Home > Arts/Culture/Entertainment > Chicago indie-rock duo OK Cool pack big tunes into a short time on Fawn

Chicago indie-rock duo OK Cool pack big tunes into a short time on Fawn

In summer 2020, during one of my routine Bandcamp searches for new music tagged “Chicago,” I found OK Cool’s Anomia EP, and it convinced me of the local indie-rock duo’s potential. With that EP, guitarist-vocalist Bridget Stiebris and bassist Haley Blomquist proved that they know all the obscure flavors of indie and emo that precede them—and that they have the gentle touch needed to smooth out the sentimentality and excitability in that variety of styles. That said, OK Cool’s new Fawn (released via the duo’s own Take a Hike Records) has exceeded even my high expectations for the band. Blomquist and Stiebris’s intricately arranged songs radiate the amniotic warmth of great shoegaze, while preserving the sharp detail that shoegaze usually blurs. The double helix of corkscrewing guitars on “Mud,” for example, creates a dizzy euphoria. Stiebris encodes big feelings about twentysomething queer anxiety, joy, and confusion into her droll lyrics, and her dry singing and nuanced performances encourage you to sit with her words. Fawn runs an all-too-brief 17 minutes, but it’s satisfying even at that length. I doubt I’ll hear many other new indie-rock EPs this year that will draw me in so well.

OK Cool Scarlet Demore and Background Character open. Thu 5/4, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, $15. 18+

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