Formed in 2013 after the breakup of the band Kids These Days (culled from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, its alumni include rapper Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper collaborator Donnie Trumpet), Marrow is the latest vehicle for three of the group’s former members: bassist Lane Beckstrom and songwriting duo Liam Kazar and Macie Stewart. (Percussionist Matt Carroll joins them.) The indie-rock outfit makes its own play for the big leagues in September with its searing debut LP, The Gold Standard (Foxhall Records).
1. The Steadfast Bassist
Lane Beckstrom, 23 (Bucktown)
He first met Kazar in elementary school at Near North Montessori, and the pair have played together since then. “Liam asked if I wanted to be in another band. That’s how Marrow started.”
2. The Pop Visionary
Liam Kazar, 22 (Logan Square)
Marrow’s frontman attributes most of his heady lyrics to the end of a four-year relationship, but his bandmates inspired the melodies. “It took so much collaboration to get ‘The Gold Standard’ to a place we like,” he says of the title track. “We played it in five different keys. Now it’s my favorite.”
3. The Introspective Artiste
Macie Stewart, 22 (Roscoe Village)
“I’m drawn to darker sounds a lot of the time,” says Stewart, the Lennon to Kazar’s McCartney. Case in point: The keyboardist built “Cities,” the album’s bleakest track, around an image of war-ravaged buildings described in the book The Kite Runner.
4. The Jazz-Cut Drummer
Matt Carroll, 26 (Logan Square)
Carroll latched on to Marrow after graduating from the University of Miami, where he studied jazz drumming. “I’d been playing a lot of instrumental music. But I grew up [on] Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, and I wanted to play with some songwriters.”