ANCHR Magazine

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Filtering by Tag: Chicago Bands

PREMIERE: "Piss Boy" By Discus

Artwork by Clare Byrne and Jake Stolz

Artwork by Clare Byrne and Jake Stolz

Ahead of the release of their debut album Something Has Happened on September 20th, Chicago’s Discus is premiering their third single, “Piss Boy,” below. Brothers Paul and Jake Stolz (Varsity and Pool Holograph) make up one half of Discus alongside Kevin Fairbairn and Arthur Velez, and the new song pays homage to the Stolz family dog, Boudreaux. The single plays on a sense of nostalgia, which corresponds to the sentimental theme that threads through the album as a whole.

Take your first listen of “Piss Boy” below before its wide release tomorrow, and get ready for Something Has Happened by reading Wyatt Grant of Pool Holograph’s poem about the album:

how could I tell you?

a hiss in white caps of residential roofs in winter

having to return in the afternoon

the world came knocking

and strange wheels keep turning

a certain distance

an unknown and unfair science

never could get the timing right

an appeal from the pillar of steam rising

An unlikely design

that keeps you focused on the shape of text

rather than the contents

A train on new years eve

in which everyone is in their heads

A funny portrait of collected features

that watches the clock

A note on the wall that has since

fallen under the bed

as a pit in the terrain

the same as

the spring that was once a river

did not want to rush anymore

Celebrate Discus’ new album with a Free Monday show at Empty Bottle on September 23rd— details here.

Discus on Facebook // Instagram

PREMIERE: "What Happened" by The Dead Licks

Take your first listen of “What Happened” by Chicago rock band The Dead Licks below.

The Dead Licks are Jack Grbac (guitar), Tom Inzinga (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Gallagher (drums) and Johnny McNamara (bass) / Photo by Cooper Fox

The Dead Licks are Jack Grbac (guitar), Tom Inzinga (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Gallagher (drums) and Johnny McNamara (bass) / Photo by Cooper Fox

The Dead Licks formed in 2016 at the University of Dayton, and the four members quickly became tight-knit friends as they bonded over their love for Radiohead, The Strokes, Pearl Jam and Wilco. After releasing their debut full length Stay Away From the Aliens in 2018, the group is back with new music for 2019, and they’re starting with the single “What Happened.”

Talking about the new single, lead singer Tom Inzinga says, “What Happened started as my attempt to start writing simpler songs. At the time I had been really into Jeff Tweedy’s style of songwriting, and the chords came one afternoon, like most do, where I just picked up the acoustic and started playing. When I brought it to the band, it transformed into a very powerful, melancholic song about complacency and moving forward. The lyrics started being developed during a time I was unhappy with being complacent. It was my attempt to get out of a songwriting rut. However, as time went on, it turned into a song about heartbreak, and the idea of trying to move forward no matter what the outcome may be.”

The song was recorded at Treehouse Records on analog tape, which was a first for The Dead Licks. “We had a great time recording the song on analog for the first time—it was a learning experience and really pulled the best out of us. This is a new and exciting sound for us and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it,” says the band’s guitarist Jack Grbac. The group’s drummer Jimmy Gallagher says the analog recording gave the track a more live sound, adding, “You can expect a much more natural sound than our previous release.”

Tune into the new song below, and celebrate the single release with the band tomorrow, May 3rd at Harte’s Saloon.

Keep up with The Dead Licks on Facebook // Twitter // Instagram, and view their upcoming live shows here.

PREMIERE: "The Sun Will Come Back" by Faux Co.

Today we’re premiering Faux Co.’s new single “The Sun Will Come Back" from their upcoming album Radio Silence, out Friday, April 5.

Faux Co. is Ben Mackey, Chris Lee, Christian Whiting and Jayson Homyak // Photo courtesy of Faux Co. by  Dan Jarvis .

Faux Co. is Ben Mackey, Chris Lee, Christian Whiting and Jayson Homyak // Photo courtesy of Faux Co. by Dan Jarvis.

Faux Co. front man Ben Mackey describes the new single’s journey, saying, “[The song] was originally written as a soft acoustic song by our songwriter friend from Canada, Nick Gagne. We completely reworked it into kind of a banger, with his approval, of course. I really like the idea of old rock records from the sixties that had a few covers on them, like a Motown hit reimagined by the Beatles or The Byrds. You really hear what the band is bringing to the table when you hear a classic song reimagined. Nick Gagne might be a lesser known artist from Canada, but to me this song was always a classic soft and beautiful acoustic track and I wanted to reimagine it our way.”

The piano on “The Sun Will Come Back" was recorded in the (now closed) Uptown Underground. “The strings sound like a synth at points which was a happy accident in the mixing process. For some reason, it seemed to fit perfectly with the other songs on the record, so we put it in there. It is one of my favorite tracks on the record,” Mackey adds.

Take a listen to the finished song below, and pre-order the album, out April 5th, here.

PREMIERE: "We're All Gunna Die" by Waltzer

Photos courtesy of Waltzer

Photos courtesy of Waltzer

Today we’re giving you the first listen to the new single “We’re All Gunna Die” by Waltzer, the brainchild of singer-songwriter and recent Chicago transplant Sophie Sputnik.

The well-traveled track was written when Sputnik lived in Florida and recorded with Felix Fung at Little Red Sounds studio in Vancouver. Now, it’s finally getting its release in Chicago. “I like to think this song reminds me of Little Shop of Horrors, but instead [it stars] Roy Orbison and The Supremes,” Sputnik says, describing the existential crisis-inspired song.  “It's a pretty dramatic show-tune, but it leaves room for sarcasm. There's no doubt I've had some long nights obsessing over my mortality and the next morning dealing with my emotional hang over,” she adds.

Reminiscing on the recording process, Sputnik says, “We used an electro-voice re15 mic, a lot of reverb and compression for the vocals, the drum machine on an old Lowery Orchestral Holiday organ, and my buddy Rob (Fuzzbaby Records) as the Zombie Elvis voice in the end. Recording this song was one of the best last minute decisions I've ever made, and I've made a lot of those.”

To follow up this first release of 2019, Sputnik says she’s already working on new material. “I'm currently in the process of recording more songs with Chris Kulwin, who does about a million incredible things (Rookie, Luke Henry, and The Trinity Irish Dance Company) as the producer in his studio, The Workshop.”

Now that you know the backstory, take a listen to “We’re All Gunna Die” below! You can also catch Waltzer live at Burlington Bar on February 22nd with Elk Walking, Aunt Kelly, and Captain UFO.

Flyer for Waltzer’s Chicago Debut Show

Flyer for Waltzer’s Chicago Debut Show

Keep up with Waltzer on Facebook & Instagram


PREMIERE: "Something Teenage" Video by Dream Version

Today we’re bringing you the first look at the video for Dream Version’s latest single “Something Teenage.” The trio from Chicago has an unwavering knack for crafting fun and catchy tunes that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head or get you dancing, and “Something Teenage” achieves both.

Dream Version performing at ANCHR’s September Showcase

Dream Version performing at ANCHR’s September Showcase

Although the lyrics read as a love letter, lead singer and guitarist Alec Jensen says it was not written for a romantic interest. “It's a love song for Iggy Pop, and references some things he said in this John Peel lecture,” Jensen clarifies. “In general it's supposed to be about the way I listened to music in high school, and how exciting it is now when something hits me that viscerally. Usually, it's nothing particularly smart or highbrow. Blah Blah Blah is a super glossy, plastic 80s record Iggy made with Bowie, and it's singing in the shower music.  ‘Something Teenage’ sounds more like Yo La Tengo than Iggy, but it's our little love letter,” he adds.

The video, shot and directed by local musician Emily Jane Powers, captures the buoyant energy of the track as it cuts back and forth between the band members enjoying a carefree, summer day at Montrose Beach and performing the track. Talking about the inspiration behind the video, Jensen says, “I came to Emily with the idea of basically doing the ‘Can't Buy Me Love’ sequence from Hard Day's Night,” adding that they wanted the video to focus in on the friendship between himself and bandmates Eric Brummitt and Michael Kunik. “Emily did a great job. She made us seem really funny, which is good, because we, like, are.”

Now that you know the backstory, get your first look at the video below!

Keep up with Dream Version on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram

PREMIERE: "Apple Tree" by Dreamboats Music Video

Photo Credit:  Reilly Drew

Photo Credit: Reilly Drew

Today we’re sharing the first look at Dreamboats’ debut single and video for “Apple Tree.” Dreamboats’ current line up recently came together when siblings Jeremy and Maddy Marsan and bandmate Dave Hubbell (formerly known as Maddy, Dave & Jerry) joined forces with John Duray.

The new four-piece blends together influences of country and shoegaze music to create a unique sound that they dub as “dream pop western.” The track “Apple Tree” gives listeners a sneak preview of what is to come on Dreamboats’ upcoming debut album. With the help of filmmaker Reilly Drew, the accompanying video for “Apple Tree” shows a juxtaposition of real life and daydreams, cutting back and forth between dreamy scenes and clips that showcase a mundane reality. Check out the finished product below, starring Dreamboats, Kubrick the dog, and Sheila the cat.

Keep up with Dreamboats on Facebook and Instagram

PREMIERE: "White Noise" by Martin Van Ruin

Today we have your exclusive first listen of "White Noise" from Chicago's Martin Van Ruin. The track previews the group's upcoming album Current Day, out August 17th.  Frontman Derek Nelson of the band describes the process behind the track below.


Sometimes, songs can come together in a moment and it’s tough to keep your pen moving as fast as your ideas. “White Noise” wasn’t one of those. The chorus melody came first, and then it was written over a bunch of months, almost passively. I listen to white noise (the real thing, not the song) sometimes to focus — it’s meant to calm you down, but if it’s on full blast, it can actually be hard to hear your own thoughts. That’s how the internet can feel sometimes. I guess that’s what the song’s about.

Once the idea came through, the song came together pretty quickly with the band. I love what Sarah [Goldstein] did vocally; and I love [Brian] Sharpe’s guitar solo on the final recording. As soon as we heard a mix, we knew it’d probably be the first song on the release. 

Tune into the song below, and come celebrate the new album with Martin Van Ruin on August 17th; they'll be performing at Fitzgerald's and you can grab tickets here. 

Keep up with Martin Van Ruin on Facebook 

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!

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. 

PREMIERE: Town Criers "Change Your Mind"

Chicago's own Town Criers follow up their debut single "Rip it Up" today with "Change Your Mind." The high energy track has been a staple in their setlist over the past few months, if you've been to see them around the city at Warble Daze, The Hideout, and many other DIY spaces. Take an exclusive first listen to the studio version of "Change Your Mind" below and come see the band play a free show at Schubas Tavern tonight! Details on the show here. 

Town Criers: Instagram // Facebook