ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

Filtering by Tag: New Music

PREMIERE: "Closer" by Rainbow James

Rainbow James is Griff Johnson, Charlie Yokom, Mike Cangemi, and Colin Mohr

Rainbow James is Griff Johnson, Charlie Yokom, Mike Cangemi, and Colin Mohr

When I think of the Chicago band scene, a middle school cafeteria comes into my mind pretty instinctually. When I break down the way my middle school cafeteria looked, there are some hard-to-miss parallels to our beloved Chicago musicians. There’s the cool kid table where they are wearing the newest Vans and trading crumbled cigarettes they stole from their big brother for that extra piece of pizza. There is a table with the drama kids where they are all dressed like their favorite Broadway character and communicate with each other with whistle tones and guttural sounds no one understands. I want to draw your attention to one table in particular. At this table, four boys are sitting close together; unreasonably close for lunchtime circumstances. They are typically putting lunch meat on each other’s faces while one braids the other boy’s bangs. If you stumble upon this table, you have oh so luckily ran into the boys of Rainbow James.

The boys of Rainbow James no longer put salami on each other’s faces (that I know of), but they do play music, and they play it well. Breaking into the Chicago music scene can be a big heaping pile of complicated but the boys of Rainbow James have done it with pizazz, creativity, and are sharing some of the catchiest tunes I have heard to date. When first hearing this band name, I was perplexed and more confused than anything. I came to learn that Rainbow James is slang for sprinkles. Maybe you have heard of Rainbow Jimmies? The boys say their time in Boston is what generated this name, but I beg to differ. Sprinkles, in layman's terms, are these colorful pieces of awesome to top off your favorite dessert. Rainbow James has done just that to my favorite playlists. They have finished them off; they are cherry on top, making your plain vanilla cone truly delightful.

With the release of their EP “Songs About James” and now their newest single “Closer”, I asked the boys of RBJ what it was like creating this new track. Mike Cangemi (bass) says, “It is the first song we worked on and recorded with Charlie [Yokom], so it was cool to have one more person collaborating in the songwriting process as well as heading another instrument to think about.” As Rainbow James’ sound grows, so does my affection towards this group of musicians. With their next show happening July 14th at 365-viii, I shall unashamedly be playing their songs on a loop until I can see Rainbow James take the stage, giving us all colors of the rock spectrum a listener could hope for.

Now take a listen to “Closer” early, before its official release tomorrow, July 2nd.

PREMIERE: "Sapphire" by Nativity Beds

Photo by Emma McCall// Album art (below) by Carina Hoyer.

Photo by Emma McCall// Album art (below) by Carina Hoyer.

Today we’re sharing the brand new single “Sapphire” by Nativity Beds, the moniker for singer-songwriter Kyle Maurisak’s electronica, chillwave project.

Outside of his work with The Edwards, Maurisak released Nativity Bed’s debut album ghost in April 2018. “The project mainly served as a cathartic outlet for me for a long time, and I had gone through phases through the process of making it of debating whether or not I wanted to share this music or keep it to myself,” Maurisak says. Ultimately, he decided it was important to cap that period of his life and release the music that represented some of the darkest aspects of those times. “I released the album and really only sent it around to some close friends. To be honest, I thought that would be the end of the project. As of late, I've been back in that creative headspace and ‘Sapphire’ is the first of more new material to come,” Maurisak adds.

The song was written, recorded, produced, and mixed by Maurisak, and mastered by Doug Saltzman (Gia Margaret, Denmark Vessey, Mos Def). Take a listen below now!

PREMIERE: Sick Day's Debut Singles

Today we’re sharing the debut singles from Sick Day— the new project of Chicago based musicians Olivia Wallace and Stef Roti.

Photo by Alexus Mclane

Photo by Alexus Mclane

“I wrote these songs several years apart. Both explore the desire to break free from others’ narrow definitions, from judgements that can trap us. In ‘Deviant,’ I reclaim and celebrate those labels, whereas ‘Brain’ is more of a forceful plea for autonomy and self-definition,” Wallace says about the songwriting process of the new singles.

Both songs were recorded at Jamdek with producer Doug Malone. “This was the first time I’ve ever tracked my songs live with a full band. Doug Malone expertly helped us capture the raw energy of our live sound, while highlighting textures and intricacies that can get lost in the mix at a concert. The process is intensive, electrifying, and beautifully collaborative. I would never go back to click track recording,” Wallace adds.

Catch Sick Day’s live debut on June 6th and get your first listen of “Brain in a Jar” and “Deviant” below.

Keep up with Sick Day on Facebook and Instagram

PREMIERE: "Network" by Strange Foliage

Strange Foliage follows up their 2018 album Settle with brand new single “Network,” out today.

“Network” cover art

“Network” cover art

“Network serves as a turning point for us as we’ve evolved from my solo songwriting to a more collaborative group effort,” Strange Foliage founder Joey Cantacessi says, adding that their new approach in writing is better tailored to the sound of all four members.  “Settle was nearly a direct result of my songwriting, whereas now Strange Foliage has a solidified group of members, and this upcoming release will challenge us all as a band, as well as our fans to approach the new dynamic sound with open arms, or walk away.”

Strange Foliage is gearing up to release more music in the coming months. Keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news, and go see them Saturday, April 20th with Blue Dream and Elk Walking in Chicago.

PREMIERE: "Stage Fright" By Pool Holograph

Ahead of the official release tomorrow, March 5th, we’re giving you an exclusive first listen to Pool Holograph’s new single “Stage Fright.”

Pool Holograph is Wyatt Grant, Zach Stuckman, Jake Stolz, and Paul Stolz

Pool Holograph is Wyatt Grant, Zach Stuckman, Jake Stolz, and Paul Stolz

Pool Holograph’s lead singer and songwriter Wyatt Grant said the new single was written shortly after the release of their last album Transparent World. “With ‘Stage Fright’ particularly we wanted to focus on making a narrative separate from the supernatural themes of Transparent World. The imagery is that of a drama production (curtains, backdrops, decoys, etc.) in which a character experiences both sides of the fourth wall. The instrumentation was a departure from what we had used in the recent past, using a piano, xylophone, sounds of paper, and some layered acoustics,” Grant adds.

“Stage Fright” will officially be released alongside another single on a 7” split later this Spring through Land and Sea Dept.'s Audial LSD imprint, but take your first listen of the track below!

You can catch Pool Holograph at SXSW this year, including the ANCHR Showcase on March 14th at Shiner’s Saloon— full dates below. They’ll also be preforming at the next ANCHR Chicago showcase at Thalia Hall on March 22nd, tickets and information 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: "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: "Daylight" by Capital Soirée

Today we’re giving you the first listen of Capital Soirée’s new single “Daylight,” a track that the band says is a conversation between lovers in a digital age.

Capiral Soirée is James Kourafas, Max Romero, and Steven Rejdukowski // Photo by Kate Liddy

Capiral Soirée is James Kourafas, Max Romero, and Steven Rejdukowski // Photo by Kate Liddy

“The song questions the honesty and authenticity of modern love where, with technology, dishonesty seems more prevalent than ever. Lines like ‘hold my hand as I hold my phone, we both pretend that we don't feel alone’ capture the struggle of wanting to experience something real with someone— being in the same room, yet feeling so disconnected,” they say, adding that they wanted to convey the feeling of being stuck in this place of constant struggle, uncertainty, paranoia, as well as love.

To juxtapose the melancholy and emotional sentiment of the lyrics, the group paired them with a more upbeat rhythm featuring drum machines and synths. This single marks the first of a group of singles that the band will be releasing in the coming months, and the track was written, recorded, and produced collectively by the band, with mixing done by James Kourafas of the group.

Now that you know the song’s backstory, take a listen to “Daylight” below!

Grab tickets to see Capital Soirée at Schubas on January 31st with Ember Oceans, August Hotel, and Friday Pilots Club here, and keep up with the band on Facebook + Instagram.

PREMIERE: Milk-Based Religion EP by Deep Sea Peach Tree

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Following the release of their debut album Vaguely Navy in 2017, NYC sleepy surf rockers Deep Sea Peach Tree are back with their new EP Milk-Based Religion. The 4-song release officially comes out tomorrow, but we have your first listen of the EP below.

Talking about the creative process behind these songs, lead vocalist and guitarist of the band, Kristof Denis, says, “I wanted this release to move our sound in a more vibey direction. I utilized keys more than in the past and with the help of John Colapinto's hot bass-lines, I think we achieved a new sound.” The songs were then recorded in a secret studio space provided by friends of the band, Jack Staffen and Eliza Callahan of Jack and Eliza and Purr. “This is the last release to feature original drummer Adam Wanetik and original bassist John Colapinto. They have since been replaced by new members Wiley Watson, Andrew Pesce and we've added a fourth member Andrew Dell Isola,” Denis adds.

Take a listen to the full EP now, and if you’re in New York, make sure you snag tickets to Deep Sea Peach Tree’s release show on December 2nd here.

Keep up with Deep Sea Peach Tree on Instagram + Facebook

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

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

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:

Facebook // Instagram

Thumbnail photo by Asia Shelton

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

Monogold x ANCHR Magazine: An Exclusive Fall Playlist

Although it's been a hot week in Chicago, Brooklyn based trio Monogold helped us get ready for inevitable Fall weather by composing their own Fall playlist, featuring some of their favorite songs of the season. Give it a listen and check out the band's commentary below!

Black Sabbath - "Children of the Grave" - It has grave in the title. 

The Sundays - "You're Not the Only One I Know" - We've always listened to this record on our fall tours. 

Pixies - "Motorway to Roswell" - It has a sci-fi B movie feel. makes us think of Ed Wood

Sonic Youth - "Hoarfrost" - Sonic youth always seems like a band you should be listening to while wearing a flannel. It's flannel season, baby.

Pretenders - "Don't Get Me Wrong" - CVS. 1993. waiting in line holding your mom's hand buying huge bags of candy. 

Follow Monogold on their social media, and listen to their latest single "Feelers" below! Their new album Babyfood will be out this Friday, 9/29. 

Monogold Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

New Music Friday 7/21

Tune in below to check out which new music we'll be diving into this weekend. With new singles from Summer Salt and Billie Eilish to albums from Declan McKenna and Chicago's own Skip Church and Today'sHits, there's a little something for everyone in this week's New Music Friday!

Skott- "Mermaid"

Nothing But Thieves- "Sorry"

Smallpools- "Passenger Side"

Billie Eilish-"idontwannabeyouanymore"

Summer Salt- "So Polite" and "Prickly Pear"

The War On Drugs- "Strangest Thing"

Dan Croll- Emerging Adulthood

Declan McKenna- What Do You Think About the Car?

Lana Del Rey- Lust For Life

Skip Church - Out Of Tune, In Touch With The Devil

Today'sHits - Today'sHits

New Music Friday 6/30

Another batch of our favorite new tunes from this week is here! LANY and Kacy Hill have finally released their long-awaited debut albums, and Sir Sly is back after a long hiatus with their sophomore record. Our pal Blonder has also released a new single following up his debut EP which came out earlier this month. Tune in now...

Billie Eilish- "Watch"

Broken Social Scene- "Stay Happy"

The National- "Guilty Party"

Arcade Fire- "Signs of Life"

Blonder- "Just Because"

Albin Lee Meldau- "Bloodshot"

Sir Sly- Don't You Worry, Honey


LANY- Lany


Kacy Hill- Like A Woman

New Music Friday 5/12

So many new tracks out this week from some of our favorites! Check out what we'll be listening to all weekend, including Post Animal, Kacy Hill, The National, Girlpool, Kyla La Grange, and more!

Post Animal- "Special Moment"

Post Animal is back in all their guitar glory with their first single since their 2016 EP The Garden Series. If you like what you hear in "Special Moment" (which you most likely will), check them out on their massive Summer tour. You can see all their upcoming shows here, including our ACLU benefit show with them on 7/10. 

Kacy Hill- "Like A Woman" and "Hard To Love"

Also making a long-awaited comeback, Kacy Hill has released not one but two singles today. Both tracks feature her incredible voice, which somehow manages to soar to a beautiful falsetto while also packing a powerful punch. Kacy has also recently confirmed a debut album is on the way, so stay tuned for that.

Fleet Foxes- "Fool's Errand"

In advance of their new album Crack Up, out on June 16th, Fleet Foxes have released this new layered single, featuring a beautiful piano outro. 

Sundara Karma- "Explore"

After releasing their debut album back in January, Sundara Karma are already back with the single "Explore," with groovin' guitar riffs and an explosive chorus. 

The National- "The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness"

This new single from The National isn't all that's new from them this week! The band announced earlier in the week that their new album drops September 8th, followed by a world tour. 

Bleachers- "Everybody Lost Somebody"

Bleachers is back with their third single from their upcoming album. Dynamic and layered, "Everybody Lost Somebody" highlights frontman Jack Antonoff's willingness to explore new territories with his music. Along with the album out on June 2, Bleachers will be hitting the road this summer. Check out their tour dates here. 

Imagine Dragons- "Whatever It Takes"

From the upcoming album Evolve (out 6/23), this new track from Imagine Dragons shows them pushing their sonic boundaries and exploring a different facet of their sound. With a cinematic build during the chorus, this song is a must-listen. Check out the band's upcoming world tour dates here.

Ingrid Michaelson & Tegan and Sara- "Whole Lot of Heart"

We can't stress enough how beautiful this collaboration between Ingrid Michaelson and Tegan and Sara is. The song comes as part of an EP full of collaborations between Ingrid and other artists, which you can check out in full here.

Kyla La Grange- "Violet Blue"

Although it's been a while since Kyla La Grange's 2014 album, she's been drip feeding us new singles every couple of months. The latest, "Violet Blue," features Kyla's delicately beautiful vocals and honest lyrics. 

Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker)- Missing Link EP

Formally known as Chet Faker, singer-songwriter and producer Nick Murphy is back with a 5-song EP, featuring a track with fellow producer KAYTRANADA. Along with the new music, Murphy has announced an upcoming tour. Check out dates here.

Girlpool- Powerplant

Girlpool is back with a new album after 2015's Before The World Was Big. In addition to the new album, you can catch Girlpool on tour. See all the dates here. 


Thumbnail artwork by Olivia Oyamada


New Music Friday 3/17

Check out all the new tunes out this week, including a few new albums!

Angel Olsen-"Who's Sorry Now"

Julien Baker- "Distant Solar Systems"

Cold War Kids- "So Tied Up"

Feist- "Pleasure"

Betty Who- "Mama Say"

Spoon- Hot Thoughts

Milky Chance- Blossom

Real Estate- In Mind

AHOHNI-Paradise EP

Conor Oberst- Salutations

Strand of Oaks- Hard Love

Maggie Rogers- Now The The Light Is Fading EP

WATERS- "Hiccups"

Hoops- "Rules"

The Shins- "Midenhall"

Ed Sheeran- "How Would You Feel (Paean)"