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 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

May 2014

Moritat

Moritat is difficult to describe. The band features hints of postpunk, folk, R&B, jazz, and more (to give you an idea of what I mean by “more,” Serbian folk music is mentioned in our interview), but you’d be hard-pressed to assign a single genre to one of their songs, much less to the band as a whole. There’s a dark, driving force in their music that occasionally gives way to something calmer and sweeter, a juxtaposition that heightens the impact of both ends of the spectrum. For the majority of the time, the band occupies a space in between straightforward emotions - there’s no joyous, sad, or angry Moritat song -- though there could be, say, joy-ominous. Maybe they’re inventing their own emotions.

The first track on their CSC single is a prime example: Shopping mashes together a dark, atmospheric, and dancey groove with lyrics (sung largely in gorgeous two- and three-part harmonies) that sound like they might be from the perspective of a teenage girl preoccupied with partying and, well, shopping. The triviality of the line “I want to party with all of my friends / ‘til the end” takes on a much more apocalyptic tone. Similarly, We’d is a touchingly bittersweet goodbye to a planet we’re losing, or at least changing, through our inaction.

It’s rare that each member of a band sits on as equal footing as do the members of Moritat; each performer brings as much to the table as the next. In addition to all three members singing, Venus Laurel provides keyboards with low-fi style, Konstantin Jace plays alternately spacey and aggressive bass lines, and Corey McCafferty just slays on the drums. Moritat is weird. Listen to them.

Moritat is

Venus Laurel
Keyboards, Vocals
Konstantin Jace
Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Corey McCafferty
Drums, Vocals

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

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