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.

July 2015

Strawberry Jacuzzi

Strawberry Jacuzzi play fun, melodic, summery pop music with punk rock undercurrents. The band was started as a side project by Shannon Candy and Nikita Word, but it has quickly become their primary focus. They are joined by Ross Tasch and Devon Press (of previous feature Kangaroo) on bass and drums.

Shannon and Nikita both play guitar, sing, and write, all with distinct stylistic differences. Shannon's vocals are sing-songy and melodic, and she often finds simple catchy lead guitar lines in the songs' chord progressions. Nikita's vocals more more often speak-sung or shouted, adding a contrasting bit of vitriol to Shannon's somewhat twee sound, and she plays with a more visceral rhythm guitar style. Both the tracks recorded for CSC venture away from the subject matter that largely dominated their debut record: lyrics about relationships and break-ups. Batman & Princess Leia in particular shows the band in rare form contrasting their upbeat pop sound with lyrics that are melancholy and deeply personal; in it, Shannon laments the loss of youthful dreams and aspirations through the compromises made in adulthood, though the song turns powerfully anthemic with gang vocals and a hook consisting of "we want more".

Those kinds of contrasts - pairing sweet with sour - are the band's greatest strength, more so than their pop sensibilities or the cleverness of their lyrics.

Strawberry Jacuzzi is

Shannon Candy
Guitar / Vocals
Nikita Word
Guitar / Vocals
Ross Tasch
Bass
Devon Press
Drums

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Director / Interviewer Iris Lin
  • Cinematographer Kelsie Hardison

June 2015

Bleach Party

Bleach Party might be the most aptly named band in Chicago. The surf rock influence on their sound is not at all understated. Meg MacDuff's 60s pop melodies and tight vocal harmonies, drenched in slapback delay, are irresistably catchy. Bart Pappas' clean-toned guitar riffs that keep a steady counterpoint to Meg's vocals would fit right in on the soundtrack of a beach party film -- albeit a rather intense one. Bassist Richard Giraldi adopts the arpeggiating, groove-oriented basslines of the genre, often doubled by Meg's fuzzy guitar lines, while drummer Kaylee Preston holds down familiar driving beats and hits fills with punk-rock abandon. There is a dark, morbid quality to their sound and lyrics, echoing the dead-teenager themes and supernatural vibes of 1950s "death rock". Of course, this being 2015, the quartet brings a modern fuzzy garage rock energy while remaining unironically reverant of their 60-year-old influences.

The members of the band have all been active contributors to the Chicago independent music scene in various capacities for years; Meg was the vocalist in Velocicopter, Richard is the founder of the beloved Loud Loop Press and played in noise-rock trio Rodeo, Kaylee drums in Rabble Rabble, and Bart is a recording engineer.

Bleach Party's fuzzed-out modern death-surf tracks are just what you need to kick off your summer!

Bleach Party is

Meg MacDuff
Vocals / Guitar
Richard Giraldi
Bass
Bart Pappas
Guitar
Kaylee Preston
Drums

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Production Manager Kevin Claxton
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Director / Editor / Interviewer Iris Lin
  • Cinematographer Kelsie Hardison
  • Assistant Cinematographer Alex Palma
  • Assistant Cinematographer Tomi Vranjes

May 2015

Grandkids

Every once in a rare while you find a band like Grandkids, one that inhabits such a range of sounds and emotions it's hard to pin down what they are at their core.

Pumpkin Dungeon begins with a mathy rolling rhythm with a ripping lead from guitarist Evan Metz that continues through most of the song in call-and-response with Vivian McConnell's terse, stacatto vocals and complementary to her intricate fingerstyle rhythm guitar. Phil Sudderberg and Adam Gorcowski on drums and bass rip through time signature changes with a variety of different feels, none of which seem to settle into any sort of traditional groove; they embrace novel textures over familiar. After a couple roaring verses and choruses, the song falls into a mellow bridge with chimey guitar and shimmering cymbal rolls, but the respite is short-lived.

The band rarely settles into anything for too long; their songs are bursting with ideas and giving too much time to any one of them could easily turn their tracks from well-structured, innovative, melody-driven songs into proggy indulgent jams; Grandkids' tounge-in-cheek self-designation of "Humblecore" and "not-multiple-floor-tom band" would suggest that they are conscious of this balance and are purposefully moving ever forward.

The beginning of Gold Rain plays like a running jump into a lake: an upbeat intro, as straightforward emotionally as it is melodically, abruptly dives into a half-tempo shoegaze-tinged verse, all the melodies suddenly smeared and moving in slow-motion. And that's all before the vocals come in. The band settles into a bobbing equilibrium that ebbs and flows with intensity, continually flirting with completely breaking loose but never quite losing its mooring. Vivian's vocals, when present, are understated and broken in rhythm, as if she's figuring out how to express the emotion she's feeling as she's feeling it for the first time. She intones the refrains differently each time; at one point a barely-audible whisper, another confidently belted.

These recordings definitely merit multiple spins to catch everything Grandkids pack into their songs. Their sound may be hard to describe, but it isn't hard to listen to.

Grandkids is

Adam Gorcowski
Bass
Vivian McConnell
Vocals, Guitar
Evan Metz
Guitar
Phil Sudderberg
Drums

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Production Manager Kevin Claxton
  • Director / Editor / Interviewer Iris Lin
  • Cinematographer / Photogragher Kelsie Hardison
  • Photo Editor Kerri Hacker