The Curls, J Fernandez, Fran
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
This event is 21 and over
The Curls claim to hail from Chicago but seem to mentally reside in outer space or perhaps the coconut tree-blood soaked hills of Hollyweird. The general consensus is that these people are total "wack-a-doodles" and must be "on something" to come up with this stuff. The group blends genres like health nuts blend smoothies!
Their music has been labeled as Psychedelic Pop, Art Rock, Nu-Angular Guitar, Piss Jazz, and even Hardcore Experimental Adult Contemporary Noise. The Harvard Crimson reported, "The Curls are a fun, nostalgic sextet whose genre fluidity necessitates a string of hyphenated descriptors—art-funk-jazz-psycho-punk-pop-rock doesn’t even cover all the bases."
An impressive and widely regarded performance at Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 has led to a growing and unstable fanbase. The Curls have shared stages with popular music greats like Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Maps and Atlases, Post Animal and Texas Fred. The group's 2017 self-released debut album SUPER UNIT received approval from legendary guitar rocker Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Talking Heads). Belew raved typing in all caps via Facebook Messenger, "I LIKE IT!"
Occasional Din is a sunny shoebox diorama for the eternal pessimist. Over the past half decade, songs by Chicago artist J Fernandez have appeared like unexpected gifts, each time invoking a holiday we didn't realize existed. Like all good holidays, his songs are imbued with a mythical energy, full of curious moods, charmed settings and the timelessness of a familiar moment.
J Fernandez started as the eponymous home recording project of Arkansas born Justin Fernandez, who came to Chicago in 2008 to work for map company Rand McNally. After three EPs, his 2015 debut LP ‘Many Levels of Laughter’ attracted high praise from the music press – including 8/10s from UNCUT and NME, plus end of year nods from Under The Radar and Brooklyn Vegan (who called it “one of 2015’s most underrated albums”).It’s also seen him tour with the likes of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alvvays, Mitski, Ezra Furman and Kikagaku Moyo.
With ‘Occasional Din’ he mines the sound of the past – drawing influences from vintage Italian pop and soundtrack composers like Bruno Nicolai, Alessandro Alessandroni and Mina, as well as their American contemporaries like The Free Design and Margo Guryan. Enlisting the mixing services of Cooper Crain (Bonnie Prince Billy, Circuit Des Yeux, Bitchin Bajas), along with utilizing instruments such as vibraphone and clavinet, Fernandez fleshes out the orchestration and flair for experimentation he began to explore in his debut. This also meant a diligent month-long search for a harpsichord which ended with him recording in a stranger’s basement.
The trick is to make a confession entertaining. A Private Picture, the debut album by Chicago’s Fran (Maria Jacobson) out November 15th on Fire Talk, delivers a collection of extremely personal experiences that have been distilled and abstracted to the point that you can see yourself in their imagery, find analogs to your own emotional history in their scenarios –when you hear them, it’s a conversation. It’s therapy, if therapy was allowed to turn you on and make you shake what you got. At its core, Fran’s music is about sharing a truth -–telling it, confessing it, yelling it—in the service of human connection. Or, as Jacobson puts it, “I feel that I am a songwriter for the same reason I wanted to be an actor. I want to tell the truth. I want to challenge myself to get closer and closer to the core of an experience, an emotion- I want to say it, sing it, in a way that says exactly what it is. I cry when I write songs because I am constantly making discoveries, about myself, about the world, about the best way to convey and connect and get closer.”