By Andrew Hertzberg
The Top 5 Albums I Didn't Write About This Year:
I know we’re technically a rock blog, but this one has probably had the heaviest rotation for me the past couple months. Unfortunately now disbanded, BBU’s hyper-politically-conscious hip-hop adds a much needed passion to a genre currently getting negative press for correlating drill with massive wave of violence that perpetually haunts this city (not to mention rising). Doesn’t hurt they made it sound good at the same time. (download the album from Bandcamp here)
Chandeliers - Founding Fathers (Captcha)
While EDM has become ubiquitous and pestering, it’s good to know there are still bands like Chandeliers out there who actually make thoughtful and captivating electronic music. The all-analog band has created a textured album that reveals a new layer with every listen. Make sure to catch 'em at the Hideout on New Years Eve.
Trouble in Mind)
For such an ominous title and beaten-down lyrics, it’s hard to find a deceitfully warmer sound in Chicago this year than Hollows' lead track "V Is for Vulture." While the band may have made their name off the girl-group sound, the album owes more to early 2000s indie-pop: quick hooks, grandiose ideas, and wondrous harmonies.
If you can follow along the time signatures on Paper Mice's newest, you’re a better listener than I. The post-post-punk trio continues to create highly demanding math-rock, that blurs the fine line between melody and dissonance.
While there’s no doubt that Chicago is filled with great garage- and psychedelic-inspired bands, Radar Eyes has managed to come out on top. It’s hard to fully grasp the energy of a live show on record, but these guys have managed to do just that.
Angel Olsen – Halfway Home
The Canoes – Slim Century
Chance the Rapper - 10 Day
Health and Beauty – Wintermagic
Kids These Days – Traphouse Rock
Mutts – Separation Anxiety
Netherfriends – Middle America
The-Drum – Sense Net EP
Videotape – This Is Disconnect
Volcano! – Pinata