Strange Lovelies, Kerosene Stars, Jesse W. Johnson | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Strange Lovelies, Kerosene Stars, Jesse W. Johnson Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Thu., Jan. 21, 9 p.m. 2016

“I thought about the bad times when I trusted me and you / And I don’t believe in miracles but I think this might be true,” sings Scott Schaafsma on the opening track of Kerosene Stars’ self-released EP Burn the Evidence. And indeed, there’s nothing particularly miraculous about “Don’t Believe in Miracles,” a straightforward, uplifting, jangly rock song about that first rush of love. But when Schaafsma and bandmate Andy Seagram hit those lovely call-and-response harmonies at the end of the track, they begin to rival the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer,” drowning their cynicism in soaring, hokey, half-amazed optimism. I’ve listened to the song ten times now, and I could listen to it ten or 20 more. It’s perfect pop, and would have made these guys rich 50 years ago. Alas radio’s moved on, and the rest of Burn the Evidence never quite reaches the same level of sublime retro catchiness. But like the band’s eponymous 2014 full-length, it doesn’t disappoint either. Kerosene Stars are a delightful, smart, unpretentious, Beatles-loving group with a sure hand for hooks leavened with a touch of dissonance and a hint of twang. This show is a record release party for the EP, so you can be sure “Don’t Believe in Miracles” will be on the playlist.

Noah Berlatsky

Price: $5

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