Gang of Youths’ introduction to the Australian music scene came in 2015 with the release of their debut album The Positions and 2016’s EP Let Me Be Clear. Although they were the new kids on the block, their popularity spread like wildfire and they quickly became one of Australia’s best live acts. Gang of Youths played at Schubas Monday night, and I almost immediately shamed myself for not having heard their music before. Like someone seeing colors for the first time, I was transfixed by their effortless stage presence, connection to the crowd, and their well-defined sound.
Last Friday featured co-headliners The Courtneys and Jay Som at Schubas. The Funs, although billed as the opening act, brought the energy levels up with their unique sound. Crazy Courtney put it best between songs, saying that she is constantly in awe of The Funs, and that hearing their music is like being at a spa where you are immersed into freezing cold water. At first, you experience shock and slight discomfort as your brain tries to make sense of their unconventional sound. However, once you become accustomed to it, then the bath salts are introduced which make your mind go wild.
The Courtneys were sandwiched between The Funs and Jay Som. Their sound is upbeat, carefree, and makes me think of summer. Despite the fact that there are only three members, the ladies manage to create a very full sound which got fans bobbing along as they played. Between songs, we were privy to their quirky sense of humor. The trio were telling us about the custom buttons they had made, which have hair coming out of them, and urged us to check them out after their set since they will surely go down in history as one of The Courtneys’ best pins. We were further welcomed into their minds as we listened to a song about Kiefer Sutherland and heard about the time they wrote a song about Keanu Reeves and sent it over to his people, you know, just in case they wanted it for something. The Courtneys finished their setlist of 8 songs before their time slot was up, so we were treated to an encore song.
Jay Som was last on the bill, and seemed to have quite the following at the show. I was immediately enamored with the sound they flawlessly wove together. The instruments flowed fluidly between each other, filling all the gaps and creating a floaty, endless sound. Vocalist Melina Duterte’s voice was perfectly in tune with the instrumentals which served to make their sound even more rich. I look forward to seeing where these bands show up next!
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The Courtneys, Flying Nun’s first non New Zealand artist, recently released their sophomore album “The Courtneys II” and are coming to Chicago to let fans hear the new material live. The power trio has fashioned an incredibly catchy and well-produced album, and they are eager to share it with everyone. To hear their new material, click here.
Multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Melina Duterte, who goes by the stage name Jay Som, will be co-headlining with The Courtneys Friday night. Jay Som is fresh off of touring with The Drums and playing SXSW, and Chicago is just one of her many stops with The Courtneys. Jay Som is touring in support of her most recent release, Everybody Works, which has been receiving high praise from the likes of NPR, Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, Paste, and Stereogum. Check out her Bandcamp here.
See you Friday, everyone!
On the first night of her tour, Esmé Patterson played to a full house at Schubas. Patterson, who had recently chopped her signature curly locks for her video “Francine,” was looking particularly badass in her bright blue bobbed wig.
Adia Victoria’s performance had the entire audience on edge. There is something about the way that she sings that grabs everyone’s attention and keeps it. Her songs ranged from bluesy southern rock to haunting ballads, one of which was about her recently deceased cat, Mortimer. She sang about growing up in South Carolina and her desire to get out of the south as well. Despite the fact that her voice is perfectly raspy when raw when she sings, her regular speaking voice between songs was sweet and shy. Her performance was powerful and refreshingly honest, and I can’t wait to see her next time she comes through town.