V.V. Lightbody is the solo project of Vivian McConnell, a seasoned songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the thriving Chicago music scene. Her self-produced sophomore LP Make a Shrine or Burn It (Acrophase Records) was released with much anticipation in May 2020.
Referred to as ”a masterclass in self-reflection and female autonomy,” the first pressing sold out within 24 hours and received critical acclaim from Noisey, Stereogum, Paste, Gold Flake Paint, Chicago Tribune, and more. Jessi Roti writes of MASOBI, “An album of lingering farewells and cautiously optimistic beginnings punctuated by a deceptive wit, Lightbody – a.k.a. Vivian McConnell – turns her attention inward, exploring what it means to be with yourself after being with another; trading abstract, third-party narratives for those more poignant and conversational.” V.V. Lightbody has been a collaborator and touring member of bands such as Lala Lala, Divino Niño, OHMME, and recently started a duo called Valebol featuring drummer Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo (Dos Santos). She’s lended flute and vocals to Twin Peaks, Tomemitsu (LA), and Pool Holograph.
The Cherries Are Speaking is the sixth album by Dan Knishkowy’s Adeline Hotel, and second of 2021. Eschewing the intricate guitar work of Good Timing in favor of breezy piano lines inspired by Ethiopian jazz, Cherries is a series of miniature baroque pop songs and, quietly, his most ambitious work to date. The playing is often supported by just bass and drums, before pastoral wind and string orchestrations creep in, informed at turns by Judee Sill’s neo-classicism and the mystic woodwinds of ‘80s Van Morrison. The Cherries Are Speaking’s recapitulations of and daring shifts away from Knishkowy’s previous work feed into its musical and thematic depth, which speaks far beyond the real-world context of its writing. The album is a bold but unforced gesture from an artist whose creative lifeblood is the sense of constantly pushing forward, creating new links in a daisy chain of a discography which seems to compound upon itself in significance with each new entry.
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