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.

August 2016

The Runnies

There's a power in simplicity, and the Runnies have mastered the art of the powerfully simple song. A garage rock power trio heavily influenced by Nuggets-era psych and protopunk, they write dynamic, emotionally resonant songs with nothing more than a verse, chorus, and bridge. They've got a deceptively wide range in their songwriting; while they've written plenty of fantastic raucous uptempo tracks, where they shine the most is in their melancholy, slow-burning songs.

Anchoring the Runnies sound is Mary McKane's Farfisa organ - once common in rock bands when the genre was in its infancy, it now confers the band an unusual aesthetic. Playing organ allows Mary to hold down the basslines of the songs as well as comp chords, while Russ Calderwood plays lead riffs and occasionally explodes into a fuzzy, tape-delay addled solo. Drummer Brett Swinney tends to make more use of his toms than his cymbals, giving his beats a propulsive and primal quality.

Above all that, Mary sings with one of the most unique voices in Chicago. She's got some grit when singing more tuneful melodies, but she can switch on a Bob-Dylan-by-way-of-Lou-Reed style of speak-singing, and on rare occasion she'll conjure up a blistering scream.

The Runnies have been a favorite of ours for a long while and we're ecstatic to present two songs of theirs that have not been released previously.

The Runnies is

Mary McKane
Organ, Vocals
Russ Calderwood
Guitar
Brett Swinney
Drums

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Director / Interviewer Iris Lin
  • Videographer Kelsie Hardison
  • Photographer & Videographer Kerri Hacker
  • Assistant Engineer Kevin Claxton

March 2016

The Gold Web

Pop music is inescapable, and there's a clear dichotomy in Chicago's independent music circles: musicians who rail against the perceived inauthenticity and shortcomings of pop, and those who embrace the genre, evolve from it, and create fantastic art from it. While both attitudes have their place, the Gold Web takes the latter approach; they see pop's artificiality and put it front and center with invented identities, bizarre, intricate costumes, and wild stage theatrics. They take pop's sonic elements and amplify them until they're totally blown out, their weird synth leads melding with fuzzy electric guitars sketching out hyperactive melodies and bombastic post-psychedelic soundscapes.

The Gold Web’s songs are underpinned by massive basslines and pulsating drum grooves, making even their mellowest tracks danceable. Their main feature is the band’s exceptional grasp of melody - whether it’s expressed through vocal hooks, glammy guitar riffs, or keyboard countermelodies. The songs’ arrangements are dynamic and textured, supplemented by triggered samples, auxillary percussion, and shimmering synth pads. Their live shows are a multimedia affair, hinting at a created universe larger than they can show us in a thirty-minute set - these characters live in a world where the underground art party never stops.

The Gold Web is

KNG FWX
Vocals / Guitar
DR WEED
Samples / Aux. Percussion
GOLDILOX
Drums
ST SNAKE
Synth / Bass

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Assistant Engineer Kevin Claxton
  • Photography Kerri Hacker
  • Videography / Editing Kelsie Hardison
  • Videography / Interview Iris Lin

February 2016

Ace da Vinci

Ace Da Vinci is a little bit of everything: MC, producer, activist, and founder of the SmartMouf collective of artists. His energy and passion for his craft comes through in everything he does.

As a vocalist, Ace deftly switches between rapping verses and singing hooks. His flow can be aggressive or laid-back, and his lyrics are largely politically-charged or deeply personal anthems of self-empowerment, often both at the same time.

His talents as a producer cover a lot of ground. Moments, the A-side of his CSC single, revolves around a tastefully jazz inflected piano riff, largely percussion-less save for a snap here and a sampled "yep" there. The heart of Lighthouse is a fiery choral sample that floats ethereally while Ace's vocals build in intensity, peaking as he brings in the song's hook and anchors the choir with an 808-like beat.

For the CSC session, Ace brought in three instrumentalists to breathe some unique vibes into the music; Sam Veren on trumpet, Austen Goebel on bass, and Windy Indie on violin. Their on-the-spot writing enhanced Ace's beats with some organic variations and intensified the vibes already present.

Ace da Vinci is

Ace da Vinci
Vocals / Producer
Sam Veren
Trumpet
Austen Goebel
Bass
Windy Indie
Violin

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Assistant Engineer Kevin Claxton
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Director / Interviewer Iris Lin
  • Camera Operator Kelsie Hardison