Lockdown—self-isolating—sheltering in place—whatever you call it, goes easier with these outstanding album releases by stellar Chicago artists.
“Fantasize Your Ghost”
Singer-songwriters Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart’s much-anticipated second album is hard-edged, high-gloss, lyrically complex indie pop; their specialty is a paradoxically urgent languor.
Available June 5
“This From That”
The second album by guitarist Alejandro Urzagaste’s jazz quartet is a highly sophisticated, dazzlingly virtuosic set featuring original works and two standards made famous by Peggy Lee.
Origin of Animal and the Chicago Composers Orchestra
Documenting an exhilarating exchange between the adventurous rock-jazz big band and the new music ensemble, which took place at Ganz Hall in January, featuring music by Chicago composers.
Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood
This self-professed glam-punk band are so ready for an arena, you want to build one for them. They throw down the full range of power-genre tropes, including some impressive Queen-style harmonies.
Black Friars Social Club
“Black Friars Social Club”
The alt-folk band, fronted by singer-songwriter Mark Panick, displays an impressive range, from sweetly shaggy ballads and gorgeously gloomy dirges, to seventies-style swamp rock and high-gloss lounge pop.
Robert Rodi is an author, spoken-word performer and musician who has served as Newcity’s Music Editor since 2014. He’s written more than a dozen books, including the travel memoir “Seven Seasons In Siena.” His jazz quintet recently completed a two-year residency at Uncommon Ground, and he regularly hosts a jazz singers’ jam at Lizard’s Liquid Lounge. His literary and music criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Huffington Post and many other national and regional publications.