Sounds of Chicago Episode 13 – Music Marathon

Hosted by: Dennis M. Kelly


00:00:00 – Ariel Ryder – “Clouds” –
Ariel Ryder

No biography available at time of publication.

00:03:06 – Danielle Juhre – “You & I” –
Danielle Juhre

Danielle Juhre is an American soul/pop artist from Chicago, IL

00:06:53 – Emily Blue – “Aperture” –
Emily Blue

Emily Blue is a rare flavor of pop. Provocative, dynamic, and constantly evolving, the Chicago artist draws from a wide range of influences (hair metal, glitch pop, industrial sound design). Emily Blue’s last EP *69 was described by PopMatters as “patriarchy-blasting, feminism-championing tunes that are also unapologetically fun,” a shift that made room for her glitchy, catchy summer single Bad Decisions (2019).

Coming up this Fall, Blue takes her vocal power to the next level. Her upcoming dual-single “17 / Heartland” emulates icons like Heart combined with the sultry, melancholy flavors of artists like Lana Del Rey. With bigger and bolder live performances under her belt from this summer’s #CallMeBack tour, Blue promises to be a trailblazer in an often commercial and homogenous genre.

00:09:56 – Jillian Francis – “Won’t Be You” –
Jillian Francis

Jillian Francis is a singer/songwriter who has dedicated the last decade to building her musical vision. Her voice, rooted in the Laurel Canyon era, and her modern indie/folk pop production allow her stories to be heard and related to by all different walks of life. Inspired by Stevie Nicks, Bon Iver, & Florence Welch, as well as many others, she has matched her powerfully honest lyric with uplifting melodies to create a safe environment for her community to reflect and move past their emotions.

Working in the music industry by day and in the studio by night, Jillian has been fully focused on completing her debut EP with the help of talented songwriters and producers. She has recently released her debut single, “Won’t Be You” and will be releasing the follow up song, “If He Loves You” in November.

Jillian Francis has released her debut single “Won’t Be You.” Co-written with 11-time Grammy Award winner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and produced by Eric Scullin, Jillian has created a vulnerable dialogue about modern relationships and empowering people to let go of what no longer makes them truly happy.

00:13:43 – Nicole Amine – “April” –
Nicole Amine

NICOLE AMINE is a songwriter and singer hailing from Metro Detroit now based in Chicago, IL. Amine has been active in the Chicago music scene since 2012, when she began studying at Columbia College. Amine pulls influence from the Motown she grew up on and songwriters she admires greatly (Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Carole King to name a few).

Nicole just recently released an acoustic EP titled “n/a” that was written and recorded at home in quarantine and is currently working on her debut full-length album (release TBD).

AMINE can be found (post Corona) performing solo or with her bandmates: Zach Goforth, Jamie Gallagher, and Jeremiah Higgins.

00:17:08 – Luna Blu – “A Season Too Long” –

Hey, thanks so much for taking a look at our site! We’re a Chicago-based band that has been together for over 14 years now. Wow! Time flies!

What’s our sound? This question makes us cringe – let’s just say we’re a little KT Tunstall / Sarah McLaughlin / Annie Lennox / 10,000 Maniacs / Ani DiFranco -ish.

We’ve got melodies, harmonies, cool rhythms and a sound that’s all our own. We’re a little folky, a little rocky, a little indie and, at times, even a little jazzy. Give us a listen and let us know what you think we are – hopefully it starts with “fabulous!” and ends with “my new favorite!”

Our self-titled EP was produced at Transient Sound Studio in Chicago under the skillful engineering of former Filter drummer Steven Gillis. Also lending their talents to the EP are Vijay Tellis-Nayak on keys and the incomparable Anne Harris on violin.

Luna Blu can been seen at city and suburban venues. Combining lush layers, melodic hooks and playful lyrics, Luna Blu’s music has a multifaceted sound that has broad appeal.

00:22:32 – Cheryl Rodey – “Consistency” –
Cheryl Rodey

A Chicagoland local, Cheryl Rodey is vocal a powerhouse that will blow you away with a genuineness that can make anyone feel the love of music. Constantly surrounded by music as a child, she developed a deep-rooted driving passion for melody and songwriting.

00:27:46 – Model Stranger – “Pick Me” –
Model Stranger InterviewPhoto by Julia Ciaccio

Dubbed “rock n’ roll classicists” and “an eclectic synthesis of psychedelic grunge and classic rock” by Chicago press Model Stranger’s sound and unique look has pleased rock and roll purists, indie rock fans, and casual listeners all the same.

00:30:35 – August Hotel – “Disaster & Delight” –
August Hotel

Combining fresh, modern sensibilities with the influence of ‘80s yesteryear, August Hotel has established itself as one of Chicago’s most energetic and insightful bands. Comprised of Jo Padilla (lead vocals), Ryan Lammers (guitar), Craig Schwartz Jr. (keyboards), Dean Sinclair (drums), and Cale Singleton (bass), August Hotel has been playing together since 2017, after Padilla sent a grainy smartphone video of themself singing to the rest of the band. Within a month, the band was in the studio working on their first EP, 2017’s Charms.

After an extensive schedule of live shows, the band took a step back to record new music, embracing their evolution and new experiences. More than two years later, August Hotel’s second EP, Stations, has come together with four new songs that expand on the group’s ability to weave together each member’s specific musical background and influences. This EP examines different forms of loss—the end of a relationship, the sacrifice of a trans activist, the loss of personal control when struggling with mental health, and losing a guitar on the train—aiming to convey universal experiences via unique stories.

Lead single “Disaster & Delight” explores reconciliation after the end of a relationship through an infectious melody and cheeky – yet still sincere – lyrics. Stations’ accompanying titles strike various tones and moods: urgency, elevation, and melancholy. Produced by Drew Polovick of Friday Pilots Club, Stations exemplifies the band’s deep passion for the story telling qualities of their carefully crafted music. Constantly progressing as individuals and as a band to produce captivating and complex tunes, August Hotel is poised for a breakthrough.

Live, August Hotel has shared stages with the likes of The Academic, Urban Cone, Nightly, Vesperteen, Young Rising Sons, Twin XL, and Knox Hamilton, as well as headlined clubs around Chicago and the Midwest.

00:34:10 – The Northern Lights – “Shine On” –
The Northern Lights

If someone asked you categorize The Northern Lights, one would be faced with quite the challenge. Fearlessly combining influences from all over the spectrum, the band has no trouble appealing to listeners across many different genres. With such a diverse approach to their music, it’s no surprise this Chicago based quartet has shared the stage with an array artists from Black Stone Cherry, Saliva and Saving Abel to artists like Chase Rice, Josh Thompson and Samantha Fish. On a mission to simply write music that is pure, The Northern Lights deliver a breath of originality to an era heavily saturated with the artificial and superficial.

00:38:18 – Prison City Brigade – “Failure By Design” –
Prison City Brigade

Hailing from Joliet, IL, Prison City Brigade has been making a name for themselves around the Chicago area and the Midwest since late August 2013. Releasing their first album, “War On Boredom”, in March of 2017 and their second album, “Trials Of Survival” in August of 2018 they’ve turned their sights on expanding their reach outside of the Midwest and bring more into their dysfunctional family appropriately named, “The Brigade” which welcomes all those who have ever thought to be different, dysfunctional, broken, and/or rebellious.

Listen to the full episode devoted to the #savechicagomedia fundraiser here!

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