Iowa's Unknown Component - which is actually one-man band Keith Lynch - is in town to play Sylvie's Lounge this Thursday, October 9.
Lynch is nothing if not ambitious. He has self-recorded and self-released five albums over the course of a few years. He plays every instrument on his discs and puts a noticeable amount of effort into self-promoting them. Even in the days of hordes of indie acts vying for attention on the Web, Lynch's level of effort is quite rare.
His most recent release is called "In Direct Communication," and what the album lacks in fully realized production (this is 100 percent DIY stuff, after all), it makes up for with strong melodies and sheer passion from the singer-songwriter.
On "In Direct Communication," Lynch wears his influences on his sleeve. Vocally, he channels the gruffness and intensity of Kurt Cobain and the frank delivery of Bob Dylan. As far as the music, it has been said that Lynch must be a huge fan of Radiohead and Elliot Smith, and this listener doesn't disagree. In most cases, releasing a record laced with sounds that call upon these types of heavy-hitters would be dangerous, but there are many instances on the album during which Lynch makes it work. "Retrospectively Speaking" and "It's a Fine Line" are highly melodic, instantly memorable cuts, for example. I'd imagine these types of songs will sound particularly convincing in a live setting.
In addition to his performance at Sylvie's, Lynch will be interviewed at 2 p.m. on Chicago Acoustic Underground.