Erik chats with Dan Stewart from Damager about the origins of the band along with his work as a filmmaker and the state of the local indie scene in Chicago.
Featured Tracks from Damager:
I Am Made of Solid Gold
Dan curated a list of 15 artists from the Chicago music community to shout out.
OK Cool - Self-Sow
Every Chicago band’s favorite Chicago band, right? This brand new banger from Songs from the Spare Room hooked me immediately. It’s got it all – it’s noisy, ethereal, and super groovy. Absolutely love Haley’s basslines and Bridget’s vocals on this.
Pinksqueeze - Mother
I’ve been listening to the Quarter Life Crisis EP on repeat! I could’ve easily picked any song on this record but it’s the backup gang vocals on “Mother” that just put a huge smile on my face.
See them live as soon as you can- they’re the best.
Geekd - Trippy Dippy
Christian was one of the first friends I made in the scene and I was instantly a huge fan of what he was doing with Geekd. “Trippy Dippy” just further proves his incredible talent as an artist. I
love how this track ebbs, flows, and evolves. Trippy Dippy!
Heet Deth - We Should Have A Party
Listening to Heet Deth gets me really pumped and inspired. They’re doing such amazing stuff on this record and at their shows. They’re the first band I’ve ever seen actually distribute their own earplugs for the audience, and if that isn’t a statement of intent, I don’t know what is.
Nora Marks - A General Malaise
Again, I could’ve picked like anything from Opt Out, an album that has an endless supply of heaters, but “A General Malaise” has been in my head lately. I would give it one of my highest praises, which is that I feel like it could’ve been in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 or 4.
Superkick - Sweety
Everybody loves Superkick, this is a metaphysical law of the universe. They haven’t had a miss yet, and “Sweety” really sees them using the full extent of their powers. The interplay between Mike and Joey’s vocals is so rad and the key change is a ‘chef’s kiss’ moment.
Cut Your Losses - NPD
Oh my god this track is so great. Alex and Isa’s vocals are just blissful. Meanwhile Joseph and Josh are thundering in the rhythm section. The production on their Growing Pains EP is just phenomenal and I can’t wait to hear what they do in the future.
Girl K - Girl K is for the People
At one point I had this super catchy new wave guitar line in my head for like three days. It was bugging me so bad. Then I put on the Girl K Is For The People EP and remembered it was from this song. What an incredible track, the arrangement is just flawless. Intimidatingly great song.
Supermoto - Topo Chico
Supermoto is the genre-bending project of my dear friend Garrison Krotz. This funky little number conjures up summer days playing soccer by the lake and drinking hard seltzers. The way it matures and shifts through moods is so rad. I’m constantly impressed by what GK has up
Ryan Pollock - My Friends
Another one of my closest homies, Ryan has been producing and working on all sorts of projects (including Supermoto and mastering Damager’s debut LP!), but his debut EP from 2019 needs much more attention. “My Friends” is a major jam, moody but bright and all around funky.
Background Character - Sisterhood of the Traveling Gimp Suit
Background Character’s I Can See the Future is filled with “wow” moments, and that’s probably why I’ve listened to it like 800 times. That said, the title of this track actually sent me and a
group of friends into an extended fit of laughter. Background Character are fantastic and you should be listening to them daily – that’s a prescription.
Scarlet Demore - Spiked Seltzer
I’m pretty much waiting for Scarlet Demore to take over the world. This track is a blast, and at just over two minutes, it’s begging to be put on repeat. Can’t wait to see what they do next.
Totally Cashed - Here Comes the Sun
Totally Cashed is making the exact kind of celebratory, unpretentious, pure rock’n’roll that I really love. Trash and the boys put on an amazing show and I’m super excited for their upcoming EP.
JewelOsco - Good Company
JewelOsco is one of my newest favorites. I really love how they blend guitars with drum machines and synths on this track, it all comes together really beautifully. I’d highly encourage you to see their electric live show ASAP.
CalicoLoco - I Want to Be Beautiful
Ending this list on an absolutely HUGE song. CalicoLoco are one of the most exciting bands around and they’ve put out like a billion awesome singles, but this one is really special. It’s an endlessly catchy indie pop track that’s ready to fill stadiums, as they should. If you haven’t heard it, it’s gonna blow your mind