Latest Releases

Ghosts

Steve Dawson

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On Steve Dawson’s new album, Ghosts, his sixth as a solo artist, the Chicago-based musician and songwriter, well-known for the impassioned alternative country of the band Dolly Varden, crafts ten songs that find reasons to believe – in music, in human connections, in desert vistas – even as the ghosts move all around him, all around us. These ten

On Steve Dawson’s new album, Ghosts, his sixth as a solo artist, the Chicago-based musician and songwriter, well-known for the impassioned alternative country of the band Dolly Varden, crafts ten songs that find reasons to believe – in music, in human connections, in desert vistas – even as the ghosts move all around him, all around us. These ten songs combine intimate confessions and tightly constructed narratives. Their ghosts are often personal, but they intersect enigmatically with a broken world. “‘Is this really happening?’” he asks on “Walking Cane.” But there’s no clear answer to the violent changes. “Have we learned nothing? Here we go again.” But sometimes those ghosts leave gifts – of wisdom, of wonder – and sometimes living with them is also a kind of hope. “I am glad to be alive,” Dawson sings with his partner Diane Christiansen. Recorded live in-studio with a “dream band” of Chicago all-stars, the musicians suffuse these songs, some of the finest Dawson has ever written, with harmonies, rhythms, and textures that make them come alive and imbue them with hope. Dawson says, “Many of my favorite albums were recorded live in the studio. The arrangements on this new album were created on the spot, and rather than a collection of overdubs, the album is a performance.”

Expected release: June 7, 2024

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Saint of Second Chances

Nathan Graham

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Raised on Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire, Nathan Graham bridges South Side Blues with Nashville Americana to deliver a bittersweet and soulful sound. He spent a decade building his career as a guitar-for-hire, backing blues singers at famous haunts like Buddy Guy’s Legends and Kingston Mines, before forming bands to perform his own music and

Raised on Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire, Nathan Graham bridges South Side Blues with Nashville Americana to deliver a bittersweet and soulful sound. He spent a decade building his career as a guitar-for-hire, backing blues singers at famous haunts like Buddy Guy’s Legends and Kingston Mines, before forming bands to perform his own music and lyrics. But it took a bit of convincing to overcome self-doubt as a singer. He puts it all together on his debut record Saint of Second Chances, where his guitars reach from delicate and pristine to hugely powerful. Tracks like “Good Honest Man” speaks frankly about the urge to give up on love rather than risk loss, while “Fake Friends” offers a stomping, nostalgic rhythm behind some anxious self-reflection: “Saw you going down, down in flames / Well I guess I just didn’t know that I was doing the same.” Nathan Graham projects stories of the human condition, somehow both achingly painful and exquisitely comforting. His guitars convey heartbreak, lyrics tell stories of regret, but his rich vocal delivery offers the remedy.

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Pride

Nathan Graham

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Pride was the last song written for the album, it’s that feeling that we have when we can’t admit that we need help and we opt to go out on a hard journey or take on a task alone even though we know we should lean on friends to take some of the weight.

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Just Fade Away

Brian Krumm and his Barfly Friends

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Brian Krumm, front man for Chicago’s tortured Americana artists The Great Crusades wrote the songs on his debut solo release, Just Fade Away (Pravda Records), during the 2020 shutdown. In an effort to stay sane during the first days of the pandemic, Krumm would drink a shot of whiskey each evening and try to write a song. Twenty-five days later,

Brian Krumm, front man for Chicago’s tortured Americana artists The Great Crusades wrote the songs on his debut solo release, Just Fade Away (Pravda Records), during the 2020 shutdown. In an effort to stay sane during the first days of the pandemic, Krumm would drink a shot of whiskey each evening and try to write a song. Twenty-five days later, he had 25 songs. Krumm enlisted his bandmates to record the tunes, as well as a who’s who of Chicago music scene standouts. His influences, such as Robyn Hitchcock, the Jayhawks, Warren Zevon and Dylan, shine through on Just Fade Away and Krumm’s captivating, taleteller lyrics are again at the forefront. The record gives listeners a sonic snapshot of remembrances from Krumm and a life lived observing a perplexing yet utterly inspirational world.

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Motion and Picture

MIIRRORS

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What began as a chance encounter on an airplane between Brian McSweeney and Shawn Rios 22 years ago grew into a decades long friendship which ignited the inevitable musical partnership that formed Chicago’s MIIRRORS. They reverse-engineered the usual process of becoming a band by prioritizing album creation over live performance while at their own

What began as a chance encounter on an airplane between Brian McSweeney and Shawn Rios 22 years ago grew into a decades long friendship which ignited the inevitable musical partnership that formed Chicago’s MIIRRORS. They reverse-engineered the usual process of becoming a band by prioritizing album creation over live performance while at their own pace, morphing the duo into a cohesive quintet of seasoned multi-instrumentalists along the way- veterans Dmitri Rakhuba, Andre Miller, and Patrick Riley completed the lineup and they evolved the collective sound quickly, momentarily trading the stage for the tracking room. Recorded in Studio B at Electrical Audio along with sessions in Los Angeles and Nashville, their upcoming debut LP Motion And Picture is a cinematic soundscape of honest lyrical introspection and reactive abrasion, a personal timespan of disillusionment, resolve and return of hope. Waves of cascading textures blur the sonic lines between synthesizers and guitars a la My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive as Rios’s atypical rhythms anchor the songs while McSweeney’s voice ascends beyond Miller’s/ Riley’s/ Rakhuba’s expanding colors.

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Swing Your Lanterns

Ivan Julian

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Soaking up a multitude of experiences for more than four decades, Ivan Julian, who has notably distinguished himself as guitarist and writer for (Richard Hell and The Voidoids, The Clash, Shriekback, The Outsets, etc.), releases his new album, Swing Your Lanterns, on PRAVDA Records. With songs that reflect experiences over the past five years and

Soaking up a multitude of experiences for more than four decades, Ivan Julian, who has notably distinguished himself as guitarist and writer for (Richard Hell and The Voidoids, The Clash, Shriekback, The Outsets, etc.), releases his new album, Swing Your Lanterns, on PRAVDA Records. With songs that reflect experiences over the past five years and beyond that follow one another like a series of novelettes recounting both past and present..  To help make this possible, we find Florent Barbier of Elliot Murphy’s band on drums, Keith Streng of The Fleshtones on percussion and backing vocals-  from Chicago, Nicholas Tremulis on guitar and backing vocals, Derek Brand also from Chicago plays bass, as well as bassist James Burke, and Jared Michael Nickerson, (Burnt Sugar Arkestra) to name just a few.

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Trust the Waves Will Hold You

Susan Voelz

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On Trust the Waves Will Hold You, award-winning rock violinist, singer and songwriter Susan Voelz delivers six enchanting songs that wash through the listener’s consciousness with surges of delight, lyrical eloquence and wisdom. Known best as what the Austin American Statesman signals as “the soul of the sound” of Poi Dog Pondering, she has also

On Trust the Waves Will Hold You, award-winning rock violinist, singer and songwriter Susan Voelz delivers six enchanting songs that wash through the listener’s consciousness with surges of delight, lyrical eloquence and wisdom. Known best as what the Austin American Statesman signals as “the soul of the sound” of Poi Dog Pondering, she has also played with such luminaries as John Mellencamp, Alejandro Escovedo and numerous others alongside composing and recording music for television and theatre and album projects. The disc is drawn from unreleased tracks Voelz recorded with Poi Dog in 2000 and polished up during the recent pandemic lockdown, all of them luscious soundscapes graced by her “masterful and woozy violin” ( LA Weekly) and warm singing. “Oyster” is a full-throttle cruise across a sea of melodic splashes that brims with desire (“All I want is the oyster or everything’). On “If You were Me” a couple trades genders to celebrate the fullness of their love in a prancing pas de deux, while “Step off the Roof” crackles with the challenge of a difficult decision. She wraps it up with a delectably lilting take on the Beatles chestnut “With a Little Help from my Friends.” To adapt a line Voelz sings, waltz with her to this rhapsody. It’s an offer with abundant rewards.

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My Heart

Nora O'Connor

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Nora hast toured and recorded with The Decemberists, Neko Case, The New Pornographers, and her beloved Chicago band The Flat Five. She finally found her way back to the studio to write and record music of her own. The result is "My Heart", ten songs of pure Nora, a stunning reflection of her eclectic taste and spectacular talent. The CD will ship

Nora hast toured and recorded with The Decemberists, Neko Case, The New Pornographers, and her beloved Chicago band The Flat Five. She finally found her way back to the studio to write and record music of her own. The result is "My Heart", ten songs of pure Nora, a stunning reflection of her eclectic taste and spectacular talent. The CD will ship out the week of Oct 7, 2022.

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Burn The Rails

The Handcuffs

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Led by critically acclaimed drummer Brad Elvis (Elvis Brothers, The Romantics, Screams, Big Hello) and vocalist/guitarist/saxophonist Chloe F. Orwell (Big Hello), Chicago's The Handcuffs explore broad sonic territory, weaving together elements of glam, indie, art and blues rock. Inhabiting some of the same rock & roll domain as T-Rex, Mott The

Led by critically acclaimed drummer Brad Elvis (Elvis Brothers, The Romantics, Screams, Big Hello) and vocalist/guitarist/saxophonist Chloe F. Orwell (Big Hello), Chicago's The Handcuffs explore broad sonic territory, weaving together elements of glam, indie, art and blues rock. Inhabiting some of the same rock & roll domain as T-Rex, Mott The Hoople, Roxy Music, The Raconteurs, P.J. Harvey, Led Zeppelin, and Patti Smith - all filtered through a modern lens - The Handcuffs deliver bold, sexy songs with memorable melodies and unexpected twists. Known as much for their dynamic live shows as for being prolific writers and producers, their fourth studio album, "Burn The Rails" is scheduled for release in June 3, 2022 on Pravda Records. Completing The Handcuffs lineup are bassist Emily Togni, lead guitarist Jeffrey Kmieciak, and keyboardist Alison Hinderliter. Guest keyboardist Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople) demonstrates his synthesizer and piano prowess on a couple of tracks on the new LP.

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