September 18, 2015
Friday night live at Transistor: Postpunk duo Beauty 2s and indie/experimental quartet Faintlife. Sound by Jon Monteverde.
The Beauty 2s are Chris and Kelly Schmader (pictured right), a brother-sister postpunk duo with a sound assembled from jaded vocals, surf and shoegaze-influenced guitar, and robotic drum machine grooves. By turns wistful and foreboding, their lyrics and music explore the lush, anxious moments that occur in the fourth place between work, love, and leisure, moments that make up the arrhythmic heartbeat of life in the corporate age. They’ve been playing clubs on the North Side of Chicago for the past three years and in March of 2014 released their debut EP, “Nylon Boneyard.”
Equipped with vocals, a guitar and a drum machine, at Transistor the Beauty 2s played songs from their EP and other tracks.
Mid-20s, Midwestern and middle-minded, Sam Shaffer and Nate Bucher look through a lens covered with an entangled web of the right- and left-brained folk – hybrids of a sort. This lens sees the world in an opportunistic way, trading commonly accepted dimensions of time and space for sound and feel, for openness and cyclic intervals. The tiny tangible and intangible moments of the day-to-day parade pose them in positions to embellish some sort of meaning, some sort of impressionable feeling that transcends the daily routine, or the passing of the modern cause and effect. There exist intervals of experience that belong in a song – or rather, a song that owns an interval of experience, thus to be captured, immortalized and stored as a moment of time, or whatever dimension, inside of a song. It is Faintlife’s attempt to realize these intervals within their debut album, “UV,” to keep the experience not unlike themselves, a hybrid of shifting pulses and thought processes.
In another, less visionary tale, Sam and Nate have worked together closely over the course of a year in basements, studio apartments, and hundreds of miles away to self-release “UV” on May 26, 2015. Faintlife took the skeleton of the album to Pieholden Suite Sound in Chicago, where they recorded drums and many layers of vintage gems Jay Bennett (Wilco) had amassed.
For this performance at Transistor, Faintlife provided lush layers of space coming from guitars, keyboards and other toys affected by some weird pedals.