Faronheit | A Chicago Centric Music Blog

The hottest music from Chicago & beyond

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 1-22-19

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about G Flip, and if you’re not already familiar with her music just click Play on the track below. There’s also fresh tracks from Logic and Teen Daze at the top today, for your listening pleasure. Beyond that, there’s plenty more after the jump, including songs from Balthazar, Drax Project (ft. Hailee Steinfeld), Grim Streaker, Launder, Maxo, Pat Lok & Party Pupils (ft. Dances With White Girls), The Skints, Sofi Tukker & ZHU, and Superheart.

G Flip – Drink Too Much

Logic – Keanu Reeves

Teen Daze – Spring

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 1-21-19

Pleased to share another extended edition of Pick Your Poison with you on this ice cold January Monday. Here’s hoping these songs make your life a little more bearable. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Jane Frank, Jason Mato, Running Red Lights, and Young Hunting. In the Soundcloud section after the jump you’ll find audio streams from talents such as Be Forest, C Duncan, Clear Soul Forces, FRENSHIP (ft. Yoke Lore), HEALTH, Henry Jamison, Little Simz (ft. Cleo Sol), Pinch (ft. Lil Skies), Spielbergs, Weval, Yaeger, and Zeds Dead x Delta Heavy.

93PUNX – Zombie (The Cranberries cover)

Jane Frank – Practical Jackets

Jason Matu – I Don’t Wanna Do It

J Hacha De Zola – On A Saturday

Running Red Lights – Calls of Prudence

Sex People – Like A Queen

Victor Mariachi – Super Humans (La Raza)

Young Hunting – Crimes

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 1-17-19

Make a new music discovery today through this wonderful piece of magic known as Pick Your Poison. Leading things off in this set are songs from Justus Proffit, Low Life, and Mdou Moctar, three talents you should be excited about. There’s even more good stuff after the jump, including tracks from Astrid, Bendik Giske, Daniel Thorne, Leon Vynehall, Light Conductor, Malihini, Ohtis, Rudolf C, and more!

Justus Proffit – Painted In The Sound

Low Life – The Pitts

Mdou Moctar – Kamane Tarhanin

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 1-15-19

One of my favorite things about Pick Your Poison is the diversity of the music being presented. There’s a reason why EDM is paired alongside bands alongside rap alongside country, etc. The main goal is to challenge your perceptions and explore without the confinement of genre. So yeah, you’re seeing Gesaffelstein paired with Lafawndah and Welshly Arms in a 1-2-3 combo you won’t find anywhere else. You might also be interested in the songs after the jump, including ones from Business of Dreams, Jennah Bell, Jerry Williams, k?d, Object Blue, Picture This, Vok, WAVEDASH, and Wintersleep.

Gesaffelstein – Lost in the Fire

Lafawndah – Daddy

Welshly Arms – Learn to Let Go

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 1-14-19

Leading off today’s edition of Pick Your Poison are three tracks from three exceptionally talented artists: Big Wild, Rosie Carney, and Ten Fe. You may not know all (or any) of their names now, but hopefully that will change in the future. Keep going past the jump to discover even more new music from Amaal, Good Shade, Grey (ft. LEON), Hot Dreams, Kemba, The Motet, Pink Orange Red, Protovulcan, and ViVii.

Big Wild – City of Sound

Rosie Carney – Your Love Is Holy

Ten Fé – Coasting

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Tuned In: Jen Kirkman

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.

Jen Kirkman is not only one of my favorite comedians, but also one of my favorite people. If for some reason you’re not familiar with her stand-up, she’s got two fantastic and hilarious specials available on Netflix called Just Keep Livin’? and I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine). You can also find them on your favorite audio streaming or download service (Spotify, Amazon, Apple) if that’s your preference. Let those serve as an introduction to her unique perspective and a way to inject some much-needed laughter into your life.

In addition to consistently crafting new stand-up material and touring around it, Jen Kirkman has written two very funny and very smart books that made the NY Times bestseller list, has a weekly podcast talking about her life and things happening in the world, spends time writing for the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Amazon show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and maintains a strong, bullshit-free social media presence. She’s so hard-working and multi-talented there are definitely other things I’m forgetting too (talk show appearances, Drunk History segments, etc.), so the best way to keep track of everything is by joining her email newsletter.

There’s also Kirkman’s taste in music, which is as delightful and whip-smart as her comedy. She’s gotten downright poetic in the past when talking about the brilliance of David Bowie, Prince, and Morrissey, among others, and has often cited Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” as her go-to karaoke song. It’s no surprise then that she puts a tremendous amount of care into crafting a pre-show playlist for her tour dates. Here are ten fantastic songs she’s selected that help put her in the right frame of mind before a show. You just might hear some of these before her set at Thalia Hall on Thursday, January 17th. It promises to be a great night kicking off her extensive tour for 2019 with plenty of laughs and brand new material. Plus, she’ll be signing books after. Buy tickets in advance now, because there’s a very good chance this show will sell out!

Jen Kirkman
Thursday, January 17th at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport St.)
8PM / $26 / 17+
Buy Tickets

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 1-9-19

It’s a somewhat slow start to the year, but I promise to share as much new music as I can at the speed in which it hits my inbox. Which is why I’m pleased to offer up some fun highlights today from Elohim, Halsey (ft. Juice WRLD), and Tourist. Motivate yourself to get past the jump where there’s more music waiting for you from Balms, Balthazar, Driver Friendly, ILEONE (ft. Dax), Royal Canoe, Ryan Dugre, Youth Team, plus a couple of interesting remixes.

Elohim – Buckets

Halsey – Without Me (ft. Juice WRLD)

Tourist – Emily

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 1-7-19

::Cracks knuckles:: ::stretches:: ::yawns:: Ohhh hey, we’re back! Welcome to 2019, and all of the greatness a fresh year can provide! I’m more than pleased to kick off the year with an extended edition of Pick Your Poison, which is just a roundabout way of saying you get song downloads AND streams in one gigantic mixtape of sorts. Let’s get started with mp3s from Autechre, Blake Banks, Memory Keepers (covering Brian Eno), and Young Hunting. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, you can stream more songs from Black Pistol Fire, Craig Brown Band, Good Gas (ft. 0k.Caash, G.U.N & FKi 1st), Jhené Aiko, Manics, Mark Diamond, MIKE, Miss Grit, Spielbergs, Valee (ft. DRAM), Yoste, and Young & Sick.

BVFFF – Where Did We Go Wrong/a>

Autechre – sinistrail sentinel

Blake Banks – The Magician

Joey Walker – On Top

Memory Keepers – Third Uncle (Brian Eno cover)

Sail By Summer – Facing Dullness

The Waitress – Somebody Mentioned Christmas

Young Hunting – Every Living Thing

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The Top 50 Albums of 2018

Time to close out 2018 on a high note. While it’s been a pretty rough year overall for a number of different reasons, I’d like to think this was one of the better years in recent memory for quality music. There’s been a really rich array of artists coming into their own by exploring new ideas and sonic territories, while some of the “old guard” either took a break or released material that might best be regarded as sub par. It’s been a thrill watching brilliant songwriters like Mitski and Janelle Monae hit new career highs in terms of acclaim and popularity, while Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, Noname, Cardi B, and Kali Uchis all came out with strong debut albums that fulfilled their early promise. If you didn’t find a whole lot of new music to love this year, you weren’t looking hard enough. Maybe this list of Top 50 Albums can help! My sincerest hope is that you discover at least one new artist or record below that you hadn’t heard of or listened to before today, but even if you don’t, feel free to hand write me letters about how wrong these rankings are and all the great albums I somehow “missed” this year. Seriously though, I do love your feedback, so feel free to comment, email, or use the old social media to get in touch and share your thoughts! Oh, and before I forget, here’s some other year-end list things you might want to check out:

Honorable Mention: Albums and Songs
The Top 50 Songs of 2018
The Top 10 EPs of 2018

Drumroll please…
Faronheit’s Top 50 Albums of 2018 are:

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The Top 50 Songs of 2018

There were a lot of really great songs released in 2018. Actually, there are a lot of great songs released in any given year, and definitely more than a list of 50 can fully contain. But I’ve got to try anyway. The 50 songs in the list below feel like a relatively comprehensive chronicle of what it was like living through 2018, though I suppose if it were truly accurate there’d be a lot more depressing shit that’d turn most people off. Overall I’d say this is a strong balance of mood, tempo, style, and genre I sincerely hope will leave you feeling satisfied. The most fascinating thing to me about this year’s list is that the top two songs are not currently part of any full-length album. As for the unofficial “rules” behind the selections for the Top 50 Songs, there are only two: the song must have been officially released by an artist or band in 2018, and no artist is allowed to be featured more than once (for diversity’s sake). While there are audio streams and in some cases videos to accompany each song (apologies for the couple of live videos, as album versions were unavailable), you can also stream the entire list (minus one song) via the Spotify embed at the bottom of this post, or by going to this link. Please enjoy these Top 50 Songs of 2018, and feel free to share your favorites in the comments or let me know on social media (@faronheit).

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The Best of 2018: Honorable Mention


Every December brings the near impossible task of trying to assemble a diverse and comprehensive array of “Best of” music lists that properly showcase the immense talents of so many different artists and bands from across the globe. Nobody has the opportunity to hear everything, but I try my best to digest and rank as much of it as humanly possible. There are always outliers – albums and songs that just barely missed the final cut because there are only a finite number of ranking slots on any given list. The official cut off point here at Faronheit is Top 50, and anything beyond that gets placed into the pool for a second category; the Honorable Mention. Below you’ll find 10 albums and 10 songs that I absolutely loved this year, but couldn’t quite find a spot for when push came to shove. Spared from the ranking system, they’re all listed in alphabetical order. Please check them out and give them a listen anyway, as I promise they’re more than worth your time.

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The Ten Best EPs of 2018


In today’s culture of increasingly fractured attention spans, a fair number of people either can’t or won’t devote the time to listen to an entire album from start to finish. As somebody that places a very high value on spending quality time with artists and taking longer musical journeys with them, the recent focus on single songs leaves me just a little bit frustrated. But sitting in that neat little pocket between a single song and an album is the EP, A short (but not too short) statement from an artist just hoping to make an impact early or bide some time until they can do something more expansive, the EP has its merits and flourishes when you’re short on time or attention or both. 2018 saw the rise of some very promising new artists, the debut effort from a supergroup, and some established names trying out some new things – all via the medium of the EP. Here are ten of my absolute favorites, which I hope will lead to some new discoveries that expand your musical palate and strike at your emotional core.

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Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 12-19-18

As Christmas week is fast approaching and the year-end “best of” lists get finalized here at Faronheit, I’m pleased to bring you this final edition of Pick Your Poison for 2018. Have no fear, there will be plenty more new music to share once 2019 is underway. I’ll do my best to continue to provide it to you in a neat and orderly fashion. The business at hand today focuses on tracks from Autechre, Quinn XCII (ft. Noah Kahan), and Summer Heart (in winter, no less!). Then cap off the year with some extra song streams after the jump from 12Honcho, Amethysts, Dead Swords, Kid Koala, Ten Fe, Tristan Eckerson, Yung Gravy (ft. Lil Baby), plus a couple of solid remixes. Have a great rest of 2019, and we’ll be back in PYP action in the first or second week of January!

Autechre – sinistrail sentinel

Quinn XCII – Tough (ft. Noah Kahan)

Summer Heart – Touch

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Show Review: Cloud Nothings + The Courtneys [Thalia Hall; Chicago; 12/14/18]



We’re quickly approaching the two-year anniversary of The Courtneys’ excellent sophomore album II, and they’re still touring in support of it. Their commitment is admirable, and the reward is hopefully a wealth of new fans eager to hear more from the Canadian trio. A stop at Thalia Hall in Chicago on Friday night actually marked the end of their tour with Cloud Nothings, so they celebrated with a wildly fun performance that perfectly balanced their winning charm and sadder sensibilities.

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 12-13-18

There’s an interesting collection of tracks populating today’s edition of Pick Your Poison. The highlights certainly stand out on their own, with new songs from Chewing (covering a Dennis Wilson classic with a little help from Local Natives), experimental artist Julian Lynch, and the dynamic Ric Wilson. Keep pushing past the jump for even more music from Be Forest, Bibi Bourelly, Cautious Clay, HERO, K. Roosevelt, mxmtoon, Pizzagirl, Sports, and StayLoose (ft. Andrew Paley).

Chewing – River Song (Dennis Wilson cover ft. Local Natives)

Julian Lynch – Hexagonal Field

Ric Wilson – No Hands

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