Maps & Atlases, Wooden Shjips | Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park | Summer Guide, Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Maps & Atlases, Wooden Shjips Free All Ages Agenda Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Mon., Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m. 2014

Local foursome Maps & Atlases began as a math-focused indie-rock group, apparently more fascinated by the odd time signatures of instrumental savants such as Don Caballero than by the craftsmanship required to make a proper pop record. But as time has passed, they seem to have made a compromise with themselves and with their prodigious, almost wonky musical talents. Maps & Atlases have stayed in touch with their weirder, more complicated side—you can’t really unlearn shredding—but also settled on a melodic-pop style, a la Minus the Bear (only more frenetic). Their 2012 LP, Beware and Be Grateful (Barsuk), opens with a TV on the Radio vibe: Dave Davison’s vocals turn up the soul, and the ascending backing vocals sound like TVOTR’s falsetto singing. On “Winter,” Maps & Atlases combine the two main impulses that have shaped their music over the years, playing upbeat rhythms off racing, fluttering guitar licks in a way that makes a complex song seem simple. —Kevin Warwick

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