Chicago art-rock band Crown Larks juggle joy and darkness on the new ‘React’ | Bleader

Chicago art-rock band Crown Larks juggle joy and darkness on the new ‘React’

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Crown Larks - GREG REIGH
  • Greg Reigh
  • Crown Larks

Since launching in 2010 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Already Dead Tapes & Records has kept up a busy schedule. The label, which now operates out of Chicago and Brooklyn as well, has dropped almost 250 releases. This Friday number 249 arrives: Population, the second full-length by local art-rock band Crown Larks (a collaborative release with Satellite Records).

On Population, Crown Larks drag jazzy saxophone through the muck, discombobulate their limber Krautrock riffs, and strip down the arrangements surrounding their velvety psych melodies till simple keyboard notes are left bare. In a recent Impose interview about the new album, guitarist-vocalist Jack Bouboushian described the band's music as trying to "flow between ecstatic/joyful and dark/ugly/difficult." On the single "React," Crown Larks nudge a slow-boiling melody built on a somnambulant guitar line until it unravels into a nervy near freakout. The song speeds up and slows down, folding in glimmers of joy and shards of darkness.

Crown Larks celebrate the arrival of Population at the Empty Bottle on Saturday, May 6; Ono, Blackerface, and Grün Wasser open.

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