ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

TNK Festival

When you think of music festivals, January doesn't exactly sound like the ideal time to host one in Chicago.  However, Tomorrow Never Knows (TNK) Fest, which is hosted at some of the best independent venues throughout Chicago, packs some of the best new music into a few short days.  Check out some of our most anticipated bands and artists slated to perform at the festival.  We promise these acts will be worth braving the Chicago winter for! 

Big Thief

Based in Brooklyn, Big Thief blends the lead singer and songwriter Adrianne Lenker's compelling narratives with a fuzzy indie rock sound. By combining Lenker's storytelling lyrical style and subtle harmonies with catchy melodies, Big Thief's sound possesses traces of folk music, but with a little more edge. Get ready for their show with Campdogzz and Hoops by listening to their debut album Masterpiece.  

You can catch them playing Schubas on  Wednesday, January 11th. 

Songs To Start With:  "Paul" and "Masterpiece" 

For Fans Of: Pinegrove, Julien Baker, The Head and The Heart

Photo Credit: Michael Buishas

Photo Credit: Michael Buishas

Ezra Furman

With powerful vocals and stage presence that commands your attention, Ezra Furman is a must-see during TNK.  Furman's sound is reminiscent of classic rock n' roll with elements of glam rock sprinkled in.  The upbeat nature and infectious melodies created by the Chicago native are sure to have you dancing along.  Get ready for the sure-to-be energetic set by listening to Ezra's expansive song catalog, including his latest release Big Fugitive Life.  

Catch Ezra and his band at Lincoln Hall on Thursday, January 12th. 

Songs To Start With:  "My Zero" and "Restless Year"

For Fans Of:  Foxy Shazam,  The Struts, Honeyblood

Photo Credit: Powerline Agency 

Photo Credit: Powerline Agency 


Hailing from Toronto, Canada, BADBADNOTGOOD is a four-piece instrumental group that hypnotically fuses jazz, electronic, and hip-hop music together.  The group has collaborated with fellow electronic musician and producer Kaytranda for tracks like "Lavender" and "Weight Off."  Escape from the Chicago winter by losing yourself in their music.  Get ready for their enthralling set with their latest LP IV.  

BADBADNOTGOOD's show at Lincoln Hall on Sunday, January 15th is sold out, but you can still pick up a 5 day TNK fest pass...or keep your eyes out for any last minute ticket releases. 

Songs To Start With:  "Hedron" and "Time Moves Slowly"

For Fans Of:  Kaytranada,  Kamasi Washington, and Thundercat

Photo Credit: Connor Olthuis 

Photo Credit: Connor Olthuis 

Caroline Smith

From Minneapolis, Caroline Smith mixes soulful vocals with a funky pop sound and melodies that are guaranteed to get you moving.  Get ready for her show at Lincoln Hall on Friday, January 13th by listening to her latest release "Trying Not To Love You" or her collaboration with fellow-Minnesota musician Lizzo, "Let 'em Say." 

You can also catch a *free* bonus set from Smith at JBTV on January 13th.  RSVP here for the lunchtime performance. 

Songs To Start With:  "Bloodstyle" and "Half About Being a Woman"

For Fans Of:  Joss Stone, Izzy Bizu, VÉRITÉ

Photo Credit: Caroline Smith

Photo Credit: Caroline Smith


We first discovered the Chicago-based Campdogzz when Netflix's show Easy featured their song "The Well" in an episode (Thanks, Shazam).  Lead singer Jessica Price hooks listeners with her gripping and jarring vocal style.  Campdogzz's Mike Russell, who takes on multiple instruments in the band, has played in other Chicago-based bands like Wax on Radio and Wedding Dress for years.  Together, Price and Russell create earworms with their compelling bass lines and haunting melodies.  Make sure you catch them with Big Thief on January 11th

Songs To Start With:  "The Well" and "Take"  

For Fans Of:  Sylvan Esso, Cat Power, Angel Olsen

Photo Credit:  Randy P Martin

Photo Credit: Randy P Martin

These great bands and musicians are just a handful of acts playing TNK Fest.  You can check out all of the other acts set to play during the festival here...there's almost 50 in total!  You can pick up a 5-day TNK Pass, which allows access to any TNK show for only $100, or score tickets to individual shows at  Lastly, listen to this Spotify playlist to get ready for the festival.