Chicago-native King Louie, sometimes known as King L, is considered part of the Chiraq (pronounced Shy-Rack) movement in hip-hop, though he continues to put out a considerable amount of uncharacteristically Chiraq music. Most Chiraq music has loud, abrasive beats paired with loud, ultra violent, often gang-affiliated gangsta rap (think Chief Keef), but a number of King Louie’s songs are almost the complete opposite; subtle, smooth, relaxed, and slow (though he has plenty of characteristically Chiraq music). His appearance on Chance The Rapper’s brother Taylor Bennett’s single “New Chevy” was indicative of this, as well as his more recent song “Right Now”. King Louie performed at SXSW the last two years, so there’s a high possibility he’ll be in town again next month. “Right Now” can be downloaded for free via Audiomack or streamed below.
Until I get my face kicked in by some great rock n’ roll, I think I’m going to get stuck in this whole folk-inspired stomp on the soul of sad bastard genre. Chief Ghoul is one such songwriter, creating this deep throated country tune. I’m sort of obsessed with him right now; he’s got this great gift in storytelling, but there’s also a huge sound coming through your speakers. That’s impressive seeing as there’s little more than an electric guitar and some distant percussive touches. Look for his album III this Spring in your local shops.
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Is Fun Fest really this weekend? Hard to believe some major fun times (x3) are ahead on Friday. You know the drill with ATH by now, we interview a lot of bands leading up to the festival to hopefully give you some nice reading material prior to the weekend. Today we’re speaking with one of our top bands of the weekend, Chicago natives Twin peaks. Follow the jump to see what these guys had to say.
Summer time is about letting loose and having fun. Whether that’s hanging at the pool with your friends or sitting beach-side with your family, you’re supposed to relax and let everything go. This tune from Pool Holograph is perfect for that sentiment; it’s filled with an exuberance that’s playful in every way, especially the way the cymbals are ridden throughout the track. The vocals add a nice touch, bursting forth during the chorus into a delightful croon. This is the first single off the group’s forthcoming album, Mortals, which should hit this Fall.
Download: Pool Holograph – Old Ways [MP3]
I just picked up this gem of a 7″ from Rainbow Gun Show the other day at the record store, and I’m so hooked that I had to share it with you all. The Chicago act has this lo-fi quality that bursts with catchy melodies. I can’ describe the sound perfectly, so I won’t even try, but I think that this 7″ has the making of a great future for the group; they clearly have elements that make their music accessible and interesting. If you’re into the sound, you can pick the release up from Hozac Records, who I consider pretty dependable.
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Those of you following the indie pop world with a keen eye know that one of the best little labels is Manic Pop Records from Minnesota. The label is quickly making a name for itself by releasing gem after gem. One of their upcoming releases is this new 7″ from Chicago’s StarTropics. I can’t get this tune out of my head right now. At the beginning, I thought it had this Drums affectation, just basing that off the rhythm section, but it then begins to explore a more gentle sonic realm. You can pick up the By My Side/Tempest 7″ on May 22nd.
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Here’s a short and sweet gritty pop number called “Fortune Teller” coming your way from Portland based indie pop band Campfires. The band is basically a one man job by Jeff Walls who recently moved from Chicago for greener skies in the Northwest. Jeff and his band moniker have a new album called Tomorrow Tomorrow coming out on February 19th via Fire Talk Records. You should definitely check out a pre-order of the album if this one tickles your fancy.
Download: Campfires – Fortune Teller
Most of our loyal readers know that the ATH crew is all about the leading ladies with beautiful voices that can often times send a chill down our spine. This new song entitled “A Little Longer” coming our way from Chicago based songwriter Kirby Kaiser is one of those songs that we find irresistible. The songwriting is fairly simplistic and could maybe be considered a little juvenile for the young 20 year old musician, but hot damn, something about her vocal delivery is really doing it for me. It’s sultry, it’s raspy, and it fits in perfectly with the doo wop style of the song. This is the first new material from Kaiser since the release of her debut EP last year, which I highly recommend you check out on soundcloud if you haven’t. She’s got what it takes to stay around for awhile.
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming releases from this upstart and promising artist.
Download: Kirby Kaiser – A little longer [MP3]
I stumbled upon this gem the other night, and I’ve been playing this track, and it’s accompanying EP pretty much non-stop the last few days, aside from the other stuff I’ve been spinning. The Pear Traps are a group from Chicago, and they’ve crafted this short little EP that’s just chock full of mellow harmonies; this track is the second on their Elsewhere EP. While it begins patiently, there’s a slight increase in the group’s urgency, which is quite brilliant in my opinion, especially the way the guitars seem to dance in the distance. You can grab the EP from the band for the extra special NYOP (I encourage you to donate to support the band!)
Download:The Pear Traps – Sister [MP3]
Here’s a new jam called “Indigo” coming by way of Chicago based indie rock band Santah. They have that jamming sort of style with funky bass beats that drop in every once in awhile sort of like Portugal. The Man tend to do things. I’ve always had a thing for that band so I’m naturally drawn to these Chicago kids. A new EP from the group entitled You’re Still a Lover will be available in stores on October 16th.
Download: Santah – Indigo [MP3]