Best Candidate to Be the Next Angel Olsen

Emily Cross of Cross Record

Critics' Picks

I discovered Cross Record too late. I say this mainly because singer-songwriter Emily Cross, the heart of the band, plans to move to Austin in August with her fiance, Dan Duszynski. That's a drag, given that Chicago has yet to fully embrace her. Since the release of last year's hauntingly frail Be Good, Cross has been inching onto people's radar screens, and now she seems primed to follow a trajectory similar to that of fellow Chicagoan Angel Olsen, who recently signed to Jagjaguwar. Cross's sound—occasionally precious and airy, occasionally noisy and dissonant—is likely to prove too much for most coffee-shop audiences because of its ambition, its quiet shape shifting, and its unnerving Swans-like slow-build repetition and gloomy, gothy tension. Fortunately, she doesn't have to rely on coffee shops: she opened a pair of recent dates for the (ahem) eclectic Dirty Projectors. Cross's farewell show is Sat 7/27 at Double Door; Duszynski's band, Any Kind, opens.