Chicago Singles Club

December 2015

Crown Larks

Crown Larks' art-rock experiments cover a wide swath of ground, often dealing in sharp contrasts. They can be delicate, dissonant, tuneful, atonal, loose, and precise - sometimes all within the same song. Those contrasts are particularly exemplified in the tracks the band recorded for Chicago Singles Club. Satrap is a ripping psych-rock firestorm, with chaotic improvised horn lines propelling the track in and out of fuzz guitar explosions. Compare that with Fog, Doves, which starts off with a quiet jazz-inflected rubato that drifts in and out of a downtempo bass groove, occasionally interrupted with brief percussive bursts from the ensemble. It's in the latter track that the band seems to be exceptionally in tune with each other as collective improvisers, a rare and admirable trait that was honed in the impressive 85 shows they've played this year. Though the band is relatively new on the scene with their first recording released just two years ago, they exist in the overlapping boundaries of two long-standing Chicago traditions; namely, free-jazz influenced improvised experimental rock and the more straightforward extensions of 60's psych.

Presented here as a quintet, their lineup has shifted around a core trio consisting of Lorraine Bailey on keys, vocals, and saxophone; Jack Bouboushian on guitar and vocals; and Bill Miller on drums. Their most recent incarnation includes Matt Puhr on bass and Peter Gillette on trumpet.

Crown Larks is

Lorraine Bailey
Vocals / Keys / Saxophone
Jack Bouboushian
Vocals / Synths / Guitar
Bill Miller
Matt Puhr
Peter Gillette

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Video Interview

  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Assistant Engineer Kevin Claxton
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Director / Camera Operator Iris Lin
  • Editor / Interviewer Kelsie Hardison
  • Camera Operator Steven Jackson