For Will Phalen, it’s about writing songs with depth and feeling. But Phalen doesn’t stop there. He takes his lyrics and his melodies and surrounds them with textures and sounds that move the music far beyond “the guy with the guitar on the stool”.
When Josh Siegel confided to one of his Berklee professors that he was dropping out to move home and start a band, that professor had one response: “don’t procrastinate.” A Craigslist ad went up immediately upon Siegel’s return to Chicago: Do you consider Radiohead to be soul music? Do you hear Muddy Waters in between the notes on the White Album?
Jared Bartman is a songwriter, composer, and bandleader based in Peoria, IL. Merging genres to create a sound that is all his own, Bartman combines indie, American folk, Eastern European, and afro-Cuban music with classical arrangements, occasionally returning to his rock and roll roots. Today, Bartman’s live shows span from solo performances to large ensemble performances featuring vocal harmonies, string quartet, bass, and percussion accompaniment that recreates the vivid sonic pictures captured in his studio recordings. Sharing the stage with artists like John Vanderslice, Richard Buckner, and Night Beds has allowed Bartman to perform for audiences that value a richer, raw sound driven by poetic lyricism. A new full-length record, Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows, saw release in fall of 2013.
VRO (elemental) Elemental was the third song we shot on this outing. This was a new location along the banks of the Chicago River front. The original location was going to be the bench on the lower level but upon arriving found it to be quite occupied by employees of the Chicago water taxi. Having no fear of public performance, Victoria decided to just “jump in and roll with it” from the top of the staircase leading down to the […]
American Wolf is a five-piece indie rock band from Chicago, comprised of strong folk and jazz influences, technical melodies, haunting vocals, and an abundance of atmospheric ambiance. They seek to complement each others’ ideas to create a harmoniously unique, driving, and memorable sound. American Wolf has released two full length albums: Tales of Kamanakera and Myriad, and are currently in the studio recording another to be released this year.
Partnering with the Ronald McDonald House and Renegade Lighting Rebellion gave Rooftop Sessions Chicago a new perspective on things from their 16th floor rooftop. Tucked away in a stunning new building we were privileged to gain access to this unique venue overlooking the downtown skyline.
The group’s music (with songs exploring journalists banding together in the early 1980s to battle the decline of print journalism through sheer ultra-violence to the emasculation of trying to protect the woman you love in a city you don’t understand in a body you know is eventually going in the ground) have earned the group wide praise from Rolling Stone, Sound Opinions contributor Jim Derogatis, You Ain’t No Picasso, the Chicago Tribune, and many more.