ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

PREMIERE: "The Wild What" by Oku

Today we have your first listen of "The Wild What" by Oku, the project of songwriter, musician and producer Alex Katsaropoulos. Below, Katsaropoulos vividly describes the winding journey behind his debut single. 

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This song began over 3 years ago when the chord progression to a The War on Drugs song called “An Ocean Between the Waves” really caught my attention. It was a simple back and forth between D major and E minor for the entire song but that feeling of constant flux was something I really enjoyed. It’s funny to look back at the water imagery of the song that inspired “The Wild What” because the subject matter and title of the track came from another source.

Around the same period of time I was reading a book called “Things That Are” by Amy Leach, and in the book there’s an essay and an idea called "The Wild What." Essentially The Wild What embodies possibilities and potential, anything in the ether and the unknown. I thought that this was a perfect metaphor for the start of a relationship when things are fresh and it could be anything. At the time I had just started seeing someone so it felt right. To go deeper, that unknown can be like the ocean: exciting but often terrifying and overwhelming. I for sure was feeling that in the moment so that’s where all of the water imagery came back into play.

Originally the song was a lot happier the way the chords were played but as the rest of the album developed it was clear that it might need a slightly darker tone. So I changed the way the first chord was shaped to give it a tone that wasn’t as bright. It also had a totally different chorus for a while that felt too happy, so I rewrote that in the pre-production stage. We recorded the nylon string guitar and the drums at a studio called the Mixin' Administration in Chicago and then the vocals were tracked at my home studio in Andersonville.

All the pieces were there but something was missing, it didn’t have that THING that made the track stand out. Jonathan Alvin, the producer, suggested a string quartet for the chorus to try to mimic sinking into the waves, almost like drowning. I thought about recording live strings, but felt that I wanted something weirder and slightly more alien than usual. So after I wrote the part I began finding audio online of each note being played by different people and created a strange sample instrument with them that I could play. And that’s where the uncanny nature of the strings comes from.

Another thing that really draws your attention in this song is the distorted and pitched up vocals, which is a consistent theme throughout the rest of the album. Some of the really high parts are me singing the note in falsetto and then adding a higher octave to it. And that’s pretty much how the song came together. It reflects a lot of other ideas on the album as far as production and style goes but it’s unique in that it’s the only track that somewhat resembles a love song.

Now that you've got the backstory, dive into the exclusive premiere of "The Wild What" from Oku's debut album, which is due out this September.

Keep up with Oku on Instagram + Facebook, and grab tickets to see him at Tonic Room on 7/29 here

 

PREMIERE: "Never Shy" by Ruins

Today we have your first listen of "Never Shy" from Ruins; the solo project of Cafe Racer's Adam Schubert. This single release previews Ruins' debut EP, which is the next release from the Chicago-based tape label, Dumpster Tapes. 

Schubert put together the lo-fi project over the course of a transition, starting the process in his former Northside apartment shared with his then-girlfriend, and ending in the current three flat in Ukrainian Village shared with two Cafe Racer bandmates. Recorded entirely on an iPhone using just about every delay plug-in, the EP weaves in themes of isolation and loneliness, and Schubert says the track "Never Shy" was inspired by confident social animals who never carry any doubt or weakness. “Knowing people who are just tough—they are just so outspoken,” he says. ”It’s kind of cool to be around when you’re not like that. It’s interesting, they can bring you out.”

You can hear the EP live on Sunday, June 17th at Slippery Slope, at the Dumpster Tapes release show also featuring SPVD (Josh Condon from Glyders), but get your exclusive first listen of "Never Shy" below!

PREMIERE: Elk Walking "Ride The Tide"

 Photo by Catalina Florea

Photo by Catalina Florea

Chicago folk rock outfit Elk Walking are back with their first single since the release of their album Between Uswhich they self-released last August. A duet between Julian Daniell and Savanna Dickhut of the band, "Ride The Tide" will be out on Spotify and other streaming platforms tomorrow, but we have your exclusive first listen of the chilled-out Summer tune below. First, see what Julian had to say about the track. 

We’ve just finished the first two songs in our home recording venture, something we decided to try after recording the last two releases at professional studios. The process proved to be much more beneficial to us as a group than we thought. Without the time constraints and having the comfort of being in our own space I think we have created some of the most natural sounding recordings yet. I believe the latest and greatest Elk Walking sound has been captured on these upcoming singles. The first release, "Ride the Tide" is a duet, as is in character for this band. I very much like the way the delivery of the song flows with Savanna singing the verses and myself singing the refrain and chorus. I wrote it about the differences in ways people change and react to the world as they age. Some people I see, even sometimes having so much against them in their lives are still somehow able to thrive and bring positive energy to themselves and those around them. I wrote one verse for these people. Other people seem to let go of who they are as they grow up, in order to fit into a box that they think is expected of them. That was verse two, and then the last is about how special it feels when you fall deeply in love, when it feels like that person and you were created for each other, maybe could never live without each other again. And yet that feeling can fade and change, or… you live your lives together till death, but either way love is only temporary.  The songs message is that life is temporary. Like a ride. I suppose some people may not think that's comforting but to me it's a positive, comforting message.

If you like what you hear, make sure you keep up with them on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram, and come see them play a FREE show at Shuga Records on Saturday, June 2nd at 5PM. Details here. 

PREMIERE: "Fixie" by Kalm Dog

Today, we're giving you the first listen a brand new track from Kalm Dog via the brand new label, Birthdiy, which is a net-label that will be launched under the indie-famous tape label, Spirit Goth Records 

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The primary goal for Birthdiy is to support smaller DIY bedroom artists by giving them a platform to release music and gain listeners. Releases will be obscure, digital-only, and promoted through the audience that Spirit Goth has organically grown since their start in 2016. 

The first release from Birthdiy comes from Kalm Dog, the project of Californian Kris Nguyen. After taking a break from playing packed basement and house shows in Davis, CA, Nguyen is back with his third release; a catchy, garage-pop EP that was written and recorded entirely in his bedroom after he moved to the San Francisco area last summer. The melodies and riffs came easy to Nguyen, but the most challenging part was finding the time to record without bothering his seven other roommates with take after take.

The single “Fixie” is about those times in Davis, CA when Kris would ride his bike from his house to the liquor store, to the house show, and back to the liquor store with his college friends.

Accompanying the DIY-aesthetic of his music, the video for "Fixie" follows suit with footage shot using some thrift-store bought items, a fixie, half-broken Christmas lights, and a phone.

 


Get your first listen of "Fixie" and your first watch of the video Nguyen made below. If you like what you hear, be sure to preorder the EP, out 5/29, here.

PREMIERE: Music Video for "I Want It Back" By Mountain Swallower

What do cheeseburgers, human flight, and space travel have in common? They're all a part of Mountain Swallower's first ever music video. The group, which is one of our favorite rock bands from the Quad Cities, has allowed us to give an exclusive first look at the video below, which was done in partnership with a music video production course at Augustana College.

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The vision was able to come alive with the help of five students; Jacob Pecaut, Bryan Ross, Nicolette Hampton, Paige Oucheriah and Kalena Willems. The students were grouped together and tasked with creating a music video for the band. The class, Song to Screen, requires various groups to help a band create, shoot and edit a music video while getting crash courses on production, directing and editing. The group says they had a great time with Mountain Swallower as they were easy to work with, had a clear vision, and easily accessible. The video features members of the band Garrin Jost, Steve Maule, and Kirby Calamari and was shot over a two day period in two different locations in the Quad Cities. 

As you watch the video below, Mountain Swallower has provided a pro tip: Replace "I want it back" with a phrase of your choosing. Examples include but not limited to: "I want a snack", "My fanny pack", "I'm Bernie Mac", "I bought a yak", "I'm joining track", "This song is wack", or "I hurt my back."

Keep up with Mountain Swallower on Facebook + Instagram and if you're around the Quad Cities, make sure you catch Mountain Swallower and so many of our other favorite bands at Birdfest on June 1st! Get your tickets for this stacked line up here

PREMIERE: Music Video for "Where Were You Where They Were Also" By The Slaps

This morning our fellow Chicagoans in The Slaps have a new video for their song "Where Were You Where They Were Also," and we're thrilled to present the premiere of it. 

Talking about the process behind this music video, the band says the whole video came about really spontaneously. "We found out we were gonna get to shoot in this abandoned church like two days beforehand, and we called up our friends Cooper Wehde and Tommy Garrett, who helped direct our last music video for 'Houses.' They scrambled to get the camera equipment in time." they say. "The day of we just got together and did a one shot live take. Jake Tarlov did the audio engineering for it. We used one mic in the middle of the church as the only audio," they continued. 

The Slaps also say that they started playing this song differently during their live show after filming this video. "Before that day we had never played it the way it sounds in the video, but I guess being in a church with the big, empty acoustics it sort of inspired us to switch it up." 

Get your first look at the video below, and keep up with The Slaps on Facebook and Instagram. 

If you like what you hear, make sure you grab tickets to come see The Slaps at our June showcase at Schubas, also featuring Rookie and Jude Shuma. 

PREMIERE: Spirit Ghost's "Skeleton Surf Rider"

Mixing elements of surf and garage rock with a hint of twang, Spirit Ghost is the moniker of Austin-based musician Alexander Whitelaw. In a few weeks, Whitelaw will release Spirt Ghost's second record on May 11th,, but for now we have your exclusive first listen! 

 Photo Courtesy of Spirit Ghost

Photo Courtesy of Spirit Ghost

Along with the premiere of the album, Whitelaw gives some insight into the album's process and journey below. Hit play on the record and get the inside scoop as Whitelaw shares his reflection of Spirit Ghost's new album:

Skeleton Surf Rider is the second full length album from Spirit Ghost. The album consists of 11 reverb-driven, jangly, pop songs; that jump from crooner ballads, to surf-punk, to heartfelt lamentations over failed relationships and family woes.  The album was written over the course of ten months and recorded in a week with Joey Distasio of Petting Zoo. Fans of Spirit Ghost’s previous releases (Satan’s Hands, Kicking Gravestones, and their S/T) will have a lot to rejoice about upon hearing the new album.

Similar to Spirit Ghost’s past works, frontman Alex Whitelaw is the sole composer for Skeleton Surf Rider. It becomes clear upon first listen, however, that committing himself to this task has developed his sound and style. Whitelaw’s usual treble toned voice, is replaced by a more mature, seasoned tone. The adolescence of his choppy phrasing has been replaced with full bodied crooner melodies that carry through and finish strong. The new album was made with the intent of sounding a lot bigger than previous albums, with more lush backdrops of instrumentation and reverb. The rhythm guitar remains clean and shimmering while the lead lines cut through with a bright, reverb soaked twang. Although Skeleton Surf Rider is a departure from the naive, catchy hits of Satan’s Hand's and the garage crunch of Kicking Gravestones, it stands out for its fresh and developed sound, as a milestone in Spirit Ghost’s discography.

Follow Spirit Ghost on social media:

Instagram // Facebook // Bandcamp

 

PREMIERE: The Knees "Take Care"

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Chicago band The Knees are back with a new single today! Called "Take Care," the track is the first song that was written for The Knees, and it was written before the full band even started playing together, says the band's founder and frontman David Miller. "It’s the most straightforward song we play, in terms of structure and composition," Miller added.

To accompany "Take Care," the band also recorded a B-Side track; a cover of a 1960 piece by La Monte Young. "Our rendition uses an infinite sustain effect across 6 different guitars that build together to create a 5 minute drone. It’s definitely a test of people’s patience but it was a lot of fun to record and we’re proud of how it turned out," Miller says. 

Start off your New Music Friday fix by getting your first listen to both new tracks by The Knees below!


The Knees will support Brooklyn's Stuyedeyed at Schuba's on Monday night. Crosstown will be opening the show, so don't miss out on this stacked lineup--grab tickets here!

Deeper Announces Debut Album, Plus New Music From Post Animal, The Vaccines, Frankie Cosmos and More!

 Photo by Alexa Viscius

Photo by Alexa Viscius

Deeper has become a staple in the Chicago music scene over the years, and the time has come for the four-piece to finally release a full-length debut. The band released lead single "Pink Showers" on Monday and also shared the news that their self-titled record will soon be released via Fire Talk Records. Shuga Records is also offering their exclusive white colorway of the record, which you can pre-order here

While you wait for the full album, tune into "Pink Showers" via our March Spotify playlist below! We've added some other new tunes this week, like "Gelatin Mode" by Post Animal, "Sha La La" by The Technicolors, and tracks from The Vaccines, Naked Giants, and Frankie Cosmos' new albums. 

P.S- You can snag tickets to Deeper's album release show at The Empty Bottle on 5/18 here. 

Post Animal Release "Gelatin Mode" With Hilariously Weird Music Video

Today, Chicago's Post Animal finally released the studio version for their track "Gelatin Mode," which has proved to be a crowd favorite during their live shows. Along with releasing the song on all streaming platforms, the band also put out a hilariously weird video that goes hand in hand with the band's quirky personality. The video features the band members all taking on eccentric roles; Javi Reyes is a magical elf wizard dad, Jake Hirshland and Dalton Allison share a sweet fake nose boop, Matt Williams takes Dalton and his sword out with just a hat, and Wes Toledo proves that lime green really is his color. And there's more...Check out the whole surreal video below to see it all. 

Post Animal will be on tour throughout the summer following the April 20th release of their debut album When I Think Of You In A Castle, via Polyvinyl. Pre-order the album here, and see all of their tour dates here. If you're in Chicago, do not miss their show at Lincoln Hall. Grab tickets here. 

Thumbnail image by Pooneh Ghana

New Music Friday: ANCHR x March Playlist

Happy Friday, folks! There's tons of great new music out today, from new albums to new singles. We've added some new songs and some of our favorites from the new albums to a playlist for the month of March, which will be updated weekly. Tune into the first round for March below.

The playlist features a lot of these albums, but the following are all worth a full listen on their own too. Click the link to give 'em a spin!

The Evening Attraction- The End, Again

In Tall Buildings- Akinetic

Jonathan Wilson-Rare Birds

MT. Joy- Mt. Joy

Lucius-Nudes

Lucy Dacus-Historian

Soccer Mommy-Clean

Sonny Smith- Rod For Your Love

Suuns-Felt

PREMIERE: "Ladaia" by The Evening Attraction

In advance of their sophomore album, The End, Again, The Evening Attraction share their next single "Ladaia"; a dreamy and building ballad that features a jazzy and layered instrumental bridge and outro. The track follows the upbeat, harmony-heavy lead single "Say You Will," which was released earlier this month along with a music video.

 Photo By Kayla Thornton

Photo By Kayla Thornton

On the new track "Ladaia," bassist Paul Ansani says, "Miles [Malin]  wrote the track as a two-part split between the unaccompanied vocals/guitar intro and then the Brazilian influenced jam progression. For the first half, he and I really wanted to accent the melody with some interesting harmony layers. The jam ending was pretty carefully orchestrated," and also gives a nod to the influence from The Beach Boys in the track.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Miles Malin chimes in about his writing process for the song, adding, "This song was a very emotional one for me. I wrote this one and many of these [songs on the album] during a hard time in my relationship. This one is definitely the most expressive of those times for me. It kind of poured out of me and really came together fast. I really loved the chord progression I made up on my nylon acoustic guitar and the melody spilled out very naturally, followed by a couple days of lyric writing. Without going into too much detail this song lyrically is written almost like a letter or message. It's a reflection of being in a sad, dark and lonely place and explaining to your lover your apology but also finding some self clarity during the hard times. It’s very true that hard times inspired beautiful art and I think this song is proof of that." 

The song title "Ladaia" comes from the word for a Brazilian chant or cry, explains Mailin. "At this time I was listening to a ton of Brazilian Tropicalia, and samba music. The instrumental section showcases that style with all of the instrumentation during the second half of the song. It was a daunting task trying to orchestrate the arrangements with the band the way I saw it in my head. I wanted us to try to play jazz the best way we could for a rock and roll band and I think we succeeded that in our own right. This is definitely the deep cut of the record. I urge every listener to listen to the track all the way through because it has so many beautiful moving parts," he elaborates. Malin also recognizes the track "You Don't Know" by Caetano Veloso, which also references Ladaia, as an inspiration of sorts.

The tune all came together at Treehouse Records, where the band recorded all of their tracks to tape, but they called in some friends for this one in particular. "This is the one song on which we used every track on the tape. After the drums, bass, and guitars, and organs we had our friend Kevin Decker lay down the sax solo. He killed it, we were having a laugh in the studio at how perfectly that solo fell together. Nick [Tumminello] layered all of the percussion you're hearing on the jam just one after another. Guiro, triangle, claves, bongos, tambo, cabasa, and shaker I believe. The little triangle bit is my favorite," Ansani says. After all of the instrumentation was laid down, Ansani says he and Malin added the final touch; the backing vocals. "There are 4 oo's/ah's and then 2 divergent call back lines. We used a technique that we did on most of the record where both of us sang both backing vocal tracks in unison. So on this track, both Miles and I did the lowest and 2nd lowest "oo/ah" together. This worked very well as our voices blend but project differently at different notes. Then the highest 2 oo/ahs we had to do on one track because it was the last one available. Miles took the 3rd and I was on the highest. That took a couple takes but we got it. No problem," he says. 

Take a listen to "Ladaia" below to see how all of their work came together for the finished track.

You can pre-order your copy of The End, Again here, or if you're in Chicago, snag a copy in person at The Empty Bottle this Saturday, March 3rd. Get advanced tickets to the album release show here

New Music Friday 2/9/18

While it may be snowmageddon in Chicago at the moment, it's a beautiful day for new music out there! In addition to highly anticipated albums from some of our favorites, like The Wombats, Hockey Dad, Ezra Furman, and MGMT, there's tons of new singles out this week! James Bay made a long awaited comeback with news of a tour and an electrifying new song. Some other great singer-songwriters from around the world like Ten Tonnes, Isador, and Barns Courtney also put out new songs. COIN and The Aces, who will be on tour together this month, also blessed us with new tracks. Lastly, some new favorite artists like Sleep State, Jesse Saint John and Henry Green released new material. Sit back and get ready to spend your weekend surrounded by some great music by tuning into all of that and more below!

COIN-"Growing Pains"

Ten Tonnes-"Lay It On Me"

Prinze George-"Dividends"

Frankie Cosmos-"Being Alive"

James Bay-"Wild Love"

Coasts- "You Could Have Been The One"

Barns Courtney-"Sinners"

The Aces-"Volcanic Love"

Albin Lee Meldau-"The Weight Is Gone"

Sleep State-"Awkward"

Freedom Baby- "When We Go"

Swerve- "Lose Control"

Jesse Saint John - "MOVE"

Mallrat - "UFO" 

Isador- "Jungle"

Henry Green-"Shift"// "Without You"

Shakey Graves- The Sleep EP

Ezra Furman- Transangelic Exodus

The Wombats- Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Franz Ferdinand-Always Ascending

Hockey Dad-Blend Inn

MGMT- Little Dark Age

Palm- Rock Island

You can also check out most of these songs on our February Faves playlist- click here!

New Music Friday 2/2

New Music Friday this week has some really exciting singles and projects...including new material from some of our favorite Chicago bands! Our buds Town Criers have their debut EP out, and L Martin (formerly of The Walters) has released a double single. Another ANCHR favorite, Middle Kids, released the lead single of their upcoming full length debut, while former Chicagoan Cut Worms also unleashed the lead single of his upcoming debut album. On the album front, we have new records from Tenderfoot, Anna Burch, and Rae Morris. Stay tuned for a track by track by Tenderfoot, coming to the site soon...but for now, get your weekend started with all that and more below!


Cut Worms-"Till Tomorrow Goes Away"

Frenship- “LOVE Somebody"

Frank Turner- "1933"

Ultimate Painting- "Not Gonna Burn Myself Anymore"

Vance Joy- "Saturday Sun"  

L. Martin- "Skipping Rocks" // "Flowers"

Girlpool- "Picturesong"

Mad Hawkes  "Fantasy"

Middle Kids- "Mistake"

Everett Bird- "Bucket of Dark Meat"

Town Criers- Self Titled EP

Rae Morris- Someone Out There

Anna Burch- Quit The Curse

Tenderfoot- Break Apart

New Music Friday 1/26

New Music Friday is here, with new tunes from all all over the place! Chicago's In Tall Buildings released the lead single from his upcoming album, Akinetic. We also have new singles from The Dig, Tenderfoot, The Aces and More! On the album front, the Aussie duo LEYYA return with their sophomore album, while Handsome Ghost has dropped their debut LP. Get your weekend started off right by tuning into all that and more below!

In Tall Buildings-"Beginning to Fade"

The Dig- "Moonlight Baby"

 

The Aces- "Fake Nice"

Lord Huron- "Ancient Names" (Part 1 and 2)

Joseph-"Trust"

Tenderfoot-"Palms"

Mien-"Black Habit"

Allman Brown -"Bury My Heart"

Khruangbin- Con Todo El Mundo

Handsome Ghost- Welcome Back

 

LEYYA - Sauna

 

 

Former Faces Music Video Feature: "Forc# Fi#lds"

Los Angeles' Former Faces have just released their new single "Forc# Fi#lds," along with an accompanying music video. Talking about the song, the band say it is "about reconciling the past and opening up to the future. It’s about letting your guard down and being wide awake to new relationships, ideas, and endeavors." The band's vocalist and frontman Ryan Parmenter adds, "It’s among the first we crafted as a band and is steeped in sentimentality. The imagery in the Forc# Fi#lds music video was originally featured in Gerald McDermott’s 1966 animated short, ‘Sun Flight: the Myth of Daedalus and His Son, Icarus.’ Upon first viewing, I became an instant fan of McDermott’s unique style. Tailoring his brilliant vision of the classic myth to our song was an honor."

In honor of their new music video, Parmenter and the band put together a list of some of their favorite music videos from the past and present. Check them all out and read a bit about why these videos are engrained in Former Faces' minds below!

 Photo by IAN FLANIGAN

Photo by IAN FLANIGAN

5 favorite music videos between the 90's - early 2000's

Fiona Apple - Criminal (1997)

To say teenage me had a crush on Fiona Apple would be a grave understatement. This video is so damn sexy and dirty. Watching it now makes me miss being young.

Guns N' Roses - November Rain (1992)

My next door neighbor growing up was a huge Guns N' Roses fan and brought me along for the ride. I distinctly remember watching this video with him when it premiered on MTV.  It's fantastically melodramatic, over the top, and just perfectly early 90's. Watching Slash rip that solo outside the church remains a religious experience.

The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl (2002)

The White Stripes were the epitome of cool in the early 2000s. Their music was raw, their persona was mysterious, and their videos were unique and memorable. Plus, Meg gave me bedroom eyes at Cha Cha Lounge in 2005 ;)

Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al (1986)

I know this came out in the 80's but I first viewed it in the 90's so I'm taking some liberties and including it on my list! The odd couple pairing of Simon and Chase is brilliant and cracks me up every time. This song is just so fun and still gives me a feeling of pure nostalgic joy. And that bass line... are you kidding me?! 

Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood (2001)

Gorillaz are one of my all-time favorites. They created a unique sound seemingly effortlessly that has aged incredibly well. This video introduced them to the world and we remain grateful.

5 favorite videos of the last ten years

Fever Ray - When I Grow Up (2009)

Karin Dreijer is one of my favorite aliens. I'm glad she chose to land her spaceship on Earth and make music here. I'd never heard a song like this before it came out. The video, while simple, is very impactful. A mysterious young conjurer summons life from the depths of a pool. I can relate...

Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (2012)

I love visceral, visually stimulating music videos and Tame Impala has no shortage of them. I've dabbled in collage art over the years and marvel at the time and focus directors Joe Pelling & Becky Sloan must have put into creating this aesthetic. Coupled with Kevin's uniquely cool vibe, this video narrowly edges out The Less I Know the Better as my favorite of theirs.

Chet Faker - Gold (2014)

Fluid perpetual motion and beautiful women roller skate dancing? Yes please. Simple, sexy, and mesmerizing, this video flies by every time. Oh yeah, and dude can siiiiing!

Portugal. The Man - Sleep Forever (2011)

A dog's gotta eat... I love this band, love this song, and love this video. The homage Portugal. The Man pay to their homeland Alaska and the fable-like theme of this short film make it a memorable and impactful work of art.

David Bowie - Black Star (2015)

The most epic of swan songs, a powerful and profound goodbye. As beautiful, haunting, and iconic as David Bowie himself.


Last but not least, check out the video for "Forc# Fi#lds" below!

 

 

 

 

Josh Jacobson X ANCHR Magazine Playlist

NYC based producer and singer-songwriter Josh Jacobson will be bringing his fusion of pop and soul music to Schubas Tavern on February 2nd! Before the show, get to know Josh a bit better and check out this exclusive playlist he handpicked for ANCHR! As a Northwestern University Alum, Josh of course featured some Chicago favorites on this list. Hit play and see what he has has to say about his song choices below!

Common - "Be (Intro)"

One of my absolute favorite records, with an intro to match!

The Impressions - "People Get Ready"

A Chicago classic!

Stormzy -" Velvet / Jenny Francis - Interlude"

Been really vibing to this Stormzy record lately and this may be my favorite tune from it.

Andrew Bird - "Plasticities"

I'll always remember seeing him play with Mavis Staples at the Hideout Block Party one year in Chicago while I was in school. Such a great performer! The way he loops violin and so many other textures live is unlike anything else I've heard. He and I both went to Northwestern!

Moses Sumney - "Lonely World"

I'm obsessed with this track lately, had to include it here! I love how it builds and the Thundercat bass fill towards the end is next level.

Kanye West - "Good Life (ft. T Pain)"

One of my favorite Kanye songs, this always brings back great memories of when I was in high school. Also love it more because it's a sample of P.Y.T.

H.E.R. - "Every Kind of Way"

D'Angelo and penthouse views. I love everything about this song.

Cajmere - "Percolator"

Closing out with some Chicago house favorites. Everyone knows this one from Cajmere aka Green Velvet.

Frankie Knuckles - "The Whistle Song"

Chicago was the birthplace of house music and these songs never get old.

Chance The Rapper - "Finish Line / Drown (ft. T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane)"

I love what Chance has been doing bringing together hip hop with gospel. I've been a fan of gospel music for a long time and it's a direct influence on almost all of the music I listen to, but it's cool to hear it brought out in this more direct way! Great song.

Get to know Josh even better by coming out to his show on 2/2! Enter here to win a pair of tickets, or grab your guaranteed tickets here. Get ready for the show by listening to Josh's First Light EP below!

New Music Friday 1/19

Lots of new albums out today from some of our favorites, as well as some great singles released this week! First Aid Kit followed up their 2014 album with Ruins today, and Tune-Yards also made a long awaited return with their fourth studio album. HINDS and George Ezra both announced albums and tours along with their new singles today. Rainbow Kitten Surprise put out their first single out since their 2015 album, The Wombats teased another single from their upcoming fourth album, and Lucius returned with the lead single off of their upcoming EP. Speaking of EPs, Ron Gallo also blessed us with a whole EP full of new music, coming only a few weeks after the release of his last single. Tune into all that and more now!


Rainbow Kitten Surprise- "Fever Pitch"

Hockey Dad- "I Wanna Be Everybody"

HINDS-"New For You"

Lucius- "Neighbors"

George Ezra- "Paradise"

The Wombats- "Cheetah Tongue"

Ron Gallo- Really Nice Guys EP

Bahamas- Earthtone

First Aid Kit- Ruins

tUnE-yArDs- I can feel you creep into my private life

Lake Jons- Lake Jons

Porches- The House

New Music Friday 1/12

It's been a minute since we've had a new music Friday post, with the lull during the year end, but now music releases are back in full swing! On the album front, one of our favorites from across the pond, To Kill a King, has finally followed up their 2015 self-titled album with the incredible The Spiritual Dark Age. Similarly, BØRNS has followed up his 2015 album with his sophomore release, Blue Madonna. So many of our favorites are back this week with singles, too; The Hunna, and Lake Jons releasing another single off of upcoming albums. Ezra Furman and Acid Dad also announced this week that new albums are on the way, and celebrated with new singles. POND put out a new bonus track from their 2017 album The Weather, and a new discovery of ours, Nation of Language, also put out a new track. Listen to all that and even more new songs below to get your weekend started off right!

The Hunna- "Flickin' Your Hair"

POND- "Fire in the Water"

Acid Dad- "2Ci"

Ezra Furman-"Suck the Blood from My Wound"

Jade Bird- "Lottery"

First Aid Kit- "Ruins"

Franz Ferdinand- "Feel The Love Go"

Car Seat Headrest- "Nervous Young Inhumans"

Lake Jons- "Lake Family"

Nation of Language- "On Division St"

Charlie Barnes- "All I Have"

Public Access T.V- "Lost in the Game"

To Kill A King- The Spiritual Dark Age

BØRNS- Blue Madonna

PREMIERE: Uma Bloo "Meow"/"Lullaby"

Chicago singer-songwriter Molly Madden has been playing shows all around the city under the name Uma Bloo for just over a year now. This week, she has blessed us with her official debut release, and instead of just putting out one single, she's offered up a B-Side. "Meow" and b-side "Lullaby" combine dreamy and melancholy melodies with Uma Bloo's signature alluring vocals and vulnerable lyrics. 

Offering some insight into the lead track, "Meow," Madden says, "[It] was inspired by desperation, by how deep into self-degradation we'll go to try and hold onto something we think we need. I had been listening to Libby Titus's 'Love Has No Pride' a bunch and around the same time I started noticing how a lot of us want significant others for the same reason we want pets. So it all became very funny to me and I got a song out of it." The b-side, "Lullaby," closely trailed "Meow" in the creative process, Madden says, "I couldn't sleep one night because I was missing someone... I write songs a lot when I am missing people. I guess it wasn't inspired really, it was just another night when someone felt far away."

Take an exclusive first listen to both tracks below, and keep an eye out for the official release on Friday, January 12th!

Keep up with Uma Bloo on Social Media:

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Thumbnail photo by Asia Shelton