Ganser lift the spirits of the extremely online with Just Look at That Sky | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Music » Music Review

Ganser lift the spirits of the extremely online with Just Look at That Sky


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Pandemic life leaves a lot to be desired, but I’m especially unenthused about the extra time I spend on social media for work and . . . well, not pleasure, but to connect with people I care about but can’t physically be around. Doomscrolling creates an anxiety-provoking feedback loop: though I continue to click out of a desire to feel more engaged with my communities, I inevitably feel more isolated the more I partake in it. Chicago postpunk four-piece Ganser capture this hard-to-pin-down ambient stress on “Bags for Life,” though the song’s intensifying rhythmic throb and anthemic sweep are far more pleasurable than an evening wasted on Twitter. The song closes their new second album, Just Look at That Sky (Felte), where Ganser expertly survey our modern stasis with their prismatic approach to postpunk: they evoke its chilling minimalism with bone-dry guitar lines, and pay deference to pop with robust, hulking rhythms. Sometimes, such as on the menacing ripper “Self Service,” they do both at once. Ganser’s lead singers, bassist Alicia Gaines and keyboardist Nadia Garofalo, intensify the mood of every song with the nuances in their voices—which also suggest secrets buried in each melody, waiting to be unlocked through repeated listens.   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →