There has been a recent burst of vintage influences in the indie community. Everyone can credit Os Mutantes, Pink Floyd, or Brian Wilson as an influence but that’s so 2010. Where’s the love for Donovan? The Zombies? Maybe even Elliott Smith (though he’s not truly vintage)? Search the underground and growing indie community of Chicago and you’ll find all three of these artists represented in its songwriting scene.
Newest addition the Film Society oozes the sunny songwriting and quirky instrumentation that characterized all three of the former bands. It’s surprising that Film Society leader Joe Grazulis composed his first demo by himself in his bedroom. The recordings are rife with piano riffs, echo-y vocals, and the constant beat of an acoustic guitar. Add Grazulis’s knack for clever lyrics and you’ve got a quiet storm of sound. “Common Algebra” feels like it could fit into Smith’s Figure 8 perfectly, though the Film Society’s overall demeanor seems to be a lot more positive than Smith’s. Which, if you are a Smith fan like myself, can be quite refreshing. It’s a welcome change to a scene full of wanna-be psych rockers and cookie cutter punks.
The Film Society is playing its first show at Schubas in Chicago on February 8 as a part of the SongCircle Series. You can download the Film Society’s demo tape through its Bandcamp page. Take a listen to the Film Society’s “Common Algebra” below.