Back from hiatus, macabre indie band the Black Heart Procession plays its debut album in its entirety | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Back from hiatus, macabre indie band the Black Heart Procession plays its debut album in its entirety

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Have you ever been to San Diego?! It’s not remotely macabre, not a lick. Yet somehow America’s Finest City birthed the Black Heart Procession, an eclectic, mutating orchestra of woe whose solemn, gently writhing indie rock (complete with rapt saw playing) has led to a modestly successful decade-plus career. Forged by Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel in 1997, the Black Heart Procession eventually blossomed with 2002’s Amore Del Tropico and 2006’s The Spell, both of which feel and sound theatrical and thematic in their sinister yarns, but their stark early records—including their 1998 debut, 1, 1999’s 2, and 2000’s Three—still carry weight. On a track such as 1’s, “The Old Kind of Summer,” for example, Jenkins creates a crackling tension from his aching croaks and wails alone, even while jaunty indie-rock melodies saunter along in a manner that makes them sound is soaked with the feel of the French Riviera. The band went on hiatus in 2013 following a move by Nathaniel to Serbia, but they reunited in 2016 and toured Europe last spring playing 1 in its entirety. They’ll do the same tonight, commemorating a plodding and sometimes chilling record that’s an amalgam of eclectic lullabies, bowed indie-rock waltzes, and has a semblance of circus music slowed to 16 revolutions per minute.   v

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