Chicago DIY rocker Sean Neumann makes firecracker power-pop as Jupiter Styles | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago DIY rocker Sean Neumann makes firecracker power-pop as Jupiter Styles

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Sean Neumann got hooked on this city’s south-suburban punk scene in the late 2000s, just in time for an early view of some of the musical voices that would influence Chicago’s DIY community in the coming decade, including outsider-pop auteur Nnamdi Ogbonnaya and Julia Steiner, who fronts the inimitable country-emo group Ratboys. As those musicians trickled into Chicago, Neumann followed suit after spending four years at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in the mid-2010s, which included a year working as an intern for great midwestern indie label Polyvinyl. These days he’s entrenched in the local scene playing bass in Ratboys (who recently wrapped up a U.S. tour supporting emo heartthrobs Foxing), and working on his power-pop solo project, Jupiter Styles (and, not to go unmentioned, he’s also freelanced for the Reader on occasion). As Neumann recently told Tim Crisp on the Better Yet podcast, inspiration for his own songs strikes when he’s on the road with Ratboys, and he often needs to get creative in order to mark down his ideas in transit. “I’ll run off to the side and sing into my phone, like, act as if I’m talking on the phone,” he said. “A lot of the stuff is very rooted in vocal melodies, I’ve very, very, very rarely have written anything where it starts with a guitar part.” As a result of the swift and covert way his songs often start, the amiable, rambunctious tunes on Jupiter Styles’s recent Be Good (Other World) burst forth with irrepressible melodies that are infectious enough to leave listeners feeling like they knew these songs before ever hearing them.   v

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