Chicago pop experimentalists White Ppl offer a brief glimpse of their huge promise on their debut EP | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago pop experimentalists White Ppl offer a brief glimpse of their huge promise on their debut EP



In a 2019 interview for WBEZ’s Weekend Passport, Filipinx producer-vocalist Ano Ba said they were inspired to start their own group after seeing a garage band at a favorite Logan Square bar that was made up entirely of white dudes. Ano thought it’d be cheeky to recruit other POC musicians to make garage rock under the name “White Ppl.” White Ppl didn’t end up making three-chord bashers, but Ano teamed up with Black hip-hop artist Cado San and Filipinx vocalist Elly Tier to unlock an alchemical mix that no other configuration of musicians could replicate. After their first session, they emerged in October 2018 with the kaleidoscopic jam “Ilovemybb,” which remixes the past two decades of pop: early dubstep’s haunted vocal samples, funk carioca’s lithe percussion, alt-R&B’s brooding and romantic vocal melodies, bedroom pop’s mellow keys, and harsh sax a la TV on the Radio. Since then they’ve released only two other singles—the softhearted, nostalgic “The Way U Move” and the subtly triumphant “Open Door Policy”—and all three appear on their six-track self-titled debut EP. White Ppl’s lyrics remain firmly fixed on matters of love, but the group’s sonic palette continues to expand—for “Make Me Better,” one of the new songs from the EP, they pull from modern-funk’s supple rhythms, trip-hop’s cool-in-the-pocket melodies, and symphonic pop’s strings. Though White Ppl ends too soon, it shows a glimpse of one of the most promising acts in town.   v

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