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?
Drummer Ren Mathew, newly liberated from a dissolving power-pop outfit, answered the ad. The two ambled through Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” talked about their shared love of Bernard Purdie, and Bailiff was born.
After years of collaborating with a rotating cast of supporting sidemen, in 2012 Mathew and Siegel recruited NYC transplant and multi-instrumentalist Owen O’Malley to join their Chicago tribe and become part of their official roster. Fast forward through eight months of songwriting boot camp (with mentors Dan Smart and Jon Alvin) and a $16k-raising Kickstarter campaign, Bailiff kicked off production on their second LP – entitled Remise – in April of 2013. Bunkered in a sub-suburban studio with engineering wunderkind Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie, Superchunk, Bob Mould), the band spent two weeks forging their most eclectic work to date. Remise is imbued with flourishes of West African blues, Celtic folk, and jagged electro-pop, while reaffirming Bailiff’s knack for writing a durable hook.