You're strolling down the lakefront one warm weekend afternoon one summer. Let's say it's July. Imagine that it's sunny (and given the current Chicago conditions, that sure would be a relief), you're carefree and the world just sits there in a state of peace. You need a soundtrack for this mild afternoon.
You pop a new disc into your Walkman, and groove to the jazzy, pop rhythms of the Chicago quartet, appropriately named July. With their debut album on DivaNationRecords, Surface for Air (1997), July spins a Natalie Merchant meets the Squirrel Nut Zippers groove. Acoustic ballads like "Peace" spiral into an ethereal stratosphere, as Stacy Pushkar demonstrates her soothingly melodic vocals, combining a Juliana Hatfield like tenderness and innocence. Then, a tune like "Hurtin'" takes you into a smoke-filled jazz bar, a swing of cold gin, black sequins and brawny bouncers.
Backing Pushkar, Pete Boubel on guitar, Jake More on drums and Brent Olds on bass span a wide spectrum of music. Feel-good melodies, with introspective lyrics, dominate throughout this band's impressive debut, which was produced by John Buehler and More.
July is currently on hiatus (sadly, word is they may have broken up...though maybe not--we'll keep you posted).
For more information, visit their website: http://www.nidus.com/july/
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