The success of a band like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. bewilders me a little bit, but it’s probably not for the reason you might think. Don’t get me wrong, they’re deserving of the fan base they have, I’m more wondering how the do got to where they’re at with what I’ve perceived to be a lack of support from the general music world. I haven’t seen [some but not] a lot of articles about the band, heard them on the radio, nor have I read a lot of extremely positive reviews of their albums (though pretty much every one sort of leans that way). They’re signed to Warner Bros. Records, which is a major label and I suppose that has something to do with it, yet once again I can’t recall seeing a big promotional push for the band at any point in time. So how have they reached the point where they’re headlining a show at a mid-sized Chicago venue like Metro this Friday, and not for the first time either, when many factors seem to indicate they should be somewhere a little bit smaller? My theory is that they’re a self-made band. That they’ve achieved this level of success on their own terms and through a solid, passionate fan base that continues to grow despite any perceptions that support may be lacking. More accurately, they’re a really fun band who makes really fun records and puts on really fun live shows. You know how sometimes you’ll show up at a venue early and catch an opening act you’ve never heard before only to be completely blown away by them? Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are that kind of band, only of course they’re not opening for anyone anymore. They’ve had some key opening slots and festival gigs, and built an audience through sheer word of mouth. Those are the best sorts of bands in my opinion, because they’ve worked exceptionally hard and gone through that endless cycle of recording and touring and recording and touring and it’s finally paid off. They’re currently on their final tour in support of their 2013 record The Speed of Things, and as soon as that wraps up, they’ll be back in the studio to finish their third album. Like I said, they don’t stop. In order to prep everyone for the fall season and possibly give some hints about their forthcoming album, the band released a new single “James Dean” last month. While it is noticeably calmer and more majestic than their previous single “Run,” it’s still done in their signature blend of synth pop and guitar rock that tugs on both your ears and your heart. I’m sure it’ll also make for a solid live show staple, as if you didn’t know already, they put on one hell of a performance. So if you’re in Chicago and can make it out to Metro this Friday night, the 18+ show starts at 9PM. Tickets are $16 in advance and can be purchased here. It should be a great way to spice up your Friday after what’s been an exceptionally chilly week! Now then, let’s get to this Monday edition of Pick Your Poison. There’s some great tracks in this set from Awwz, City of Glas, The Delay in the Universal Loop, Jungle Doctors and The March Divide. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from A$AP Ferg, Jonny Telafone, Kero Kero Bonito, Los Campesinos!, Mamiffer, New Navy and Young Rapids.

Aaron Mark Brown – You Let the World Grow Cold

Awwz – Gals

City of Glass – Geographers

[crack] – Dread U

Dara Sisterhen – Sets Me Free

The Delay in the Universal Loop – Your World Breathes Into Me

Eboi ft. Little Jinder – As I’m Falling

Geoff Ong – September

Jungle Doctors – Can You See It

The March Divide – Given Out

Monogem – Simple Things (Miguel cover)

Slow Magic – Waited 4 U (ODESZA Remix)


A$AP Ferg – Perfume

Jonny Telafone – The Prayer

Kero Kero Bonito – Build It Up

Los Campesinos! – When Christmas Comes

Mamiffer – Flower of the Field

New Navy – Pelican

Young Rapids – Melt