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Chicago

Coyote Fire came in electrifyingly hot in their garage rock revival ‘Klepto’

Coyote Fire

Coyote Fire will steal the show with their latest electrifyingly hot garage rock revival, Klepto. Fuelled with the noisy nuances of grunge and reverent to the insurgency of rock n roll, the Chicago fourpiece became the sum of all parts while ticking every conceivable garage rock box with their ferociously infectious track that puts the devil on your shoulder and compels you to fall in line with the kleptomaniac tendency of the lyrical protagonist who makes no apologies before taking what they want. Starting with the track with a voice of contempt in the medium of a voicemail, the tongue in maniacal cheek energy doesn’t hang around before asserting itself in the riled with raucous flavour single.

The ensemble’s roots trace back to the former band of Louie Kertgen and Miguel Contreras, Yard Sale, which couldn’t endure the loss of their leading voice, Jimmy Dooley, who passed away in 2018. As the calendar pages turned, Louie and Miguel’s paths diverged, only to be rekindled when Louie traded his drumsticks for guitar strings, finding solace in six strings and a new beginning.

The spark reawakened; Louie dialled Miguel’s number with a proposition that set the stage for rebirth. They coaxed Austin Yurasek into the metamorphosis from guitarist to bassist, and his conviction to the cause was absolute, “The vision was clear, the purpose was calling, and I was all in,” he affirmed after the pitch of the idea. Yet, their symphony lacked its final note—a drummer. Enter Victor Aguirre, the percussive wizard whose hands could converse with any rhythm. Louie, through a twist of fate and a friend’s recommendation, sent Victor some rough cuts. Victor heard the call, and like a moth to a flame, was enchanted by the vision.

Coyote Fire isn’t about the vanity of uniqueness, the complexity of sound, or the chase for flawless execution. Their creed is to forge a visceral bond with their audience. If the crowd’s pulse matches the beat of their music, their mission is accomplished. They aim to weave an intimate tapestry of emotion, attitude, and raw power. Influenced by the likes of Jack White and The Black Keys, Louie adopted a philosophy where music serves as a bridge to the soul, a raw yet simple channel to convey their stories, and a performance that teleports the listener into the band’s collective consciousness.

Klepto will be officially released on November 15; stream it on Bandcamp and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chicago hip-hop duo, It’s a Cool Day, extrapolated ‘The Butterfly Effect’ in their debut

The Chicago duo, It’s a Cool Day put the trip in trip-hop by unveiling their elevated debut single, The Butterfly Effect, which fuses lush RnB melodies and harmonies with smooth rap verses and a pseudo-trap beat that becomes the centre of sonic gravity in the wavy, gravitas-packed single.

Craig Lowe and Derion Scroggins ripped up the urban rulebook and scattered the confetti through the vibe-steady hit, which spills a smorgasbord of soul as it mellowly progresses around the poetically ardent wordplay. Cathartic and convictive in its sense of passion, The Butterfly Effect is all the evidence you need that romance isn’t dead and that It’s a Cool Day has exactly what it takes to reign supreme in the Chicago scene and beyond.

The Butterfly Effect is now available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview: The inspiring soul Isabella Lavalle tells us all about her Love Interest

With a beautifully poised and other-worldly sensational sound, touching vocals and an air of calmness about her despite the harrowing winds outside, we were blessed to have a chat with the wonderfully authentic Isabella Lavalle recently. Telling us all about her new single Love Interest, crushing on Fall Out Boy and life in musically vibrant Chicago, we find a captivatingly expressive artist who truly loves what she does.

Llewelyn: Hello, there Isabella. We truly appreciate your time and for having a chat with us. Let’s start off with this. Do you recall the precise moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician and what sparked your interest?

Isabella: I don’t know if I remember the precise moment when I knew I wanted to be a musician but I know that every time I write songs and the words just flow out of me onto the page without really trying it feels like a magical, other-worldly sensation that I just want to have over and over again. The fact that a song can start from a little line I’ve jotted down and then become something bigger than itself is really mind-blowing to me, and the fact that it may feel that way for someone else is insane, too.

Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your latest release Love Interest and what the vision behind the project is.

Isabella: I think the vision for Love Interest – or the reason it was written – is because I write a lot of sad songs which are my favourite things to write, but I was having a mild case of writer’s block so I turned to writing a song that was a little more upbeat and youthful just for a change of pace.

Llewelyn: You’ve spent lots of time in Chicago and in Melbourne, Florida. What is the local music scene like in your local area (where you’re staying now) and where should we go and listen to authentic music with soul?

Isabella: With Chicago specifically, you can find people performing and playing music while you’re walking down the street – it’s kind of always around. In Florida, I’d say there is less of a music scene so it was something I delved into and grew a passion for on my own terms.

Llewelyn: What do you enjoy most about being a music creator and how do you stay inspired in such a strange time for humanity?

Isabella: The thing I enjoy most about being a music creator is that I have complete freedom as to what I write and put out into the world. I’m a very expressive person so having a career where I get to do exactly that is perfect. And as for inspiration, I keep a little handy section on my Notes app full of little one-liners or ideas I get throughout the day, and sometimes I’ll look through them and pull something out that inspires me or goes with what I’m writing.

Llewelyn: What was the last song that you listened to and are there any artists you’d love to share the stage with?

Isabella: I think the last song I listened to was either Because by the Beatles or Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. I would love to share the stage with Fall Out Boy but I don’t know if I’d be able to make it through without fangirling. Same with Taylor Swift, Billy Joel.

Llewelyn: If you could take only 5 things with you on a deserted island, what would they be and why?

Isabella: I would say my cat but I don’t want to put them in that situation. Honestly, sunscreen, an umbrella, a bag full of books, my piano and a flare.

Llewelyn: Finally, do you have any live shows soon or what does the future hold for you musically?

Isabella: I think this next year or so I’m just going to continue to put out singles and EPs and get my music heard a little more. I always have the bigger picture and crazy ideas in my head though so we’ll see soon.

Fuel the romance within on this gorgeous single via Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Last Night: The Big Gun Show flows through Mexico on the way to Chicago

With the money thin and much to ponder, The Big Gun Show wonders when the healing will come from losing a love which is so treasured beyond anything else with the superb single Chicago.

The Big Gun Show is an Austin, Texas-based indie rock band who love to play that golden era type of music which is fused between 1970-1973.

Imagine a song swap in the basement of Villa Nellcôte among outlaws Haggard & Waylon, sided by modern-day honky tonker Charlie Robison. Also in the circle are members of Jet, Lucero and Blackberry Smoke. Graham Parsons demonstrates country stylings to Keith as Ray Wylie Hubbard makes Jagger and Freddie King laugh while they wail in unison like old, drunken friends.” ~ The Big Gun Show

Stoned again and giving us a really fine single to love for its authenticity, The Big Gun Show reminds us what true reflection sounds like in 2023. This is pure artistry at its best with a riveting sound to turn up on full volume only.

Chicago from Austin, Texas-based indie rock band The Big Gun Show is an old-school song with a vibe many just can’t ever forget. Inside this real song with purpose, we are taught to never give up no matter where the roads shall wander in this odd world.

Listen up on Spotify for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Misdirection never fails: The Handsome Bandit just wants that one dance on Believe You Me

Swinging our moods around with their catchy sound to dance all night with, The Handsome Bandit guides us into a world filled with potential for one or more sweet kisses on the piano-packed Believe You Me.

The Handsome Bandit is a Chicago, USA-based indie pop-rock band who are known for their electric live performances and terrific lyrics to turn up loud.

Eric Niequist’s powerful lead vocals and edgy bass riffs weave alongside the intricate piano melodies and warm vocals of Allison Hogan. The Handsome Bandit will have you energized and enthralled with their foot-stomping sing-alongs, dynamic ballads, and thunderous anthems.” ~ taken from The Handsome Bandit’s Reverbnation

Do you like music with a verve that shall take minds back into a full place? The Handsome Bandit are the answer to all of our dreams. Believe You Me is simply excellent and needs to be on all playlists immediately. This is the pick-me-up track to flip all attitudes around for the better.

Believe You Me from Chicago, USA-based indie pop-rock band The Handsome Bandit is such a delight on so many levels. This shows us a truly professional team who have put on a real show with such a dynamic display.

Released originally in 2019, we are reminded of an underground classic which will surely heat up the blood flow of many who miss being happy.

See the music video on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Out Of Control: Taihei defies the failed system and busts free on the electronic storm to save a Fallen Angel

Dropping his first track of the year to much strength and dance floor sliding, Taihei shows us the full force of that potently elevating Fallen Angel via a track so heart-soothing, it might leave behind a smile for days.

Taihei aka John Paul Reyes is a Chicago, USA indie EDM music producer/sound designer who makes expertly created heavy soundtracks to boost all heartbeats up a notch or two.

A musical and technical maestro since the 2010s, he has worked in multiple different genres such as Progressive House, Trance, Big Room, Trap, and other styles. After many years working behind the scenes, he established Taihei in 2018 as a nostalgia love letter to the genres, tech culture, as well as the video games and anime that inspired him.” ~ Taihei

Marking the territory and easing all stress away with a monumental mountain of discovery, Taihei is surely on all radars with a song to remember forever here. Fallen Angel feels like a real description to feel enlightened by. It’s that good.

Fallen Angel from Chicago, USA indie EDM music producer Taihei is a vein-popping pool of inspiring clues into how one flies away from those dark days and controlling mechanisms that somehow treacherously deplete humanity’s innocence.

Layered in a rather spectacular force, our ears are treated to a wake-up call similar to a 4 am party of much significance. Headache? Yes. Worth it? Oh yes.

Listen up on Spotify. View more news on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Interview: Chicago’s Dust Biters guides us through the redemption on Progeny

Dust Biters is a Chicago-based indie alternative 4-piece post-hardcore metal band who savage the speakers with a spellbinding reaction on each one of their heavy tracks. They speak to us about, coffee, risk-taking, Progeny and much more.

Hello there Dust Biters. We appreciate you having a chat with us today. Where in the world are you located as we speak and what did you all have for breakfast?

Dust Biters: Hi! We’re from Chicago. We’ve all had lots of coffee and need more.

Let’s start at the beginning. Where/how/when did the band start and who are the current members?

Dust Biters: Nick Miller and Nick Kinsley actually met back in high school in Michigan. Kinsley was a fan of Miller’s technical metal band, Flesh and Blood Robot. They became friends and started writing music for a new project. Kinsley ended up moving to Chicago and Miller ended up moving to Pittsburgh, but a decade or so later Miller relocated to Chicago and convinced Kinsley to pick up the guitar again. They started writing 80’s hair metal riffs on Miller’s couch which became the foundation for the songs “Unholy Gospel” and “Creature Man”. Initially, the idea of the band was to write songs that were straightforward 3-chord punk and rock, but that didn’t last very long. Nick Miller and Tommy van Arsdale were colleagues and had talked ad nauseam about music and Tommy’s previous bands in which he played drums, guitar, and piano. Miller asked Tommy to session with them on drums and the three booked time at a studio in Chicago. It became clear after the first session that this was something to pursue, so they found a permanent rehearsal space and began practicing as a trio. Bryan Fonseca joined Kinsley’s work, and again through the serendipity of talking about music learned that Kinsley was looking for a bass player for the new project. Bryan, traditionally a guitarist, was quick to pick up the bass and learn the parts. Bryan’s personality fit seamlessly with the group so we decided to move forward and thus Dust Biters was formed.

Please let us more about your latest single Progeny and the vision behind the release.

Dust Biters: “Progeny” is a song Nick Kinsley wrote about his kids. It’s a song about redemption, forgiveness, and growth. We just released a companion music video, and in contrast, the narrative revolves around a narcissistic cult leader who grows tired of the perpetual, blind worship of his harem and secretly poisons them in a final move of selfishness and desperation to start a new existence. You can watch it on our YouTube channel now.

Guilt is the name of your new 12-track album. Please guide us into the process of completing the project in the way you wanted.

Dust Biters: The first and most important step to getting Guilt recorded was finding an engineer that understood our songs and the goal for our sound because we didn’t really know what we were trying to do. Once Alex Lackner (Accelerated Sound Studios, Lazarus AD) was signed on to engineer the record, it was full steam ahead. We tracked a majority of the record in our studio while the vocals and finishing touches were recorded at Alex’s studio. We spent a lot of time getting the mix right. Guilt is a record that we are very proud of and we’re excited that people are responding so positively to it.

What’s an important piece of advice you’d recommend to anyone working in the music industry?

Dust Biters: Be genuine and ruthless with your art. Take creative risks. Embrace limitations. Practice consistently. Make real connections and support others. Seek feedback and consider all forms of criticism. In 2023, writing good music is only half of the work to get noticed. Be ready to put yourself out there.

What is the vibe like at the local underground music venues in your local area after all the closures previously due to COVID?

Dust Biters: We’re lucky. Chicago has a great, supportive local scene and awesome venues like Empty Bottle, Live Wire, The Burlington, Liar’s Club, Cobra Lounge, and Reggie’s which thankfully all weathered Covid. Like many of our friends, we spent the majority of lockdown writing and practicing so that when it became safer and venues began opening up, we were hungry and prepared to get on stages and play live.

Last, if you could tour with any band in the world, who would it be and why?

Dust Biters: Ha! I think we would all answer this differently, and I don’t think we could decide on just one without a lengthy debate, but if we had to name two bands it would be Glassjaw and a resurrected Every Time I Die.

Listen up on Spotify. Check out the IG page for more.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Daun Facts a hypnotic rap tune “Msanii”

Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the line is between imitation and style. It might be because there is so much music that comes out regularly, it might be because the successful aspects of music making are so well disseminated, and it very well may be that I am out of touch with the popular world. Not that any of these are mutually exclusive. All that being said, it’s nice to hear an artist that has something new to offer in the way of hip-hop, especially in the vocal and lyrical realm. For the above sentiment, I’m speaking about Daun Facts, a Chicago artist who ventures into both music and other creative works. I listened to his newest track “Msanii,” a hypnotic tune that had me bouncing in the car while driving home from work this evening.

The fingerpicking guitar gives a motion to an otherwise downtempo track – little bleeps and sparse drums create the perfect atmosphere for the vocals to shine. Daun Facts knows rapid lyrics fluently – he effortlessly spits lines that would leave most of us tongue tied. The song even features minor religious elements which was a nice surprise – kind of like a literary grounding to the whole experience.

Over on his Instagram, we get the see the entrepreneurial side of Daun Facts – with tons of merch for sale and attractive people modelling it. Additionally, we get to see photos of him with friends, dressed to the nines, and even a good looking pup standing guard; needless to say, it seems as though Mr. Facts leads something of a charmed life – and good for him.

He Rescued Me: Chicago-based Gospel artist Tiffany Daniels-Hudson feels so free again on Jesus Reigns

Taken off her brand new 6th-track project called Forever, Tiffany Daniels-Hudson tells the story of true faith so well on the glorious church-powered new single to hold hands with called Jesus Reigns.

Tiffany Daniels-Hudson is a Chicago, USA-based indie Gospel singer-songwriter, recording artist and worship leader who also teaches social studies.

Tiffany desires to use music as an avenue to connect with people through her life story and to tell the story of the gospel.” ~ Tiffany Daniels-Hudson

Sometimes in life, you just need to close your eyes and listen to a song on loud. Tiffany Daniels-Hudson leads the way in Christian music with a striking anthem to mend sad hearts with the outstanding Jesus Reigns.

Jesus Reigns from Chicago-based Gospel artist Tiffany Daniels-Hudson is a soul-healing soundtrack for anyone who needs hope right now. Sung so excitedly and projected with tons of magnificent power, this is a graceful effort from the top drawer.

Classy and serene, we find a truly soulful single to embrace while the storms brew outside.

Listen up on Spotify. See more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

How To Get It: Blac Samurai drops quality new release Iron Essence

Dropping his latest 11-track release, which features many name drops to his favourite artists, Blac Samurai returns with a solid outing which shall have our back when needed most on Iron Essence.

Blac Samurai is a Chicago, USA-based indie hip hop artist who keeps things underground throughout because of his witty flow and heavy bars.

Combining the poetic style of writing with the smoothness and rawness from his influences, such as Outkast, Biggie, Nas, Wu Tang, and Roc Marciano.” ~ Blac Samurai

With particular highlights such as Say Less, Never and Backseat, Blac Samurai summons the greatness within his veins and pops through with a grand-slam result to keep the streets happy. Blending in sci-fi and anime, this is a rather supreme effort to feel rather excited about.

Iron Essence from Chicago, USA-based indie hip hop artist Blac Samurai is a hardcore display to be enthralled by and shall rattle the cages of many hidden spirits. Thriving with intensity and breaking down all self-doubts, we find a hugely confident rapper at the top of his game.

Turn this up loud on Spotify. Find out more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen