics that strive toward creating a better tomorrow. Continue reading Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding share a positive outlook for a world in crisis on new collab, Last Flight Out

ONO surveys America’s history of racial injustices on biting new album, Red Summer

Photo Courtesy of American Dreams Records

Red Summer, the sixth and latest album by avant gospel innovators ONO, marks the Chicago group’s 40 anniversary with a record that surveys the many racial injustices of American history and indicts the authorities that permitted it. Continue reading ONO surveys America’s history of racial injustices on biting new album, Red Summer

GRID’s second album, Decomposing Force, will give your ears a workout

Photo Courtesy of NNA Tapes

Decomposing Force, the latest LP by New York noise-jazz trio GRID, plays out like a guided workout session for the ears.

Composed of four tracks that span 42 minutes, the band’s sophomore album will heighten listeners’ heart rates with blaring saxophone wails, frantic bass fretting and disjointed drumming before easing them into a cooldown during its slow-burning back half. But, like a real workout, every part won’t exactly be enjoyable. Continue reading GRID’s second album, Decomposing Force, will give your ears a workout

On his new piano-heavy solo album, All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Mark Kozelek has never sounded so unfiltered

Photo Courtesy of Caldo Verde Record

Early on his new album, singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek mentions he’s reading Henry Miller’s novel Black Spring and says, “I may be a hundred pages into it so far and it’s like reading a long dream.” That lyric from the song “Vancouver” can also sum up All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Kozelek’s latest travelogue written during his 2019 tour of Canada and the East Coast. Continue reading On his new piano-heavy solo album, All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Mark Kozelek has never sounded so unfiltered

Midwife mirrors the process of overcoming profound loss on Forever

Photo Courtesy of The Flenser

On her Flenser-released followup to 2017’s Like Author, Like Daughter, Madeline Johnston, who has crafted music under the name Midwife since 2015, puts forth a masterful, dark dream pop record that’s primarily informed by loss. Forever, a sonic memorial of sorts, mourns both the loss of a close friend and the end of a community. Continue reading Midwife mirrors the process of overcoming profound loss on Forever

Jordan Reyes shares Closer, a collection of six outtakes from his 2019 debut album, Close

Photo Courtesy of American Dreams Records

Stuck in Florida because of a shelter-in-place order, Chicago musician Jordan Reyes found a solution to his limited technical capabilities away from home by unearthing and releasing a collection of pitchy, looping outtakes from his debut album, Close. Continue reading Jordan Reyes shares Closer, a collection of six outtakes from his 2019 debut album, Close