Winter’s short days and cold nights have inspired some seriously moody tracks from local acoustic folk musicians. If you’re feeling maudlin this bone-chilling season, the playlist will match your mood.
“Flourescent” by Jordon Salveson
This messy, ambient instrumental track is the perfect opener to the list. Salveson, who decamped to his native Nashville, has a soulful roots style reminiscent of Jeff Buckley.
“Forest & Field” by Grandeurs
The Grandeurs live on the darker side of the folk spectrum. Like Matt Berninger of the National, Corban Lott (pictured above) keeps things simple with a steady-rolling drone-like sound. But don’t be fooled by the uncomplicated sound, this Logan Square band bring smarts, and emotional heft to the folk-rock table. Bonus: The Grandeurs play at the Whistler on 2/20 at 9:30.
“Sirs and Madams” by Hawley Schoffner
This Logan Square singer/songwriter has made a splash on Etsy of all places. But that doesn’t mean she’s twee. On “Sirs and Madams,” she almost sounds polished. Even the accordions are well placed and uplifting.
“Dorothy” by Jenny Dragon
End on a lighter note. Sample the doo wop’y track from this folk duo. Here, the gals successfully pull off a simple, cheery melody that reminds us spring is around the corner.
Scott Standley is a contributing music critic to Chicago magazine.
Photograph: Courtesy of Grandeurs