Faronheit | A Chicago Centric Music Blog

The hottest music from Chicago & beyond

Author: Faronheit (Page 1 of 141)

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 6-15-17

The retro futurism of Skylar Spence combines with the electronica of The Knocks to form Amelia Airhorn, which is about as fun and danceable as you might suspect. “NY Is Red Hot” has all the feeling and heart of a classic disco song, with some modern sampling and effects to prime that pump and do something fresh. It’s a little difficult to describe the new Keep Shelly in Athens track “Leave In Silence,” and that’s a good thing. It takes synth-pop and adds a few experimental tweaks for some dramatic weight. Then there’s the new one from band to watch Sleeping Bag, who dive straight into the post-punk pool and go for a quick sonic swim. “Doin’ It Alone” may not last longer than two minutes, but it accomplishes everything it sets out to do. Other songs in this set come from A$AP Ferg (x2!), Cardiknox, Drop the Gun, Exit Someone, Oly, People Like You and more!

Amelia Airhorn – NY Is Red Hot

Keep Shelly in Athens – Leave In Silence

Sleeping Bag – Doin’ It Alone

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 6-14-17

Oh wow, this is a great set of music for your mid-week blues. Amy O’s “Sunday Meal” is a complete delight, moving from a somewhat quiet and serene ballad into a fun little ball of energy in just over two minutes. If you’re a fan of beautiful piano ballads, Gordi’s latest single will hit you right in the feelings. She’s got a new album Reservoir out at the end of August that’s going to be one to keep an eye (and ear) out for. Those in search of some interesting electronica might do well to check out the new track from Makeness, which somehow manages to feel energized yet restrained. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart also continue to evolve their sound by exploring some ’80s-style synth pop with a bit of modern flair on “When I Dance With You”. Other artists in this set include A$AP Ferg (x2!), Mumdance & Logos, Otzeki, Pink Frost, Viceroy (ft. Tom Aspaul), Yoko Ono, along with a solid Hercules & Love Affair remix of a Sharon Van Etten track.

Amy O – Sunday Meal

Gordi – Heaven I Know

Makeness – Micro Boss

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – When I Dance With You

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 6-13-17

In terms of modern R&B artists, I think one of the main reasons why 6LACK is starting to get lots of attention from fans of the genre is because he’s demonstrated a unique ability to occupy the creative space between Frank Ocean and Jeremih. That impressive dynamic continues on new track “That Far,” which is magnetically compelling. Fascinating, to me at least, is Diet Cig’s new song “Together We Can Conquer Whatever,” which takes the pop-punk band’s sound and softens it up a bit. They just put out an album a couple months back, but this is a one-off track they contributed to the soundtrack of an Amazon original special American Girl: Summer Camp, which might explain the sense of child-like wonder that radiates from it. It’s kind of an odd choice to have a band named Diet Cig do a song for a children’s film, but when it works, it works. Also making it work is Kyle Bent on his new track “Just A Little Bit”. It’s a solid rap track that lands somewhere in the neighborhood of Future and D.R.A.M., so if you like them then you’ll probably like this. Other artists in this set include The Aces, alxxa, Blondage, Cam Maclean, EMBRZ, Jayaire Woods, Minke, Thea & The Wild, and Wingtip (ft. Delacey).

6LACK – That Far

Diet Cig – Together We Can Conquer Whatever

Kyle Bent – Just A Little Bit

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 6-12-17

We’re in the middle of a heat wave in Chicago, so maybe stay indoors and blast some AC along with some fresh tunes. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Air Traffic Controller, Allie & Ivy, Chase City and Nathan Oliver, among others. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Count Counsellor, Great Grandpa, Hater, Jesse (of Pure X), Living Colour, Lost Balloons, Michael Nau, Nyck @ Knight, Paris Lain, The Pollyseeds, Punctual and Robotaki (ft. Claire Ridgely).

Adam TK – V3

Air Traffic Controller – It’s You

Allie & Ivy – Money

Chase City – A-N-X-T

Fawns of Love – Falling

The Human Circuit – Juxtaposition

Mija – Time Stops

Nathan Oliver – Sing Blue Silver

Stop Light Observations – Dinosaur Bones

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 6-8-17

Get your psych-pop on with another characteristically odd yet catchy song from Ariel Pink at the top of this set. It’s sure to prepare you well for “Another Weekend” (sigh, I know). You may be familiar with Jack Cooper from his band Ultimate Painting, but he’s venturing out for his debut solo album Sandgrown, which will be out at the end of August. You can hear a pretty chill yet lovely track from it below, following in the tradition of many other singer-songwriters before him. Thee Oh Sees have been around for quite awhile now, but with their next record they’re making a change. Specifically, the “Thee” has been chopped off to leave just Oh Sees. Good thing they haven’t lost any of their edge, as “The Static God” absolutely destroys. And then there’s Chicago’s own Twin Peaks, back with a new track as part of a “Sweet ’17 Single Series”. It’s a nicely fuzzed out jam that may not be their loudest or catchiest, but still very nice for your summer playlist. Other tracks in this set come from Action Bronson & Big Body Bes, B Boys, Nidia, Peaking Lights, Pierce, Secret Colours, Slotface and Tyga (ft. Vince Staples).

Ariel Pink – Another Weekend

Jack Cooper – North of Anywhere

Oh Sees – The Static God

Twin Peaks – Tossing Tears

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 6-7-17

If we’re lucky enough, maybe there will be so much new music released this summer that Pick Your Poison can sustain extended editions with downloads twice each week instead of once! Time will tell, but in the meantime, there’s plenty to go around. I’ll wholeheartedly recommend tracks in this set from ANA ANA, Beta Days, Impuritees and Jelly Ellington. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Andrew Applepie (ft. Bjurman), Ashe, Barns Courtney, BLESSED, Bok Bok, The Dears, Doldrums, Jordan Rakei, Noise Cans (ft. Jesse Royal), Tora, Twinsmith and Umm.

ANA ANA – You Got Me

Beta Days – Agendas

Big Fresh – Like Swayze (ft. Michelle Hollis)

Dan Raza – Pay Day

David W. Halsell – Ionosphere and Guidance

Impuritees – Acceptance

Jelly Ellington – Sunset

Klangstof – Hostage (Shallou Remix)

The Outros – Face the Evil

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 6-6-17

The line between pop and R&B continues to be blurred with EXES’ “Cain,” a song that evokes feelings of Lana Del Rey or The xx filtered through Frank Ocean. It’s lovely and sweeping and minimalist while firmly planting its tender hooks into your ears. If you’re a fan of glitchy electro-pop, the latest from FEMME will satisfy quite nicely, as it bounces and loops with recklessly joyful abandon. Instrumental tracks don’t show up on Pick Your Poison playlists too often (not purposely, I assure you), but Mikey Young’s “Walking For Pleasure” is an offbeat delight, taking synths and other electronic elements into an almost sci-fi or outer space type of atmosphere. Then there’s EDM artist RL Grime, who teams up with Miguel for a new single, which basically blends airy beats and drops with R&B flair. Other artists in this set include Gramatik & Eric Krasno, Jaymes Young, Lunice, NOTS, Sleep Party People, Tall Friend, Todd Terje (ft. Det Gylne Triangel) and more!

EXES – Cain

FEMME – Fire With Me

Mikey Young – Walking For Pleasure

RL Grime – Stay For It (ft. Miguel)

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 6-5-17

Oof, I’ve had a wild weekend of fun that’s spilling over into Monday, and I’m feeling a little worn down today as a result. Having your mind blown by Sigur Ros and then reveling in the communal joy that is a U2 show can really take a lot out of you. But I’m ready to spend some time with Phoenix tonight, which should be another celebration that’ll have me cursing Tuesday morning. Anyways, enjoy the great stuff loaded into today’s Pick Your Poison, which includes downloads from Fronds, Kazyak, Parker Longbough and Sebastian Blanck (ft. Hannah Cohen). In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Amelia Airhorn (The Knocks + Skylar Spence), Bok Bok, Front Porch Lights, Gundelach, Jay Prince (ft. Shakka), Katie Von Schleicher, Luna (covering Fleetwood Mac), matt pond PA, Misty Coast, Partner, Simian Ghost, and Slow Skies.

Cola – Numb (LeMove Remix)

Flagship Romance – Growing Up So Fast

Fronds – Pacific

John Elderkind and ¡Moonbeams No Mas! – We Waited Five Years

Kazyak – Sacred Cow

Ooberfuse – Greater Love

Parker Longbough – Hall Pass

Sailor Winters – Order of DAB

Sebastian Blanck – Convince Me (ft. Hannah Cohen)

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 6-1-17

There’s warmth radiating out of Anna of the North’s new song “Lovers,” even as its synths tend to take on an almost icy distance. It’s her vocals that really re-center it, I think, in the most lovely and sensual way. Speaking of lovely and sensual, Mutual Benefit are doing more of what they do best, which is stunningly gorgeous folk music. They’re taking on a full album cover of Vashti Bunyan’s 1970 classic Just Another Diamond Day, and you can get a sample via “Jog Along Bess” below. A little more upbeat and catchy is the new single from synth-pop scenesters VHS Collection, which might make a nice addition to your summer playlist. Other tracks in this set come from Beauty Sleep, Cousin Stizz (ft. G-Eazy), Gang of Youths, Institute, Novo Amor, SahBabil, Shanti Celeste, Tora and more!

Anna of the North – Lovers

Mutual Benefit – Jog Along Bess (Vashti Bunyan cover)

VHS Collection – So I Met Someone

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 5-31-17

It’s a special “end of May” extended edition of Pick Your Poison today, complete with a whole bunch of bonus downloads for your listening pleasure. Might I recommend tracks from Alex Bent + the Emptiness, Foxholes, Henke Wermelin & His New Love and She Makes War. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Active Child, Chelsea Cutler, Diamond Thug, Justin Cudmore, Litany, Luna Shadows, Mabel, Milburn, Single Mothers, TOPS and more!

Alex Bent + the Emptiness – Vanilla Blue

BUHU – La Truth

Fallow Land – Faux

Foxholes – Different Kind of Animal

Henke Wermelin & His New Love – I’m A Mess

Ikonika – Riposte

Jelly Ellington – New Day

Kevin Courtois – I Needed You

She Makes War – I Want My Country Back

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 5-30-17

Last weekend saw the revival of the campy Baywatch TV show, now turned into a film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron. Reviews were…not kind. Neither were moviegoers, as its abysmal performance at the box office would appear to indicate. But that’s no reason to associate the word Baywatch with bad things. The same could be said for Guantanamo. See, the band Guantanamo Baywatch makes some quality garage rock that’s far better than the other things associated with their name might imply. Also really liking the bouncy and hazy R&B groove established by Lion Babe’s latest single “Hit the Ceiling,” as well as the dynamic power punk of Pet Symmetry’s “LTCTLYB”. Other artists with tracks in this set include Alex Lustig (ft. Akacia & OnCue), Forever, G-Eazy (ft. Snoop Dogg), Jabu, Jakob Ogawa (ft. Clairo), JMR, Makeness, The Polyseeds (ft. Chachi), and Chicago’s own Secret Colours.

Guantanamo Baywatch – Video

Lion Babe – Hit the Ceiling

Pet Symmetry – LTCTLYB

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 5-29-17

Happy Memorial Day! You may have the day off of work, but that doesn’t mean the music stops. In fact, you may want to turn it up with a fresh set of downloads including tracks from Beta Days, Big Fresh (ft. Robert Schneider), Cool American and The Solars. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Adam Pearce & Miles Away, Coast Modern, Crumb, Dasher, Death Grips, Desert, Downtown Boys, Felix Hagan & The Family, Katie Ellen, Marnik & Miami Blue (ft. Marano), Swet Shop Boys and more!

Beta Days – Settled For Gold

Betty Moon – Sound (Ganberg Remix)

Big Fresh – Paralyzed (ft. Robert Schneider)

Clyde Kelly – Level Up

Cool American – Maui’s

Drake – Passionfruit (Yaeji Rework)

Heem Stogied x Ol Man 80zz – Unorthodox Flow

Quantum Keys – Back With Me

The Solars – Old K.B.

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Tuned In: Jena Friedman

photo by David Szymanski
Tuned In is a feature in which special guests from the world of pop culture share a playlist of songs based on a topic or theme of their choice.

Jena Friedman is the definition of a multi-hyphenate. She’s been a field producer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a correspondent for National Geographic Explorer. She’s written for The Late Show with David Letterman, and is currently hard at work on her first film Serial Dater, starring Imogen Poots and John Cho. She wrote and is directing that one. So yeah, you could say that she’s got a lot of talents, and has been putting them all to good use. It’s left her plate very full, yet you might not know it because she’s not in front of the camera that often.

On a personal level, I found out about Jena Friedman a few years back via her stand-up comedy. She is tremendously funny and possesses that rare quality of being able to make you laugh about some of the darkest and most challenging topics facing our world today. Her recent, pre-election stand-up special American Cunt dives headfirst into politics, feminism, abortion, guns and religion without losing sight of our shared humanity no matter what your personal opinions might be.

After getting her start in comedy here in Chicago more than a decade ago, Jena Friedman is coming back to town next Friday, June 2nd for a set at her old stomping grounds, The Hideout. It is part of the Onion/A.V. Club’s 4th Annual “26th Annual Comedy Festival,” and promises to be a hilarious late night of stand-up with plenty of whip-smart insight about the pitch black turn our world has taken in recent months.

Jena Friedman
Friday, June 2nd at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.)
10:30 PM / $15 / 21+
Buy Tickets

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 5-25-17

Memorial Day weekend is dead ahead, and Pick Your Poison is here to supply a fresh batch of tunes to keep your BBQ going strong. There’s something utterly compelling about Children of Pop’s new song “Poids” that defies easy explanation. It skitters and scrapes along at an almost minimalist level with vocals that barely rise above exhaustion, yet you don’t really want to turn it off or ignore it. DAWN continues her streak of spectacular R&B with an emotional yet soaring unreleased track. Chicago’s own Pink Frost return after a short break, and it’s clear things have changed in a big way for them, particularly since the light, semi-psychedelic acoustic guitar strums and piano combination is a far cry from the intense, loud and not-very-radio-friendly noise rock/drones of their earlier work. I mean, they had softened up a bit on their last album in 2013, but this is almost completely defanged. But it’s still pretty great, and I’ll happily recommend that you give it a shot. Other tracks in this set come from ALASKALASKA, Allure, Braqueberry, David Nance, DonMonique, Elysia Crampton, French Horn Rebellion, SAM F (ft. JVZEL) and Wafia.

Children of Pop – Poids

DAWN – Break Me

Pink Frost – Avian

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 5-24-17

There’s something about “If Before I Wake,” the new song from The Districts, that feels like a gritty mixture of Interpol and Joy Division. Granted the vocals are largely responsible for that comparison, but there’s also some gripping aesthetics at play as it charges forward, like a man walking against high winds during a storm. Much more mellow and heartfelt is the slowed down, acoustic version that Maggie Rogers put together for her hit single “Alaska”. It makes a good case for the original version, which is not to say this acoustic one is bad, just so different that you understand better why the final record version earned her so many fans. If you prefer dreamy songs with a heavy synth component, I’ll also recommend the gorgeous new one from Sleep Party People. Other artists in this set include Amine (ft. Missy Elliott & AJ Tracey), Love Theme, Madou, Marnie, T-Pain & Lil Wayne, Xan Griffin (ft. WILD) and a whole bunch of remixes.

The Districts – If Before I Wake

Maggie Rogers – Alaska (Acoustic)

Sleep Party People – The Sun Will Open Its Core

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