Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to see Elliot Root perform at Schubas Tavern – a performance venue and bar in Lakeview. I had discovered Elliot Root months ago on Spotify – the streaming service that I always praise. Spotify has continued to do a great job at giving me new artists to listen to and really is a phenomenal tool that continues to find me new music that matches my tastes.
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Rostam Batmanglij is a man of many talents. If you’re not already aware of his track record as an artist, I’ll give you a rundown. Not only was he a founding member of the insanely successful indie-pop band Vampire Weekend, but has released music under the projects Discovery, collaborated with Hamilton Leithauser and produced and co-wrote music for superstars like HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen, Declan Mckenna, Frank Ocean, Solange and Charli XCX.
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You would think that with the harmonies about heartbreak and healing, First Aid Kit intentionally named their duo off of what a first aid kit traditionally is used for (the healing part) – but the name was actually a result of a random flip through a dictionary. However, I would say that it’s far more entertaining to pretend that sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg wanted to create music under this stage name because their music can be (and should be) used for a coping mechanism when it comes to the aftermath of a broken relationship.
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My first show of 2018 came and went in just about an hour. I ventured to Schubas Tavern – a small bar in Lakeview whose back room has a capacity of just 165 – to see one of my favorite rising acts of the moment, Yoke Lore. Adrian Galvin, the brains behind the operation – had a busy 2017. He toured with acts like Aquilo and Overcoats, released his second EP, Good Pain, and even had a debut performance at SXSW last March. Despite his past projects performing in Walk The Moon and Yellerkin, Galvin seems most at home performing under Yoke Lore.
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What do you get when you combine the synths of The 1975, the lyricism of Bon Iver and the voice of Imogen Heap? The Japanese House.
Amber Bain, the mysterious, 21-year-old woman behind the equally as mystery stage name (inspired by her fascination with a property in Cornwall, England where she visited as a child that was reminiscent of Japanese tea houses), has been making waves over the last year for her ethereal, other worldly music that gained the attention of George Daniel of the 1975, who partnered with Bain to produce her music. If you hear familiarities in their sounds, that’s pretty much why. Bain signed with Dirty Hit Records in late 2015.
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Just a little over a month ago, my 2017 concert lineup continued strongly with a performance from Dua Lipa, the British pop sensation whose unbelievably 2016 skyrocketed her to a hectic 2017. If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know that I thrive on continuity and love being able to revisit artists and write about them multiple times.
I’ve written about Lipa on a handful of posts (like this one and another one here), it was so exciting to see her shine at her own show – not to mention it was the first show of her winter tour and was sold out: Chicago never disappoints.
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If you haven’t heard of MUNA before, you’re probably living under a rock. The trio of women are currently touring their debut album, About U, which was released a little over two weeks ago on February 3 and are on their way to changing the face of pop music.
After performing a handful of shows and festivals here and there last year to showcase their release, The Loudspeaker EP, the band was gearing up to release their full length, 12 track album packed will synth pop anthems and political lyrics that has been received spectacularly by fans and critics alike.
If you haven’t read any of my pieces spotlighting MUNA before this one (search “Muna” in the search bar to the right to see them), you must know and understand MUNA’s history as a band. The three women, Katie, Naomi and Josette – met in college at California and joined forces to create a world in their music in which their fans could escape from the hardships and prejudice that they may face in their daily lives. All three women identify as queer – a concept that, 10 years ago, may have been too controversial to be comfortable with in a world as superficial and image obsessed as the music industry.
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