Week in Pop: Promise Keeper, Saudade Sisters, Younger Lovers

Sjimon Gompers

The Younger Lovers win the week with a brand new album (from left), Rich Guttierrez, Brontez Purnell & Ezra Rabin; photographed by Fabian Echevarria.

Fauvely

Introducing Fauvely; photographed by Heather Brochu.

Introducing Fauvely; photographed by Heather Brochu.

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Get to know Chicago’s artist on the rise Sophie L. Nagelberg, oka Fauvely, who just released Watch Me Overcomplicate This via Midwest Action and offers up a debut listen to her single “Break”. Joined by friends Scott Cortez on bass duties, violist & vocalist Alice Kraynak, slide guitar by Alex Burns, along with percussionist Chris DePorter; the EP was recorded by Burns at Magnetic Twin Recording & Minbal in Chicago over the course of the past few years that offers intimate observations with all senses of feeling also conveyed.

Sophie’s South by Midwest excursion finds her channeling down home Savannah, Georgia feels finds a home in the big Illinois city. “Break” exemplifies the flights of fancy that propel one to flee from an overwhelming situation. The Fauvely sound can be heard here in full where all the strings & sentiments intertwine like helixes bonding between one another whilst enjoying parallel existences. The melodic delivery works in scales that rise, fall, dip & soar like a flock taking to skies, or a school of fish exploring the ever-expanding depths of a seemingly infinite sea.

The opening title track “Watch Me Overcomplicate This” delivers all the inner thought processes that are rarely expressed outwardly that depict the inward muddles that often make mountains out of life’s ant hills. “Get Mine” is a mansion of many rooms, suites & expressions that all revolve around getting what is yours. Confidence and swollen egos are extolled on “Big Head”, as “Any Time” offers up a reflective & mysterious number, as Sophie brings things to a close on “Muted” that sings out doves of dulcets & demands of diligence that breaks the silence. Join us immediately after the following listen for our exclusive conversation with Fauvely’s Sophie Nagelberg.

What are some of the most exciting artists coming out of Chicago right now?

Violet Mice is one to watch out for—their live performance is super energizing. And my friend, Born Days, is coming out with some really trippy electronic music that you can get lost in.

Some of the most important activism in Chicago right now that you want to shine a light on?

A lot of musicians are doing whatever they can to be involved, whether it’s donating proceeds from shows to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. This kind of activism in contagious and easy to do. I recorded an old protest song with Danielle Sines of Impulsive Hearts. It will be part of compilation benefiting the ACLU. Little gestures like these, you know, they are not monumental, but they do add up. There’s a website called chicagoactivism.org that’s really helpful in providing a calendar of events and a toolkit to help people get involved in various issues.

What is the story behind the moniker of Fauvely?

I wanted a word that encapsulated how the music feels and sounds, to me. I was thinking of performing under my given name, but I knew I wanted other people to be involved and that the project needed to breathe and grow, so it made the most sense to adopt a moniker that could umbrella other people and ideas.

Tell us about the complicated & over-complications that went into writing & recording Watch Me Overcomplicate This.

This project has been inside me for a long time, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to bring it to surface. It’s hard to explain why this is. I suppose I didn’t really feel like I knew what I was doing insofar as creating songs on my own, but when I tap into my feelings and allow them to guide me, that’s where the best stuff comes from. I have to stop overthinking everything and go with it.

How have you found your Savannah, Georgia by Chicago, Illinois adventures have informed your own creative sensibilities?

Well, I think of both places as home, but for different reasons. Savannah feels like this large force of nature, a feeling, maybe that I sometimes can get pulled into, like a black hole, but I do feel very connected to the land, to the water. I’m a Gemini, an astrological twin, so I guess feeling at home in two places is right on point.

What else are your working on right now?

I have a novel that I’m revising for what feels like the billionth time. This is something I’ve been working on for a few years. And I’m starting to write new songs, thinking about what a full-length album will look like.

Parting thoughts/insights of wisdom/advice?

I’m definitely not qualified to give advice, but I can say that accepting help from others through this process has been extremely humbling. I’m working with incredible musicians, and this past week I had my friend, Melissa, designing a poster for the EP release and Dale [Price] helping with the cassette artwork, and my violin player’s boyfriend helping to record this video, and I just want to take a deep breath and express gratitude.

Fauvely’s Watch Me Overcomplicate This is available now from Midwest Action and you can catch their release show at Chicago’s Empty Bottle March 30.

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