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Tracks of the Week

Updated: May 21, 2021

By Cailey Davern

We put together a list of 10 release we can't get enough of this week! Including Dreamsickle by Wombo, Boxing Day by Sub*T, Control by Molly Burch, and Demon Chaser by Pixel Grip and more!

Where's Your Head At- Melkbelly

RIYL: Bully, Control Top, Gasner, L.A. Witch, The Mystery Lights, Priests, Protomartyr, and Idles

Melkbelly is known for cloaking forward-thinking pop-songs with shrouds of disjointed rhythms, feedback, and noise. Peel back the layers of the group’s rich and colorful sound and you’ll grip the simple and true melodies that lie within the discord. It’s as you move in closer that Melkbelly comes into focus: thoughtful artists who’ve dedicated themselves not only to their community, but to surprising hooks that explode in cathartic cacophony.

Recorded in 2018, Melkbelly's bold take on the classic Basement Jaxx song "Where's Your Head At" is fueled by pummeling drums, driving basslines, and cascading walls of noise, the cover pays homage to the original track while carving out an entirely new sonic space of its own.

Holy Water- PACKS

RIYL: Mourn, Remember Sports, Disq, Speedy Ortiz, and Black Honey

Toronto’s PACKS make music that’s like leafing through a diary entry of a time without visible movement, a subtle beauty that appears only when paying close attention. Less a band that is a product of the internet than one whose quiet and acute observations make them impossible to be ignored, the quartet led by Madeline Link has carved out a growing space past the Canadian country lines where their initial demos were born.

Anchored by Link’s voice, which brings such an easy charm to her songs that it’s easy to miss her keen ear for acrobatic vocal lines, together they turn Link’s melodically adventurous and introspective songs into the purest and brightest kind of indie rock.


RIYL: Orions Belt, Froth, The Hecks, Corey Flood, and Fake Fruit

The weird world of Wombo is a kaleidoscopic journey of sharp turns and surprising visions, a melting pot of influences with a cheeky cheshire-cat grin that coalesce into a trippy but infinite universe, a portal into their unique vantage point without limitation.Already committed to living outside the traditionally-heralded country sound of the music scene in their hometown of Louisville Kentucky, Sydney Chadwick (vocals) and Cameron Lowe (guitar) had previously played in punk pop band the Debauchees, and with the addition of Joel Taylor (drums) in 2016 they found a winning combination of more straightforward indie rock combined with Chadwick’s pitched up, oscillating vocals and unpredictable shifts in melody that see the band moving forward at an impressive pace.

Wombo’s wide-ranging aspirations careen across avant pop, psych and wonky post punk interludes with a sky’s-the-limit approach to translating the mundanity of regular life into their own high-frequency language.

Demon Chaser- Pixel Grip

RIYL: Boy Harsher, Patriarchy, Crystal Castles, Drama Moth, and Fee Lion

Chicago's Rita Lukea, Tyler Ommen, and Jonathon Freund make a statement with their mechanical beats, eccentric vocals, and slick production. With a reputation for putting on bizarre and angry performances, the three have crafted a range and variety of music over the years, selling out Chicago venues with unhinged club-pop bangers. Now the group tackles the cinematic and sweet moments, in their new 7-track EP 'ARENA'

Control- Molly Burch

RIYL: Haley Heynderickx, Japanese Breakfast, Julia Jacklin, Faye Webster, and Hand Habits

With a smoky voice and an affection for the vocal era, girl groups, and Brill Building pop, Molly Burch's yearning indie pop tunes encompass infatuation, defiance, and despair. I wanna try harder / To love myself like I would another,” Burch sings on her captivating new album, Romantic Images. It’s a notion that lies at the very heart of the record, a guiding light to which Burch returns throughout the collection as she sheds the anxiety and insecurity of her twenties and embarks upon a bold new chapter marked by a radical embrace of herself and her womanhood. The collection prioritizes ecstasy and escape, and it’s easy to hear Burch’s commitment to collective catharsis in her lifted, airy delivery, which manages to exude both thoughtful introspection and carefree abandon all at once. The shadow still lurks on the album, to be sure, but the light ultimately wins, as it always does when we’re brave enough let it in, and the result is an intoxicating collection all about coming into our truest selves, an honest, uplifting testament to the comfort and strength that comes with learning to look in the mirror and love the face staring back.

It’s that confidence that defines the release, the confidence to embrace change, to be vulnerable, to celebrate womanhood in all its beauty and complexity. It’s never easy to love yourself the way you would another, but with Romantic Images, Molly Burch is finally ready.

Boxing Day- Sub*T

RIYL: Bully, Beabadoobee, and Hinds

SUB*T is a band that was born in the mosh-pit. Tired of being in the crowd, Jade Alcantara and Grace Bennett taught themselves how to play guitar and started writing music together while on opposite ends of the country. Building songs through voice memos and text messages, they’ve crafted a sound that is both reminiscent of Liz Phair’s rambling and Veruca Salt’s fearlessness. The duo’s first single “Boxing Day” puts everything on the table, leaving nothing to the imagination. Catharsis is the driving force behind their creative process. SUB*T is all about what is happening, what is hurting, and what is *cough, cough* SUBTerranean. In a fit of post-pandemic non-dude rock vengeance, the girls lunge forward with an attitude too big to fit into an Instagram post or Spotify stream.

“‘Boxing Day’ is a play on words in the sense that obviously Boxing Day is a holiday and that was our metaphor for packing up all this trauma and letting it go,” said Jade Alcantara, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of SUB*T. “Maybe not even letting it go, but just expressing it in a way that actually made us feel something different.”

Goals- Super Nova

RIYL: OUX, Claud, Dorian Electra, Shamir, and Left at London

SuperKnova is a Chicago-based musician who creates Queer Pop, a unique sound that incorporates hip-hop inspired drums, driving synths, and virtuosic guitar solos. She writes about identity, queerness and the struggle to be your authentic self. A one-woman band, she produces and records all of her own music. Drawing on her 15+ years as a professional musician, she builds many of her songs live on-stage through looping and multiple instruments.

"In an age where music — and the musicians creating it — is increasingly insubstantial, SuperKnova, the recent musical project of multi-instrumentalist Ellie Kim, is like a breath of fresh air." — Chicago Tribune.

Present Tense- FACS

RIYL: Gasner, Stuck, Deeper, Heads, and Big Brave

Chicago trio FACS never stop pushing forward; they’ve honed and refined their stark, minimal scrape and clatter for four years and counting, having risen out of the ashes of beloved Chicago band Disappears in 2018 with the bone-rattling intensity Negative Houses. After three albums in the past three years, the trio return in 2021 with Present Tense, their fourth album and perhaps their sharpest statement as a band. The change is palpable from last year’s claustrophobic and fried Void Moments, but Present Tense is still ALL FACS, albeit draped in a layer of haze. Paranoia in soft focus, perhaps?

Opener “XOUT” barrels forward like a tank, with Case’s guitar chiming like warning bells, until the climax comes crashing down, glitching out near the close. “Strawberry Cough” comes next, its fusion of corporeal playing and stately, electronic heartbeats punctured by random bursts of noise or backwards masked sounds. “Alone Without”, a track originally recorded for Adult Swim’s 2020 singles series appears next, albeit in different form; more menacing and serpentine. Side two opens with “General Public”, taking the loud/quiet dynamic as a jumping off point for the song’s unsettling seasick vibe. ‘How To See In the Dark” offers a brief respite, with its persistent, dark quietude that lingers until the song’s end. “Present Tense”, the album’s title track, offers up its first truly weird moment mid-song when the song changes mood distinctly, and the music drops out save for Case’s guitar and vocals. The album’s final track, the densely packed “Mirrored”, begins with a restrained, post-rock shuffle. The mind-scrambling cacophony that comes next takes its time to roll in, but once it does, it comes in waves, flipping back onto itself multiple times until it’s folded into oblivion.

Easy To Love- Sam Evian

RIYL: Twain, Omni, Reptilians, Sugar Candy Mountain, and Chris Cohen

Sam Evian, a New York-based musician, songwriter, and producer released his debut album, with new label 'Fat Possum.' Buttressed by bold baritone sax, lifted by exuberant trumpet, and washed in fluorescent guitars, “Easy to Love” is an exultant ode to finding a new paradise outside of the city, an idyllic setting where you can plant love and literally watch it bloom. Sam has kept busy working as a preeminent collaborator, producing and engineering records for the likes of Big Thief, Cass McCombs, Widowspeak, Cassandra Jenkins and Anna Burch.

The pandemic clamped down on those interactions, largely sealing Evian from his longtime scene. So Sam turned to his own music. This new single, “Easy To Love,” is the first taste of that period of creativity.

I Wanna Cry- Jungle Green

RIYL: The Lemon Twigs, Rubber Band Gun, John Andrews and The Yawns

Jungle Green is an American rock band of gentle weirdos, freaking out on pop music from 1958 onward. With influences from early rock and roll, 60s pop, 70s pop, country, lounge, proto punk and inspired by bands like Ween, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Rubber Band Gun the group produce wild, unpredictable, and eclectic music, sure to keep listeners on their toes.

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