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.

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Moritat

April 2014

Absolutely Not

Absolutely Not play a nebulous blend of glam, garage, and punk that gives you just what you need and not a second more: two minutes full of hyperactive riffs, infectious melodies, and dance-inspired beats that are over as soon as they start. Their music calls back to the 70s protopunk scene that was brash, eclectic, and unruly, and the trio isn’t afraid to keep their sound changing from record to record. While earlier releases sounded like a T. Rex record on Adderall, the songs recorded for CSC are more on the punk end of the Abs Not spectrum -- something along the lines of a spazzier Coachwhips. Absolutely Not plays it fast, makes it fun, and doesn’t take themselves too seriously - though the lighthearted music occasionally belies darker lyrical content.

The band is fronted by guitarist Donnie Moore, whose repetitive vocal hooks and gang-vocal choruses will drive their way into your brain and won’t leave until long after the songs are over. Donnie’s sister Madison plays keyboards with a massively bassy organ tone and contributes backing vocals, while Jenna Horwath keeps the trio tight and driving forward with her dance-rock drum grooves.

Absolutely Not is

Donnie Moore
Guitar, Vocals
Madison Moore
Keyboards, Vocals
Jenna Horwath
Drums, Vocals
More Absolutely Not

Exclusive CSC Single

Free download of this single

Video Interview

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

March 2014

Psalm One with Sexy Decoy

Psalm One is Chicago hip-hop royalty. Raised in Englewood, she honed her craft in central Illinois while studying Chemistry as an undergrad student, before returning to Chicago to continue her evolution into one of the city’s most fierce, honest, and deeply thoughtful emcees on the scene.

The songs making up this single were recorded with back up band Sexy Decoy (comprised of a full rhythm section, trumpet and sax) along with Psalm’s always vibrant hype-woman Fluffy. Recorded in Ravenswood’s Experimental Sound Studio, the session was a special cap to Chicago Singles Club’s first year. The songs retain an organic feel and depth not often present in today’s more produced hip-hop. The rhythm section of Martin Rodriguez, Nathan Hanak, Paul Goldman, and Kyle Crager provide a deep, natural, and intimate backdrop for “Let’s Medicate” and “No Problems”, allowing the subtleties of the live band to shine. The interplay between thumping basslines and polished live drums complements the soundscape created by ethereal guitar work and synth lines - all punctuated by the two-piece horn section of Kyle Miller and Jack Wilson.

After years of releasing material for Minneapolis-based label Rhymesayers Entertainment, Psalm has recently re-invented herself with a new album and new focus, and her rhymes are a clear indication of growth. Tied to Chicago’s youth and music through her work as a mentor and teacher, Psalm’s lyrics paint a picture of the challenges facing all of Chicago and its artists, while at the same time offering a glimmer of hope and putting out a call to do more, be more, and make more of the city.

Psalm One with Sexy Decoy is

Cristalle Bowen (Psalm One / Hologram Kizzie)
Vocals
Dorothy Claybourne (Fluffy)
Vocals
Kyle Crager
Bass
Nathan Hanak
Guitar
Martin Rodriguez
Drums
Paul Goldman
Synth
Kyle Miller
Trumpet
Jack Wilson
Saxophone
More Psalm One with Sexy Decoy

Exclusive CSC Single

Free download of this single

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Interviewer / Videographer Iris Lin
  • Producer / Editor Cassie Balynas
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Videographer Amy Earl Furrow
  • Production Assistant Kevin Claxton
  • Production Assistant Ron DeMay
  • Production Assistant Dylan Slack
  • Artwork The Gift of Broken Tracking Devices: Thinking with Our Hands

February 2014

White Mystery

If you've been paying attention to independent music in Chicago for any time at all, you've heard White Mystery. The brother-sister duo has been a fixture for the past five years, playing classic garage punk that's pure irreverent rock and roll. Having come up in the DIY scene, their connection to Chicago’s vibrant music community is readily apparent.

Their songs, simple and raw, serve more as launching pads for the wild improvisation that is characteristic of their live sets. Extended instrumental romps, the centerpieces of these tracks, are reminiscent of White Light / White Heat era Velvet Underground. Unlike their forebears, their two-piece setup and years of performing together give White Mystery a dynamic edge - allowing them to change tempos, rhythms, and tonalities at the drop of a hat. As the improvisations develop, Alex’s buzzsaw guitar leads devolve from blues-inspired pentatonic riffs to texture-over-melody guitar pyrotechnics, all while Francis pounds out beats that propel the chaos forward. At times, the two are so in sync that you may find yourself questioning if sibling telepathy really does exist.

Like their upcoming album, this single was recorded entirely live, and in one take - a first for CSC.

White Mystery is

Alex White
Guitar, Vocals
Francis Scott White
Drums, Vocals
More White Mystery

Exclusive CSC Single

Free download of this single

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Videographer / Editor Cassie Balynas
  • Interviewer / Videographer Iris Lin
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Production Assistant Kevin Claxton
  • Production Assistant Ron DeMay