There's somewhat of a paradox inherent in Vundabar's songwriting — a conflicting sense of nostalgia contrasted with the realization that they couldn't sound more current. The music they make feels like something that should have been heard a long time ago, while simultaneously continuing to forge ahead sonically. Vundabar's high energy live show is the stand out quality of this band and is an art they’ve undoubtedly perfected by touring non-stop around the country. Vundabar’s shows never fail to be captivating, complete with infectious jams, guitar moves galore, intricate drum work, and humorous stage banter to top it all off, the band has become known for putting on an entertaining show.
Born out of fierce friendship and a mutual affection for melody, Chicago’s Ratboys – anchored by the partnership of Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan – aims to ‘write songs that tell stories and honor the intimacy of memory,’ according to Steiner. GN, the group’s second full-length album via Topshelf Records, offers a bevy of tales, laments and triumphs, which recount near-tragedies by the train tracks, crippling episodes of loneliness, remembrances of a deceased family pet with freezer burn, and on and on. Drawing influence from the down-to-earth sincerity of late-90s Sheryl Crow and the confessional confidence of Kim Deal and Jenny Lewis.
On debut record Memory Lounge, Gardener mixes the sunny trademarks of sixties psych and nostalgia-inducing guitar pop hooks with his omnipresent optimism and a healthy dose of melancholy.