It’s easy to feel in today’s America as though the ideals of subtlety and honest talent are fast being overlooked in society, and you might be right. Despite the fickle nature of the world from many angles, every so often we get reminded of the true artistry that it can provide, and that’s exactly what’s happening on the latest album from Macie Stewart, Sima Cunningham and drummer Matt Carroll on their latest, Parts.
For years, Stewart, Cunningham and Carroll have been central to the Logan Square and larger Chicago music scenes, and their evolution has been a fun and interesting ride all the way. Instances of sing-a-long circles and vocal experimentation in their front room just off Logan Boulevard are apparent from the get-go, as is the general scope of the project. Possessing an innately brash and trustworthy image from both their art and no-frills approach, the sentiment of a project released during the MeToo era performs similarly, opening with the chorus “I want a new icon” for the album’s first track. Growing from friendly hangouts on summer nights, these two quite literally pick up where the other ends and as they continue to evolve and move from here Cunningham and Stewart do so as two parts of a whole that is perfectly on display at shows like their recent one at Thalia Hall. Onstage, there’s no need to glance cross-stage or discuss set-lists, they’ve been operating alongside one another long enough that it’s simply second nature, each feeling the other sonically. While last year’s self-titled project introduced a wider audience to their signature brand of layered vocals and experimental sounds, this project fully takes listeners into the world they’ve inhabited for most of their lives. It’s a world rooted in basement studios, back-forest festivals, true-to-life storytelling and the unbridled collaboration friendship brings. Dive into Icon below and make sure to catch it streaming over on Mild Sauce Radio regularly!