ABOVE: KIRBY KAISER. IMAGE COURTESY OF ANNA BILINSKA
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the most new and exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
For this week’s post we set our sights on the city of Chicago, a place particularly close to this blogger’s heart and likewise near and dear to the digital realm, wherein a bevy of Windy City artists are currently being recognized. With a handful of potential hits to choose from, we’ve dug out a trio of choice tracks from three of the most exciting music-makers in the Midwest.
Kirby Kaiser: “A Little Longer”
Who: Kaiser, a Chicago native, has been making noise for a bit now, with a slew of gigs in the local scene’s best venues under her belt and a handful of positive reviews to boot. One listen to her tunes and it’s easy to see why. The young singer’s (figurative and literal) voice captures the soulfulness of an intense singer-songwriter underneath her friendly, oftentimes melancholic doo-wop framework, making Kirby a unique, enchanting artist with a niche all her own.
The Song: “A Little Longer” starts off with a riff of simple “ooo”s so beautiful that it could be looped a hundred times over and still make an entirely acceptable song. But Kaiser’s lyrics, backed by relaxed guitars and a soft patter of drums, pack as much of a romantic punch as her melodies. “Let’s kiss a little longer,” she coos, insisting her lover stick around in a track that calls to mind the best parts of young love.
Current Project: Kirby has a laundry list of upcoming activities soon to be announced—keep updated via her Facebook page.
ShowYouSuck: “Carne Asada” (feat. Mr. MFN eXquire)
Who: Despite the self-deprecating pseudonym, Show does not in fact suck. He is a funny, talented Chicago-based emcee whose consistent output (two mixtapes, both to wide acclaim) has put him on the map as of late. ShowYouSuck’s style is one that shifts between serious and silly, presenting a relatable rapper who likes to party and “hunt for tacos,” as he mentions while waxing over Ghostface Killah’s “Mighty Healthy.” Our type of guy.
The Song: ShowYouSuck certainly holds his own on this Mike Jaxx-produced cut, spitting alongside the recently Universal-signed Mr. MFN eXquire—not an easy feat, considering the multilateral eXquire’s attention-grabbing style. But the two come off more as partners in crime than competing parties, with ShowYouSuck committing to the rambunctious rhyme schemes his fans have come to love—it should come as no surprise to those who know the man’s work that he not so subtly mentions cleaning his behind “with a rapper’s face.” Again, what’s not to love about Mr. Suck?
Current Project: This past summer, ShowYouSuck released an EP in collaboration with another Chicago artist, producer Stefan Ponce, called Girls, Girls, Girls, which should be enough to hold you over until the release of the rapper’s upcoming third mixtape, aptly titled One Man Pizza Party 3: Rest In Pizza.
Who: A long-time staple of the Chicago club scene, musicians Rick Carrico and Derek Berry have played, hosted, and promoted many a party. But nowadays, the high-energy production duo are hard at work on new tracks, having been recently signed by MSTRKRFT’s JFK to his Teenage Riot Records label. Their sound is clean, aggressive and exciting, each decidedly dance-fueled track (whether it’s a remix or original) fully formed as its own party animal—simple and plain, these guys have made a career out of going out, and you can hear it in the genuinely fun music they make.
The Song: The boys take Mario’s legendary theme song for a spin, turning its Atari sound effects into devices of dance—the tune gamers know and love is transformed into a chopped-up, trap-influenced booty-shaker worthy of any party playlist. Bayside High is smart with its sampling, and the song never strives to be too sexy or serious, instead maintaining a lightheartedness that works highly in its favor.
Current Project: The guys head back to Chicago to play the Porn and Chicken Dance Party on Nov. 23. Find out more info here.
For more Soundclouds of the Underground, click here.