Chicago Singles Club

Chicago Singles Club is an online music publication and record label that, once a month, produces an exclusive, original recording and video interview with a different independent Chicago artist that we love.

to get updates when we post new songs and interviews, and head to our store to purchase our first vinyl compilation of all the A-sides from year one.

November 2014

Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta

The artists that make up the Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta are musical omnivores. They come from all sorts of musical backgrounds and play in bands of different styles -- indie rock, Latin jazz, and Mexican roots music, to name a few. As bassist Jaime Garza puts it, each member of Dos Santos plays with a different accent.

The root of their sound is Cumbia -- a dance genre that originated in Colombia by way of West Africa in the 1800s. Cumbia then spread throughout Latin America where it evolved as each country added their own regional influence to the sound. More specifically, Dos Santos is riffing on Chicha, the 1960s Peruvian flavor of Cumbia that took the pan-Latin melting pot of sounds and fused it with psychedelic rock.

But this isn’t a band emulating a dusty collection of 45s and calling it revival -- Dos Santos pours all their own influences and experience into the pot. Their songs revolve around short, rhythmic melodies that pass back and forth from the guitars, organ, and vocals, all ebbing and flowing in dense, percussive arrangements. Drummer Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo, percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale, and bassist Jaime Garza control the dynamics of the songs with their interlocking grooves, some traditional and some modern. Alex Chavez and Irekani Ferreyra’s guitars harmonize and play off each other’s rhythms, with Alex veering off into ambient psychedelic noise when the songs start to implode. Every member sings, whether it’s in a 3 part harmony verse or a solo / group call-and-response chorus.

Listen to their single here, and catch their mesmerizing live show next time you find yourself at an underground cumbia party!

Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta is

Alex Chavez
Vocals / Guitar / Hammond
Irekani Ferreyra
Guitar / Vocals
Peter "Maestro" Vale
Congas / Bongos / Percussion
Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo
Drums
Jaime Garza
Bass

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Production Manager Kevin Claxton
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Videography / Editing Cassie Balynas
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin
  • Production Assistant Jordan Morrell

October 2014

Kangaroo

Kangaroo is a band of contrasts. They’re loud and noisy, but their songs are hyper-melodic and practically beg to be sung along to. They’re brain-pummeling rock and roll, but they tackle deeper subjects in their lyrics. They’re a punk band that has a nuanced view on religion and spirituality.

The quartet seemed to come out of nowhere last year, when lead singer and guitarist Devon Press moved to Chicago with an album’s worth of songs he had recently written while holed up in a friend’s summer home during the off season. He was joined by bassist Andy Dow, guitarist Ross Tasch, and drummer Joel Cornelius; the band was immediately embraced by Chicago’s punk and DIY scenes for obvious reasons. They slip between slow, dreamy sections and full-bore punk assaults when you least expect it. Their songwriting is infectiously melodic and they have boundless energy onstage. Their record has the blown-out lo-fi aesthetics of a bedroom project, but their live show is the spectacle of four musicians going all out while staying completely in sync with each other.

The single we recorded with the band includes both Takes So Long Without You, the first song Devon wrote for the project, and a more recent track, Aborigine. Check it out now!

Kangaroo is

Devon Press
Vocals / Guitar
Andy Dow
Bass
Ross Tasch
Guitar
Joel Cornelius
Drums

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Production Manager Kevin Claxton
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Videography / Editing Cassie Balynas
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin
  • Production Assistant Jordan Morrell

September 2014

Bring Your Ray Gun

Dance-rock has a curious history as it fuses two genres that were once posed in vehement opposition: disco and rock. Disco emerged in the early 1970s in reaction to the overwhelming dominance of rock in popular music, the rejection of dance-oriented music in underground scenes, and the straight white men's club that rock music had become. As disco ascended the pop charts, the two cultures clashed in the mainstream (as evidenced locally by the disastrous Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey in 1979), though a few adventurous artists realized the potential of combining the two genres. Post-punk bands like Liquid Liquid, ESG, and Gang of Four took disco’s driving funk rhythms and soul influences and fused them with the aggression and angularity of punk. New Wave embraced its timbres and dance-friendly grooves. Ever since, the hybrid style has been present and evolving, most recently culminating in the dance-punk explosion in the early to mid 2000s. 

As with any other genre that fuses two distinct cultures, dance-rock opened up artists to a slew of new influences as is evidenced in Bring Your Ray Gun’s fun, raw, and dynamic songs. Will Wood’s guitar work jumps from funky comping to spacey, delay-saturated riffs to straight-ahead bombastic punk without skipping a beat. Heather Perry and Carlos Zapata easily rise to the challenge of the genre’s elevated role of drums and bass; their grooves are tight, neatly interwoven, and right at home on the dance floor. The world-influenced auxiliary percussion on Break it Off gives off the party vibe reminiscent of late 70s Marvin Gaye tracks while Heather’s spoken-word vocal counterpoint in What Will Become Of All This sounds like she may have time-traveled straight from an 80’s new wave show to whisper in your ear. Josh Lambert takes on the role of frontman and singer with aplomb - his vocal melodies are catchy and energetic, and his stage persona has all the cocky, brash, raw sexuality that you’d ever want from a lead singer. Synth lines and pads accentuate the densely packed arrangements. 

All of which is to say every Bring Your Ray Gun song is a party. And it’s a party you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

Bring Your Ray Gun is

Josh Lambert
Vocals / Percussion
Will Wood
Guitar
Heather Perry
Bass / Vocals
Carlos Zapata
Drums

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Production Manager Kevin Claxton
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin
  • Video / Editing Cassie Balynas