By Lauren Kezon

As we embark ankle deep into 2014, the electric chill of what is on the musical horizon has our toes wriggling with anticipation. Luckily for 93XRT, Local Anesthetic‘s own Richard Milne provided us with a roster of bands to watch out for this coming year. Extrapolating videos and tour dates from his list, here’s the insider info who to hear and how to find them.

The Orwells

Fresh out of high school, this barely legal band has a groundbreaking year ahead of them. The Orwells hail from the western suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois and released their debut album Remember When in August of 2012.

They’re opening for the Arctic Monkeys in Richmond, VA in February before embarking on another tour in the UK and US. Their grimy, yet melodic garage rock is infectious. Their newest release, “Dirty Sheets”  was accompanied by a slightly NSFW video which is well worth the risk. The Orwells will return home to Chicago for a show at Lincoln Hall with Twin Peaks on April 1st.

White Mystery

Chicago natives Miss Alex White, founder of Missile X Records, and brother Francis Scott White founded White Mystery back in 2008 and have recorded non-stop since then. Their gritty and gained recognition from the likes of MTVVICESound OpinionsPitchfork, et cetera since their inception. Watching their ginger locks bouncing in sync with the music is just an added bonus.

White Mystery will be opening up for the Screaming Females at The Hideout on Thursday, January 30th as well as a hand full of shows in February before heading to SXSW.

Ezra Furman

While Ezra Furman already has five albums under his belt, his most recent compilation, Day of the Dog, is his first with new band The Boy-Friends backing his scratchy vocals. So, why is this album different that it’s predecessors? Well, as Furman told the AV Club, he has reinvented himself “as an angry young man ready to throw himself on the pyre in search of the redemption that will follow.”

That tone is devastatingly apparent right of the bat with Track 01 being “I Wanna Destroy Myself”, but then comes the delightfully upbeat “My Zero” whose horns can’t keep you from tapping your feet. The raw, scratchy, bratty lyrics are complimented by The Boy-Friends’ eager horns and empathetic base lines.

Furman and the Boy-Friends will embark on a UK/EU tour before returning stateside just in time for SXSW.

Secret Colours

To write Secret Colours off as simply ‘psycadelic’ would be a disservice to their music. “Psychedelic is just like an all-encompassing term people like to use. If it’s out there and it’s groovy – it’s psychedelic,” said Secret Colours’ guitarist Dave Stach in a recent interview.

Reviewers across the board place the Chicago-based band somewhere between 90’s Brit-pop and 60’s rock on the genre spectrum. They worked with Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Gomez, Iron & Wine) on their sophomore album Peach, which was released in May of last year. The album’s title track, “Peach”, sets a base for what to expect from the band, and then surpasses that expectation through the remaining tracks. They pride themselves on their sound’s constant innovation and evolution.

Secret Colours will be opening for Carbon Tigers at the Double Door on January 31st.

Heavy Times

Before becoming what they call a ‘real band’, Heavy Times founding members Matt Courtade and Bo Hansen played basements, lofts, and three-flat living rooms all around Chicago before adapting to a more ‘conventional’ method of making albums and playing somewhat established venues.

As Hozac Records puts it, they have a “uniquely hypnotic sound that’s hard to pin down but easy to fall for, and fast.” Their most recent album, Fix It Alone was released in July of last year and according to the band is a “good time, easy rock hits to push teenagers over the edge.”

Follow Heavy Times on Facebook to find out where they’re playing. Chicago and Michigan seems to share joint custody of HT, resulting in shows ranging from impromptu performances at Emporium to day trips to Detroit.

Twin Peaks

While Twin Peaks’ sound is mature in a ravaging sort of way,  I’m not entirely certain its’ 19-year-old members would pick up on a Laura Palmer reference. They may be young, but their passion and talent is unmistakeable. Their LP Sunken, released in July of last year, was welcomed with nods from the likes of Local Anesthetic’s Richard Milne to Pitchfork. As far as their talent goes, Milne writes, “These guys can write tunes that are worth savoring and, from the gigs I’ve seen, are tons of fun live.”

[protected-iframe id=”ee649edd47044eaacb065a0b9d4bccf2-37389257-46724566″ info=”//“Fast Eddie” 

And their passion? On December 24, the band announced on Facebook they would be leaving college to peruse their music.

“We’ve been broken down on the side of the road more times than I can remember. We’ve been kicked out of our own shows because we aren’t 21. We often go days without sleeping or showering in order to play shows that might not even have that many people there. But we do it and we love it and the reason we love it is because it makes you guys happy.”

With Twin Peaks’ talent, drive, and support from the likes of White Mystery and The Orwells, 2014 could prove to be a groundbreaking year for them. Twin Peaks will also be opening up for The Orwells April 1st at Lincoln Hall.


DeXter originally formed in 2002, though the last few years have served as a rebirth of sorts. Founding members Drew Heckman and Thomas Pace regrouped,  added new members, and continued on with the discovery of their sound. Strong lyrics emphasis accompanied by energetic riffs makes DeXter the optimum live performance.

Since forming, DeXter has established themselves in the Chicago scene playing all around Chicago from the Elbo Room to the Petrillo Band Shell to Martyrs‘ to Reggie’s. With their 3rd studio album in the works, 2014 could be an important year for the band. Follow DeXter on Facebook to stay up to date with their current shows and releases.


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