One of Paste Magazine’s “Top 10 Illinois Bands You Should Listen To Now”, Chicago-based Exit Ghost has been sculpting its energetic brand of country-tinged, lyrical indie rock since the group’s formation in 2010. From the rooted acoustic creaks of The Pony Soldier EP (2010) to 2011’s lush Hang The Lights EP—a project engineered by Mike Hagler of Wilco’s Summerteeth-- Exit Ghost has proven itself an inspired and insatiable writing vehicle, with a live show hailed by Performer Magazine as “like After The Goldrush on steroids”. Move Alone, the group’s first full-length album, was released May 2, 2012.
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Project Film began as an idea meant mainly for instrumental tracks, like those found in the soundtracks of films (as heard on the track "Ink"). Songwriter and Tandem Shop owner, Sam McAllister, would record tracks in his parent’s basement in a small suburb of Minneapolis, MN and place them in a folder on his computer titled “Project Film,” thus the name. Horrible lack of name originality aside, the idea then grew to become a composition of two friends from high school, McAllister and close friend Megan Frestedt, who both moved to Chicago to attend school.
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Although they’ve been compared to certain lovesick folksingers, Cains & Abels lack any of the helplessness so often present in the classic folk-rock oeuvre. David Sampson writes songs that are indeed heartbroken—for lack of money, love, communication—but they’re also hopeful and aware of their own strength. Sampson has a powerful voice that glides over layered guitar riffs and spare drum beats, much like a sermon or a plea. The songs themselves present that opposition. They can be quiet and introspective, while the next moment booming and bursting with universal themes. Their album, My Life Is Easy, is out now on Whistler Records, as is a limited edition, Record Store Day 7" featuring "Stay Home Tonight" b/w "Turn On Your Radio (Harry Nilsson cover)".
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