Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Blue Skies” by L. Martin

A few entries ago, I reviewed the single “She’s Gonna Leave You” from beloved Chicago indie-rock band, The Walters. In that same review, I mentioned their announcement from earlier this year that the band will be taking a hiatus so the members can work on solo albums instead. Well, it’s happening. This past month, The Walters’ former front man, Luke Martin Olson, released his very first solo single, “Blue Skies,” under the name L. Martin.

Being a fan of The Walters since their formation in 2014, I honestly couldn’t have been more upset when I heard the news of their split. However, Olson has given fans something to be very excited about in this new single. It’s hard not to compare the single to his band’s previous work, and I think that “Blue Skies” stands up there with some of their smoothest songs that manage to make me sink into the floor.

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Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Special Moment” by Post Animal

In light of season 2 of Stranger Things coming out this Friday, October 27th, I found it absolutely necessary to write a post about a new single from one of Chicago’s up-and-coming indie rock bands, Post Animal. For those of you who don’t know, a guitarist in the band, Joe Keery, stars as Steve Harrington in the enormously popular Netflix sci-fi drama. In a RedEye Chicago article, reporter Josh Terry characterizes the role as “one of the best characters on the show who could’ve fallen straight into the ‘80s douchebag, big-haired popular kid archetype, but manages by the end of the series to be one of the most likable figures.”

The thing that I admire about Post Animal is their ability to blend three distinct genres to create a sound so unique but totally awesome at the same time: heavy metal, psychedelic pop, and good ol’ fashion rock ‘n’ roll. This experimental type of music mirrors a similar level of creativity seen in other Chicago indie rock bands such as Whitney, The Walters (R.I.P), and Twin Peaks.

In addition, the fullness of their sound blew me away when I saw them open for The Walters this summer. From what I have experienced, having six or seven guys on stage at a time — at least three of them with electric guitars, mind you, all playing with their amps cranked past maximum — is generally rare in today’s indie rock scene.

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Between Rock and an Indie Place: “She’s Gonna Leave You” by The Walters

If you have spent any of the last three years paying attention to the Chicago indie rock scene, then you’ve heard of The Walters. The band presents a unique spin on oldies music that sounds tremendously fresh among the mainstream alternative rock that you might hear on the radio today.

Their witty Bandcamp bio sums them up perfectly: just “5 hunks from Chicago.” Between 2014 and now, The Walters have celebrated the overwhelmingly positive reception of their only two LPs, Songs for Dads and Young Men. Earlier this year, they released their first ever stand-alone single, “She’s Gonna Leave You.” The song fares well among the band’s other most awesome jams, and it possesses that signature Walters flair that fans like me know and love. Although, I was not able to soak in the excitement of the release of a new Walters song for long before the band tweeted that they “have some unfortunate news to deliver.”

Last month — not long after “She’s Gonna Leave You” came out — this beloved Chicago indie rock band posted on all of their social media pages, “it saddens us to make this announcement, but the magic and inspiration that once drove us to collaborate as a group has left, and we feel it would be dishonest to continue forward with dynamic that doesn’t feel genuine.” Confusion. Shock. Heartbreak. These are a few of the emotions that I felt after reading this. It was like I was transported to high school and I was going through a bad breakup all over again.

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