Calling Chicago band Ethers a “supergroup” might be hyperbole to many outside the Chicago music scene, but for those who have been keeping score in the past few years, a pedigree of bands like Heavy Times, Outer Minds, Radar Eyes and The Runnies seems like a dream team. After the dissolution of his band Heavy Times, guitarist & songwriter Bo Hansen joined forces with husband & wife musical/life partners Russell Calderwood & Mary McKane & drummer Matt Rolin to concoct what would become Ethers’ eponymous debut album.
A self-described “bad time band”, Ethers’ debut consists of twelve songs of ragged, soulful rock and roll; heavy on hooks, with stark arrangements and sticky melodies that hang with an unexpected resonance. Instant earworms like opener “Empty Hours”, “Rip Off” and “Modern Dating” recall bands like soulful punks Royal Headache or Asheville troubadours Reigning Sound, while third quarter-album high point “Temporary Exiles” rages with nervous energy like a long-lost Feelies “Crazy Rhythms” outtake. Tunes like “Carry What You Kill” and album closer “Something” are soaked in melancholy, but peppered with cynicism and charm. The band oozes a world-weariness, but the tunes yearn with a hopeful ache for better days ahead. Recorded in the raw, with very little audio adornment by Chicago engineer Dave Vettraino & mastered by Melbourne legend Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring), the spartan production allows the songs to be the main focus. Ethers is released on CD, black vinyl LP (a limited "bloody bottle" color vinyl version is available while supplies last), and will be streaming via all digital retailers.
RIYL: Royal Headache, The Men, Heavy Times, Reigning Sound, The Feelies, Undertones, Parquet Courts