Review: Fire Talk Showcases Chicago Artists at Sleeping Village

On one of the busier Sunday nights I have been a part of this year, East Coast label Fire Talk delivered a snippet of what is to come at this year’s SXSW festival. Fire Talk based in New York but with a lineup of numbers of Chicago bands (Accessory, Bnny, Dehd, Deeper, Fran, and Mia Joy) bolstering its lineup, it is hard to believe they are not Chicago based. Prior to the evening at Sleeping Village, there was a shift in the lineup as Cola bowed out due to a band member having COVID. So Chicago’s Floatie were added to the lineup.

Fran. Photo by Julian Ramirez.

Fran opened the night as a duo with a few soothing acoustic guitars battling for the crowd’s heart. Truly the perfect act to entertain a crowd not too drunk and not entirely focused on having a possible case of the Mondays the following day. Fran expresses a brief concern of playing an acoustic set in such a large room but the awkward crowd discredits any concerns before the band’s last song. As the audience starts to disperse you can hear the faint sound of the amazing Accessory and Bnny DJ set at the venue’s main bar.

When you get an email from a record label with the glorious R.I.Y.L. header, Floatie should be mentioned in the same vein as Tera Melos, Palm, and TTNG. Immediately from the jump the band’s cohesion is just as strong as their debut album Voyage Out. Luc Schutz’ drumming technique is as integral to the band as is green to the month of March. “This one’s the title track of the album name I can’t remember” says one band member. If there’s a description for perfect stage banter it just might be that. Especially leading into SXSW weekend, which is notorious for its interesting showcases in a city known for being weird.

Wombo’s currently has a tour member who had to leave mid tour and with a surrogate guitarist (their words not mine) they make do with the situation. Album heavy hitters such as “Dreamsickle” and “Sad World” sound great but lack the exciting factor that their Chicago labelmates often display. Wombo makes their way through the set with some of their deep cuts that not only highlight vocalist/bassist Sydney Chadwick’s singing but what the band can be without some of the more palatable songs from their discography. There is so much power behind Chadwick but tonight’s only a glimpse of what can be delivered from a more tight and full Wombo. Still an amazing show given it was on a late Sunday night. Fire Talk has an eye for talent and a roster of the best indie acts you can see today.

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Brandon Smith

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