For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, CVU is looking at significant record releases and accompanying activity in the month of April, including A Lull!
This week on the ChicagoVerseUniteD Cover Story Series audio podcast: A Lull! In an interview recorded onsite at Schubas in support of the band’s new album Confetti and before the group’s record release event, the members of A Lull discuss the creation and arrival of their long-awaited debut. The band also weighs in on Confetti‘s critical response, in addition to hinting at a new EP on the way. Stream or download CVU72 below, followed by a review of A Lull’s record release show this past Friday evening.
“We realized, man, these songs are the best songs we’ve written, so we need to figure out how to get these on the record.” – Nigel Dennis, CVU72
CVU72 – A Lull
Schubas, Chicago, IL
Friday, April 22nd, 2011
During the later half of A Lull’s Friday night set at Schubas, frontman Nigel Dennis remarked “It’s nice to sell out home.” It’s a statement that reflects the psychedelic art-pop group’s rising star as one of Chicago’s strongest talents right now. The group was onstage before a crowded room in celebration of this month’s Confetti full length, an effort that, for those paying attention, was becoming long-awaited. (For more on the timeline of Confetti, check out the podcast above.) With the album’s origins dating back to 2010 blog hit “Weapons For War,” which dropped early last year and went on to become CVU Local Song Of 2010, Friday’s record release event saw an act able to finally declare its fully realized musical statement before an eager audience.
If there was one constant across the hour long set wherein the group moved throughout Confetti, it was an immense and coordinated percussive attack. From the wall of sound on show opener “Spread It All Around,” which found four of the band’s five members devoting at least some of their time to drumming, to the perfectly-synced dual-drummer beat of “Phem,” itself aided by wood block beats and tropicalia flavoring. Above the rhythm, buzzing guitar won the day on the booming “Some Love,” with Dennis breaking down the chorus into a series of declarative pleas.
As a frontman, Dennis alternated between an array of vocal volumes and deliveries. From the falsettos calls before the verses of the slow and rhythmic “Sidemen” to the singer’s husand tone before “Mammals”‘ busy chorus, with Dennis placing pronounced emphasis and breath between syllables. Meanwhile, on the first live performance of “White Girl,” the frontman sang out “Slow down!” over a sleepy and slavish groove. The band’s varying tempos and experimental approaches weren’t just limited to its singer. Across the evening, A Lull utilized a supply of sounds, evident in performances like the slow moving and long playing “Pregnancy,” which saw the outfit unleashing a monstrously low electric hum and grind in addition to screeching feedback, giving the entire operation a mechanical feel. “Aytche,” another late set selection, featured guitar feedback amidst a much less defined sonic structure, resulting in a more animalistic performance. And the driving “Dark Stuff” carried with it a tribal rhythm and an infectious energy. By the time the band delivered its most recognizable selection in a full on assaultive version of “Weapons For War,” it was clear that the act had delivered on the promise they made with that song over a year ago. Not only has Confetti finally arrived, but so too has A Lull.
Stream the entirety of Confetti below. Or, for those who missed Friday night’s Schubas show,
watch an online performance from A Lull this Wednesday evening, April 27th, or catch the band as headliners this coming Saturday, April 30th, at the BankRock! Pop-Up Art Loop event, sponsored in part by CVU!