Emily Haines has that distinctive aura some musicians possess which immediately makes one aware of how much cooler they are than you — and, by extension, of how generally uncool you really are in the eyes of the unforgiving cosmos. During our phone interview, the first words out of her mouth (“We’re in transit…We just landed here in Atlanta”) manage to drip with the casual competence of someone who’s been there and done that enough to make it all seem mundane.
‘90s music purists have a tendency to dismiss them as a Smashing Pumpkins redux. And to many more casual audiophiles, they’re nothing more than the band behind “Lazy Eye.” But anyone who stops there misses the chance to loop-de-loop through the less explored quadrants of The Silversun Pickups’ haunted cosmos. Their previous album, Neck of the Woods, was a moody, atmospheric tangent that could have been a B-side for the Twin Peaks OST while their newest record, Better Nature, is being heralded as their foray into synth pop and electronica. Lead singer Brian Aubert has described Better Nature as being like “a quantum universe,” but drummer Chritopher Guanlao cited some additional, more unexpected influences when he spoke with Chicago INNERVIEW.
When Chicago INNERVIEW asks Perfect Pussy guitarist Ray McAndrew what bands from the group’s hometown of Syracuse, New York, we should be listening to, he sends links of Random Blaster, Popular Music and The Nudes. The last of these count his brother/cartoonist Phil McAndrew among its members, who has also done work for Mad Magazine. Yet of all the Syracuse bands, the most well known is the band of which Ray McAndrew is a member: Perfect Pussy.
Chvrches’ Every Open Eye is a textbook example of the “highly anticipated album,” a pop and rock-adjacent record from a band that has just finished transitioning from cult darlings to festival headliners. Everyone who seems to come in contact with the band walks away converted, including Pitchfork, who declared that Chvrches “embody what a generation raised on electronic music is looking for in a rock band.” So is the band comfortable trying to live up to such lofty accolades?