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Unsigned Spotlight: Romancer (Ambient Emo/Punk)

Here in Illinois, as I write this at the beginning of December, it’s been winter for over a month. We’ve endured multiple ice storms, a blizzard that dumped 12 inches of snow in some spots, and even a day when no fewer than 26 tornadoes touched down across the state. Even by Illinois standards, that’s unusual. There have been plenty of evenings where the most appealing thing to do is curl up by the fireplace, make a pot of swirling hot chocolate, and find the perfect music to help you…

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Unsigned Spotlight: Night Like This (Pop Punk/Alternative/Acoustic)

How often do you hear the phrase “less is more”? Do you believe those words? Do you apply them to certain aspects of your life? Every once in a while a band comes along that reminds you just how much sheer beauty can be created within the musical ideology of minimalism. Enter Des Moines, Iowa pop-punk/acoustic trio Night Like This. A surprisingly overlooked quality that many of the most popular and beloved artists in modern history share is that multiple members contribute vocals. (The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac…

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Album Review: Justin Courtney Pierre ‘In the Drink’

When Motion City Soundtrack took an indefinite hiatus in 2016, fans were hit. Hard. Right smack in the face. Especially me. I was hoping for a 20th anniversary of the band (co-founded by Justin Courtney Pierre and Joshua Cain in 1997), but alas, they hit the pause button just a year short of that milestone. Known for their incredibly catchy beats, the Minneapolis alternative rock band managed to find a perfect balance between poppy synths, and dark, dismal, often dysfunctional lyrics. The clouds have cleared, and Justin Courtney Pierre is…

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Album Review: Super American ‘Tequila Sunrise’

The popular Los Angeles rock band the Eagles sang about a “Tequila Sunrise” on their Desperado album back in 1973.  This Friday, Sept. 14, Buffalo NY Indie rock duo Super American are releasing their debut album of the same name —Tequila Sunrise, via Take This To Heart Records. This time around, the record delivers a 13-track set of catchy songs and memorable lyrics perfectly matched to any non-committal, slacker, equipped with an ironically soft spot for falling in love. The record manages to remain upbeat, in what otherwise could be a…

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Unsigned Spotlight: Latenightsinmycar (Pop-Punk/Acoustic)

For many artists and fans alike, music isn’t just a source of pleasure – it’s also an essential release, a temporary escape from the world, an unfailingly loyal friend that’s always there to help you through life’s tougher moments. Like it’s personally reaching out to connect with the listener. Relatability and passion personified – that’s what you get from every last moment spent with Wheaton, IL pop-punk/acoustic act Latenightsinmycar. The band’s 2018 EP, titled Daydreams, deals in such intricacies as past relationships and dealing with loss but also the hope and…

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UNSIGNED SPOTLIGHT: Secret Tree Fort

Standing out as an acoustic artist can be tricky. Some folks hear the term “acoustic” and immediately think slow guitar plucks, soft vocals, earnest lyrics, and that’s about it. Skyler Truth, aka Secret Tree Fort, blows that perception away with his special hybrid of raw acoustic emo and undeniable pop-punk catchiness that chills and thrills in equal measure. Secret Tree Fort’s 2018 EP, titled Willow, sees Truth pouring his deepest, often darkest emotions on the line for everyone to see and feel. These five songs are built on deeply introspective…

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Album Review: Real Friends – ‘Composure’

You know the phrase, “It’s about to get real,” right? Well, Real Friends just released a brand-new record. For real. This is real life. Friday, July 13th, the Chicago pop punkers released their third record, Composure, via Fearless Records. The joke’s on you if you think Composure is anything but gimmicky though. The record has quite the tumultuous backstory, with lead singer Dan Lambton’s anxiety, depression and recent bi-polar diagnosis. He even took a break from the band in its entirety, after manic episodes, panic attacks and breakdowns. The band…

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LIVE REVIEW: The Sick Tour w/ New Found Glory and Bayside

They say that seeing your favorite band from high school as an adult is a life changing experience. They’re not wrong. When I saw Bayside and New Found Glory on the same ticket, I screamed out loud. It was a pop-punk dream come true. Opening for them was William Ryan Key, that concert goers would recognize and the former frontman of Yellowcard. Key took to the stage with just himself and his guitar and played through his entire EP, Thirteen. He knew he couldn’t get off the stage without playing…

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LIVE REVIEW: Face to Face, Less than Jake, Direct Hit!, The Jukebox Romantics

If you ever wanted to go to a live show that reminiscent of a backyard house party, BLK Live in Scottsdale is the place for you. Between the residential sized pool, comfy cabanas and outdoor bar, BLK Live is the ideal spot for a punk rock fan to enjoy a show. Opening the bill was The Jukebox Romantics, hailing from New York, this high-energy three piece group was the perfect way to kick off the night. The second group to play was Direct Hit!, a Midwestern pop-punk band that sound like…

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STREAM: Compathy “Cannon”

Compathy is an acoustic pop punk solo-project founded by New Hampshire-native and current Chicago transplant, Matt Campbell. Through the project, Campbell released a new song titled “Cannon.” The track is a follow up to their debut EP, You Have No Home Here, which was released earlier this year. Please follow and like us:

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