Chicago Singles Club

Chicago Singles Club is an online music publication and record label that, once a month, produces an exclusive, original recording and video interview with a different independent Chicago artist that we love.

to get updates when we post new songs and interviews, and head to our store to purchase our first vinyl compilation of all the A-sides from year one.

August 2014

Foul Tip

Two-piece rock bands almost invariably consist of a drummer and a guitarist, one or both of who double as singers - think No Age, the White Stripes, or previous Chicago Singles Club feature White Mystery. Foul Tip defy the formula by pairing drummer Ed Bornstein with bassist Adam Luksetich, giving the duo a powerfully minimalist sound. This arrangement presents a novel set of challenges that they use to create equally unique songs that range from upbeat post-punk to heavy sludge.

The role of Adam's bass in their music is greatly expanded, providing additional melodies, noisy textural riffs, and the songs' harmonic underpinnings - sometimes all at once - and always blasting through a variety of tone-altering pedals and an imposing sixteen-speaker amp setup that borders on overkill.

Of course, Foul Tip isn't defined entirely by their self-imposed limitations. Ed's drumming deserves special note in its jerky precision and tasteful understatement. The two musicians have a hivemind-like connection that shows in their interlocking rhythms and their occasionally contrapuntal dueling lead vocals.

But at their core, they're just two long-time friends that can't take anything too seriously. Madness is full of turns of phrase like "I've got a mouth full of nails / it's a sharp diet", and on guitar overdubs for Strike 1,000 they requested to use "the worst amp you have." Check out the tracks and the interview to see how Foul Tip can't sit still, both figuratively and literally.

Foul Tip is

Ed Bornstein
Drums / Vocals
Adam Luksetich
Bass / Vocals

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Videography / Editing Cassie Balynas
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Production Assistant Jordan Morrell
  • Production Assistant Ron DeMay

July 2014

Natalie Grace Alford

Natalie Grace Alford is the type of natural performer who is always “on.” She’s a ball of explosive energy onstage with her unrestrained dance moves, larger-than-life persona, and an extraordinarily powerful voice. Offstage, she’s just as extroverted and friendly -- cracking jokes in odd voices and generally giving off good vibes. Beneath the surface, though, is a human being with personal struggles and insecurities just like anyone else.

That juxtaposition parallels Natalie’s music perfectly. The songs are uptempo and fun while their huge pop-soul vocal hooks are infectious. The music, however, belies the deeply personal and often melancholy lyrics. These songs aren’t just Natalie’s compositions: they are the aural extensions of her life.

Natalie performs solo, singing over a dense accompaniment that she builds using a loop station to layer keyboards, backing vocals, and various improvised percussion instruments. You’d be amazed at how a beat that’s played entirely on a tin can and bucket could be so irresistibly booty-shaking. Her keyboard riffs are full of character and provide the perfect gritty contrast to her pop-star voice.

The two tracks we recorded with Natalie in the CSC studio, When You Go and Stop Yelling, are previously unreleased and showcase her incredible songwriting and performing talents. Download them now!

Natalie Grace Alford is

Natalie Grace Alford
Vocals, Loops, Keyboards, Percussion

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin
  • Video / Editing Cassie Balynas
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Production Assistant Kevin Claxton

June 2014

Glass Lux

Italo-disco, one of the first forms of synthesizer-oriented dance music, has been making a comeback in the indie electronic scene for quite some time. Its sonic fingerprints were a defining characteristic of the mid-2000s chillwave explosion, with acts like Toro y Moi, Washed Out, and Neon Indian integrating elements from the style into their own distinctive sounds. More recently the grandfather of the genre, Giorgio Moroder, had a cameo on Daft Punk’s 2013 record, bringing Italo-disco’s history further into popular consciousness.

Glass Lux calls back to Italo-disco and other 70s electronic styles in a big way, with vintage synth tones, ethereal vocals, catchy melodies, and beats destined for the dance floor. Each member of the duo adds their own unique spin to the retro sound. Producer Fonz Mayen plays drums live with a kit that includes a heavily detuned snare, intended to emulate the deep, transient sounds of early drum machines. Vocalist and lyricist Emily Morse writes dark, poetic lyrics that lean more towards fantasy storytelling than the dated futurism of their forebears.

Both songs the duo recorded at the CSC studio are previously unreleased exclusives. Get ready to dance.

Glass Lux is

Fonz Mayen
Percussion / Synth
Emily Morse
Vocals

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Videography / Editing Cassie Balynas
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Production Assistant Kevin Claxton
  • Production Assistant Ron DeMay