Fans know Friko (Bailey Minzenberger, Luke Stamos, and frontman Niko Kapetan) as vital rising stars in the Chicago scene. The music, which freelancer Britt Julious described as “perfect slices of indie-pop” in the Chicago Tribune last January, is complex, layered, and dynamic. Over the band’s time together, it has become clear they are comfortable embracing multiple musical extremes at once. Take a listen to the explosive and hypnotic beat of “In_Out” off their self managed 2022 EP release, Whenever Forever, and juxtapose it against the serene, strings soaked tracks that follow, “Half as Far” and “Can I See U Again.” It becomes even more pronounced in live performance, where a frenzied floor, grinding with wailing guitars and animation, in the very next minutes finds itself collectively holding its breath silently as the band eases them into a spell. Lyrically, Kapetan explores the possibility and risks of a life given over to music, interrogating what a life well-lived means to him. The duality rings out in the compositions, evoking rock and folk icons such as Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. As Friko plays out sweeping melodies, held up by thrashing guitar and punchy beats, it feels as if Kapetan sings to you. Crooning about stories you know, memories you had but have somehow forgotten.
On the heels of creeping charlie’s highly regarded debut EP, Asymmetrical, comes their eagerly
anticipated first full-length release, How to Kill Creeping Charlie. Lead
singer/guitarist/songwriter Julia Eubanks draws from a broad palette of influences, blending a
Patti Smith early punk ethos through a guitar-driven 90’s Seattle pastiche, interweaving sonic
experimentation with irresistible hooks. With this, the 10 tracks on How to Kill Creeping
Charlie—ranging from quietly reflective to all-out rocking—paint a vivid picture of youth and
the alienating times we live in, and how to find redemption.
Diet Lite’s eclectic style has been described as where “garage rock meets power pop,” showcasing catchy riffs, creative songwriting, and a brand of energy that could be canned and sold. Diet Lite is gritty, feel-good rock ‘n’ roll at its finest. The group takes pride in active bass lines, melodically forward verses, and familiar yet fresh material.