The Orwells' Guide To The Best Acts From Chicago

Wondering where to start with the best bands and rappers to check out from the WIndy City? Let its current rawest sons be your guide...
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The city that brought us Muddy Waters, Smashing Pumpkins, Kanye West,  The Outhere Brothers and the entire House genre is currently undergoing a purple patch of early-70s LA standards.  That might be hyperbole, but a cursury glance over the acts currently coming out of Obama's home turf- Chance The Rapper, Smith Westerns, Twin Peaks- mark it out as ground zero for new music that's making waves.


Somewhere near front of these are The Orwells, who seem to be drawing comparisons with The Strokes but in actuality seem to be closer to The Doors and Iggy, with lead singer Mario Cuomo's Mid-West drawl on new single 'The Righteous One'  doing nothing to suppress the rumours* he is actually Jim Morrisons' grandchild.

With this in mind, we asked the band's drummer Henry Brinner to recommend his favourite new-ish acts from his hometown.  First off is the aforementioned...

Twin Peaks

Another band hailing from Chicago, who we’ve known for a long time. We’re about to tour with these dudes - totally cool on and off the stage. They released their album Sunken last year, and it’s one of my favourite albums ever – it’s only about 20 minutes long but it’s rad and we have it on constantly on tour. It’s being re-released this summer, and everyone should go out and buy it. Give Irene, a track taken from their awesome debut a listen.

Heavy Times

Heavy rippers with a catalog of rockin' tunes – they set the bar for modern punk everywhere.  Have yet to catch these bros live, but I assume they shred.  They met in a skateboarding gang years ago, and Chicago adopted them pretty quickly. Their third album, out last summer, is just huge – 18 tracks in 33 minutes. They’re amazingly consistent, I don’t think they’ve ever put out a bad track. They broke up for a while, but they’re back on track now and I can’t wait to hear what comes next. Check out their song, "Might Not".


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New Band Of The Week #5-The Districts

Layers of melodies and heavy synths make their album that hasn't come out yet one of my most anticipated releases. They’ve only been around for about a year, but what they’ve put out so far is great.  Members of the band include a couple of guys from the Smith Westerns and the drummer from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Check out this live video for Like Dust – it was their debut single and it had me hooked from the word go. It was shot in Ziyad’s (vocals) parents basement -

Vic Mensa

Smart and intelligent Rapper from the no longer active group "Kids These Days". He’s appeared on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape­ and it was fuckin’ badass – listen to Cocoa Butter Kisses here. His new mixtape INNATAPE is garnishing a bunch of plays on my phone, check out the song “Run”. He’s heading over to Europe with Danny Brown next month, so everyone should go see him.

Strange Faces

From Chicago by the way of Cincinatti - I just caught them live in a cold low ceiling basement and it was one of the most rocking sets I’ve seen. Ever. Lead singer and main song writer David Miller along with his band shredded and slayed and I loved it. Expect a new album soon, but listen to this until then.

The Orwells are heading out on a mostly sold out tour in February, but to check ticket availability have a look here

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*not actually a thing