Richard Swift, Old Lights, Chaperone | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Richard Swift, Old Lights, Chaperone Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sun., July 5, 9 p.m. 2009

Since his previous full-length under his own name, 2007’s Dressed Up for the Letdown, LA studio geek Richard Swift has made a series of bizarre stylistic detours: he’s released experimental Krautrock-ish soundtracks under the name Instruments of Science & Technology, lo-fi song fragments on the Richard Swift as Onasis double EP, and dabblings with blue-eyed soul and doo-wop on the digital-only EP Ground Trouble Jaw. He’s a dilettante for sure, but with the new The Atlantic Ocean (Secretly Canadian) he proves that his gifts for melody and arrangement exert such a powerful pull that they can draw all those experiments together into a cohesive whole—in the end they turn out to be raw materials for his central enterprise, not diversions from it. Swift is still in debt to both the Brill Building era and Motown, but his piano-driven, hook-laden songs bear his own distinct stamp; they’re sharply produced, spiked with cynical lyrics, and judiciously ornamented with bits of synth and noise that make his irresistible melodies even more engrossing. Old Lights and Chaperone open. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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