Faronheit | A Chicago Centric Music Blog

The hottest music from Chicago & beyond

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 9-27-18

Can’t believe we’re wrapping up September already. Feels like the month just started! Somebody get ready to wake up Billie Joe Armstrong. Ugh, I despise that joke more every year. Okay, let’s get into the music today, which is quite good and includes highlights from BADBADNOTGOOD (ft. Little Dragon, Gabby’s World (fka Eskimeaux), and Molly Burch. You’ll find even more music to love after the jump, including tracks from Anna St. Louis, CLAVVS, D33J (ft. AJ Tracey & Sloan Evans), Henry Jamison, Juicy J (ft. Travis Scott), Les Big Byrd, LOWFi, Roosevelt, and Rose Droll.

BADBADNOTGOOD – Tired (ft. Little Dragon)

Gabby’s World – Winter, Withdraw

Molly Burch – Candy

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 9-25-18

Really, really like all of the tracks in today’s Pick Your Poison. The highlighted tracks from Azure Ray, Empress Of, and Westerman are only the beginning. Journey beyond the jump for more music from Ah! Kosmos, Cursive, Erika Spring, Jonathan Rice, Native Sun, Pizzagirl, Public Practice, slenderbodies, and Sora.

Azure Ray – Palindrome

Empress Of – Love For Me

Westerman – Albatross

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 9-24-18

Jump right into today’s extended edition of Pick Your Poison and enjoy download highlights from Andrew Rinehart, The Chairman Dances, Shmu, and Wet Ashes. Click onward and into the Soundcloud section for streaming tracks from Alice Merton, Chali 2na, Chase McBride, Jessie Reyez, Kramies (ft. Jason Lytle), LOVE SICK, Loyal Lobos, Noah Kahan, Prince Fox, QUIX (ft. Jaden Michaels), and Yung Pinch.

AKA Block & Rawso – 90’s Baby

Andrew Rinehart – Interdimensional Nonconversational Inconsequential Love

Babe Terror – Computer

The Chairman Dances – Acme Parking Garage

Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again (Rhythm Scholar Perpetual Euphoria Remix)

One Joe x Okey Szoke – Kaana kameme (ft. DJ Kleva Kaslam)

Shmu – Lead Me to the Glow

Wet Ashes – Disowned

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 9-20-18

As Minus the Bear winds down with one final tour before going their separate ways, they’re putting out an EP with a few new songs. You can hear one of them below, as well as fresh material from DAWN and Chicago’s own Open Mike Eagle. There’s plenty more where that came from, and after the jump you’ll find tracks from &ME, BC Kingdom, Chris Garneau (ft. Shannon Funchess), Dj Overule x Mello, Eelke Kleijn, Famous Dex (ft. Lil Baby, Jay Critch, and Rich The Kid), Intertwine, Vessel, and Yoshinori Hayashi.

DAWN – Dreamer

Minus the Bear – Viaduct

Open Mike Eagle – Relatable (peak OME)

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 9-18-18

Let’s keep this week rolling along with some white hot new tracks from Cloud Nothings, Connan Mockasin, and Roosevelt. Tumble past the jump for more music from the likes of Celer, Dahlia Sleeps, Daniel Brandt, Jesse Jo Stark, Komplement, MUNYA, Mythologen, Rich Jones, and Robert Robert.

Cloud Nothings – Leave Him Now

Connan Mockasin – Charlotte’s Thong

Roosevelt – Shadows

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 9-17-18

Following Father John Misty’s epic performance at Riot Fest last weekend, I’m happy to share a song from him that was recorded live at Third Man Records earlier this year. Other Pick Your Poison highlights come from electronic musician Clark as well as an epic team-up between Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, and Kodak Black. Looking for more? There’s plenty beyond the jump, including songs from Brieuc & Gregor Potter, Evalyn, EXES, FBG Duck, LouGotCash (ft. Trippie Redd), Narcy (ft. Mashrou Leila), Prismo, Smith & Mighty, and Yoe Mase.

Clark – Harpsichord E.C.S.T.

Father John Misty – So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain (Live at Third Man Records)

Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, Kodak Black – Wake Up In The Sky

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Show Preview: Natalie Prass + Stella Donnelly at Lincoln Hall [9/19]


One of the primary purposes of this site is to expose you to new and rising artists from around the globe, which is why I feel just a little bit terrible for not bringing Stella Donnelly to your attention sooner. Donnelly’s debut EP Thrush Metal was released to critical acclaim in the spring of 2017 and even won the inaugural Levis Music Prize, which is awarded to emerging Australian artists poised for success on an international level. Recent winners have included Alex Lahey, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and Hatchie, all of whom have been featured in some capacity on this site in the past year. But for whatever reason, Donnelly has been a bit of a blind spot here on the site and to a degree in the U.S. Thankfully Secretly Canadian reissued Thrush Metal this past June for American audiences, and she’s now on tour with Natalie Prass that includes a stop at Lincoln Hall on Wednesday, September 19th. More details on that below.

You may be curious as to what Stella Donnelly is all about and why she’s been attracting attention. The short answer is her razor sharp lyrics and ability to craft a memorable hook. Take her EP opener “Mechanical Bull” as an example. From a purely instrumental perspective it’s a gentle, acoustic folk song, but her words tell an entirely different story as she rips into the sexist and overly aggressive guys who have harassed her over the years. “I’ll be your darling, tits, legs, honey, sweet pea,” she says, listing off some of the catcalls men have said to her. “But I’m a fucking arsehole if you ask me,” she immediately cuts back. Even more powerful is the memorable chorus of “I need to be alone / You’ve been at my throat,” where her vocal inflection goes from calm and measured at the start of the song to frustrated and angry by the end. Powerful stuff.

Equally powerful is “Boys Will Be Boys,” which addresses rape culture and how women are often blamed or feel guilty when they are sexually assaulted. “Why was she all alone, wearing her shirt that low? / They said ‘Boys will be boys,’ deaf to the word ‘no’,” Donnelly mourns in the chorus. There’s a personal side to this song as well, as she directly addresses a man responsible for raping one of her friends and vows to “never let you [him] rest.” That line may read like a threat, but the eerily restrained way she sings it, with all the gentleness of an acoustic lullaby, turns it into something truly terrifying.

The remainder of Thrush Metal focuses on the destructive power of toxic relationships, from the spread of negativity and carelessness (“Mean to Me”) to the confusion and stifled growth caused by a lack of communication (“Grey”) to the regret and heartache that results from two strong personalities trying and failing to make things work (“A Poem”). When they’re all put together it might seem sad and depressing on the surface, but the actual listening experience is rich, rewarding, and unforgettable. The dark subject matter is inventively paired with beautiful melodies and addictive hooks that draw you in, make you feel seen, then offer comfort and strength. These songs are worth your time and effort to seek out, and they’re what make Stella Donnelly a force of musical nature worth paying attention to.

So yeah, Donnelly is opening for Natalie Prass at Lincoln Hall, who has her own amazingly great music to play as well. Prass’s 2015 self-titled debut helped establish her as an immensely talented artist with a sound that balanced baroque pop and soul into songs that were as catchy as they were gorgeous. There’s an incredible sweetness and optimism that seeps through her voice as buoyant melodies swell up around it, even as she tackles tough topics about heartbreak and misunderstandings in relationships. Her new record The Future and the Past shifts things in a bit of a different direction, paring back some of the strings from her debut and focusing instead on funky grooves provided by the bass guitar and synth. You can dance to more of these songs, but they’re also a bit darker in their overall subject matter.

In some ways the record is a response to the Trump administration, though it’s more about the issues than the President himself. For example, “Sisters” is all about gender solidarity in the face of a wage gap, bad relationships, and generally being regarded by society as “less than” men. “Ain’t Nobody” goes to bat for reproductive rights, while “Ship Goes Down” addresses the shock of watching your country head down an unexpected and negative path. But there’s some fun stuff on the record too, like the super catchy love song “Short Court Style” and the hopeful “we’re in this together” vibes of “Hot for the Mountain”. Overall it’s been heartening to watch Prass grow as an artist and songwriter, and I can’t recommend her records enough. Wednesday night at Lincoln Hall promises to be something special, so come on out Chicago!

Natalie Prass / Stella Donnelly
Buy Tickets
Wednesday, September 19th
8PM / $15 (advance), $17 (doors) / 18+

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 9-13-18

Riot Fest 2018 kicks off tomorrow, and while I won’t have full coverage for you here on the site, I will be live tweeting the experience as best as I’m able. Also I’ve got a wedding to attend on Friday night that will cause me to miss the last few hours of the day, but it should be a fun experience nevertheless. Prior to yet another long weekend of music festival fun, here’s another collection of Pick Your Poison tracks for you to enjoy. Highlights today come from Grapetooth, Lennon Stella, and Rosie Carney (ft. Lisa Hannigan). Plenty of sonic diversity there, and even more after the jump, where you can also hear songs from Cyrus Reynolds (ft. S. Carey), D33J (ft. Deb Never and Shlohmo), David Nance Group, The Neighbourhood (ft. Nipsey Hussle), Olivia O’Brien, Phil Good, Royal Teeth, Yoko Ono, and Young Franco (ft. Maribelle).

Grapetooth – Red Wine

Lennon Stella – Bad

Rosie Carney – Thousand (ft. Lisa Hannigan)

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 9-11-18

Leading the charge in today’s Pick Your Poison is a new track from Au Revoir Simone’s Erika Spring. There are also two great songs from pronoun and Spirit of the Beehive to enrich your listening experience. Keep going beyond the jump and you’ll discover more music from Bruce, Dillon Francis (ft. Lao Ra), G-Eazy, Moaning Lisa, Nick Klein, PINES, Stove, TSVI, and Wildhoney.

Erika Spring – Scars

pronoun – wrong

Spirit of the Beehive – Hypnic Jerks

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 9-10-18

An extended edition of Pick Your Poison has plenty to offer on this Monday, including critical downloads from Big Fresh, The J.O.B., Smoota, and The Wheel Workers. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, you’ll find audio streams from Bad Sports, BRKLYN & Zack Martino, Clark, HOLYCHILD, Kanye West & Lil Pump, Lala Lala, Noah & Shagabond, The O’My’s (ft. Chance the Rapper), Sandro Perri (ft. Dan Bejar), Strange Planes, Supersilent, and more.

Abraham Brody – In the Dream

Big Fresh – Hottie Tottie

Bored Housewives Club – Zooey Deschanel

The J.O.B. – Lisa’s Song

Lui Peng – On My Mind

paris_monster – Moles

Smoota – Ballbuster

The Wheel Workers – White Lies

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Show Review: Car Seat Headrest [Riviera Theatre; Chicago; 9/7/18]


There’s something different about Will Toledo these days. It’s not so much a look as it is a feeling. He seems freer, happier, and more energized on stage than he ever has before – or at least compared to the couple of other times I’ve seen Car Seat Headrest perform. And while there are any number of reasons why this might be the case, my sneaking suspicion has to do with Naked Giants. Specifically, their presence as openers and additional members of Car Seat Headrest has shifted dynamics in a very exciting direction.

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 9-6-18

It’s felt like a shorter week than usual thanks to Labor Day, and having a whole bunch of great new songs to listen to doesn’t hurt either. Today’s Pick Your Poison highlights come from Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Jessie Reyez, and Ryan Hemsworth (ft. SK & Tomggg). Maneuver your way past the jump and you’ll find even more music from BRUX, duendita, FINNEAS, Golda, Llovers, Logic, No/Me, Sure Sure, and Yung Pinch.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano – Golden Wings (Chamber Arrangement)

Jessie Reyez – F*** Being Friends

Ryan Hemsworth – Special Girl (ft. SK & Tomggg)

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 9-5-18

Today’s Pick Your Poison is jam packed with goodness, so join me in listening, won’t you? The highlights today include fresh tracks from Cursive, Marissa Nadler (ft. Sharon Van Etten), and Roosevelt. Portal through the jump and you’ll find even more songs from Anna St. Louis, Cafe Disko (ft. Aeswaves), Donnie Raven (ft. Elzhi), Future Generations, The Marias, RUFUS DU SOL, slenderbodies (covering Britney Spears), Stephen Steinbrink, and Xie.

Cursive – Under the Rainbow

Marissa Nadler – I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore (ft. Sharon Van Etten)

Roosevelt – Getaway

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 9-4-18

One of my absolute favorite new bands of 2018 is Barrie, who have been on a roll with two white hot synth-pop gems so far this year. Today we get the third, which you can check out below. Other highlights in this set come from NONONO and the retro-soul throwback of Skylar Spence. Swerve past the jump for even more music from The Band of Heathens (covering a John Denver classic), David Allred, Future Jr., Jayceeoh & GRVYRDS, Krafty Kuts & Dynamite MC, Mike Edel, MNEK, Pastel Ghost, and Yung Pinch.

Barrie – Michigan

NONONO – Dancing (Mumbai Wedding)

Skylar Spence – Cry Wolf

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 8-30-18

It’s always a good day when you can share a new track from Chicago’s own Kweku Collins, and as a bonus you can also find music from Quinn XCII and RYAN Playground (ft. Lontalius) among today’s highlights. Even more songs await following the jump, including fresh cuts from Bear Grillz, Bliss Signal, Clew Rock and Custom Made, deM atlaS, Human People, Mike Simonetti, NAVVI, Sarah Chernoff, and Thomas Fehlmann.

Kweku Collins – ET

Quinn XCII – Panama

RYAN Playground – Empty Pool (ft. Lontalius)

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