New Canyons return after eight years with a third album of gloomy dream pop | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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New Canyons return after eight years with a third album of gloomy dream pop

Plus: Hip-hop historian Darrell “Artistic” Roberts interviews 1980s MC Mello D, and dance-pop artist Ivy Hollivana arrives in Chicago with a flurry of EPs.

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New Canyons: Andrew Marrah and Adam Stilson - DIANA BOWDEN
  • Diana Bowden
  • New Canyons: Andrew Marrah and Adam Stilson

Gossip Wolf was immediately smitten with New Canyons, aka Adam Stilson and Andrew Marrah, when they released their excellent sophomore LP, Everyone Is Dark, on BLVD Records in 2013. The duo's deft, genre-bending songs swirl together synth-pop hooks and industrial rhythms and coat everything with a syrupy glaze of shoegaze-style atmospherics. In the years since, New Canyons have been pretty quiet when it comes to new recordings—the most they've managed was a brief burst of activity in 2017, which resulted in a single (with three remixes) and a stand-alone cover of Nirvana's "Drain You." But late last month they finally dropped their third album, Heavy Water, via FeelTrip Records—and this wolf is already fond of the deliciously brooding "Blackest" and "No Shame." The digital album is available via Bandcamp, and you can preorder the vinyl (due to arrive later this month) either there or through the FeelTrip site.

  • New Canyons' video for "No Shame," directed by Todd Diederich

On Thursday, May 20, Chi-ROCK Nation president and local hip-hop historian Darrell "Artistic" Roberts will interview pioneering Chicago rapper Mello D on Web-based talk show Rep Yo City Live. Mello D emerged from Chicago's hip-hop scene during its embryonic years in the 1980s, when he used to drop in on WHPK's rap shows and flex his MCing skills on the air. In 1988, foundational ghetto-house label Dance Mania put out Mello D's "This Christmas (Rap)," produced by Duane Buford, who went on to work on one of Chicago hip-hop's first major albums, the 1992 Ten Tray release Realm of Darkness. The Rep Yo City livestream begins at 8 PM CDT on the show's YouTube channel.

  • Mello D's 1988 single "This Christmas (Rap)"

Underground dance-pop artist Ivy Hollivana moved to Chicago earlier this year, and uprooting her life hasn't slowed down her musical output at all: since December she's self-released five EPs, including this month's Genesis. The new songs weave her gossamer, acrobatic vocals through synth soundscapes and ecstatic club beats—the track "Exodus," for instance, ends with Hollivana's voice pirouetting slowly atop a crush of frantic drum 'n' bass percussion.  v

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