One of the best bands to emerge from the underground garage rock scene in recent years, Chicago’s Twin Peaks only released their debut six years ago, but already feel like a familiar, accomplished, and proven musical force, thanks to a relentless tour schedule, several more excellent albums, and the chops to back up their reputation for bridging classic garage and punk influences with modern indie rock. Returning to Nashville for a second year in a row, this time with a new LP in tow, the buzzworthy group are set to once again play The Basement East this time for two night in a row, Dec. 14 & 15, with support from buzzy indie punks and fellow Chicago residents Lala Lala, and eclectic duo OHMME, also from Chicago. One of the last essential rock shows of year, tickets are still available right here (12/14) and here (12/15), and you can read more about the lineup below!
A important addition to the young, electrifying, fuzzy, punk-tinged garage rock scene (see: most of the Infinity Cat roster, Whitney, Ty Segall, and the like), Chicago’s Twin Peaks have been on our radar since their buzzworthy home-brewed debut, Sunken, which lit up of the blogosphere in 2013, and helped the young band, several members of which have been friends since elementary school, break out of the buzzy DIY Chicago scene and onto the national radar. A near-perfect blend of ’60s garage rock and modern punk, the group, who formed in high school, attended college together, then subsequently dropped out to support their first LP, have an unpretentious, relentless energy about them, and an eclectic vibe which sets them apart from their numerous peers. Around the time of their sophomore album, 2014’s Wild Onion, Twin Peaks began appearing at more high-profile festivals, and earned an increased wave of critical praise for their seamless ability to blend a retro sound and carefree Replacements-esque aesthetic with a honed and contemporary style, enhanced by their relentless and formative tour schedule. 2016’s Down in Heaven only served to further showcase the band’s growth (though not in a cliche, “we’re in our mid-20’s now” way), and in 2017 they undertook the ambitious project of releasing two songs each month through throughout the latter half of the year as part of a series dubbed Sweet ’17 Singles, later collected into a compilation. Just this fall, the band, who’ve only continued to grow in buzz and critical acclaim as they’ve toured constantly over the past couple of years, released their fourth and most mature LP to date, Lookout Low, a more mellow and no-frills effort than the rest, but still a thoughtful and eclectic blend of era-spanning rock influence. A powerhouse live force, Twin Peaks have impressed us countless times in both intimate rooms and on huge festival stages, and as they return to The Basement East, this time for two nights, we can’t think of many cooler rock shows to help bring the year to a close.
Also hailing from Chicago, indie punk project Lala Lala is effectively the musical vehicle of English born, LA raised rocker Lillie West. Aside from a grungy, poppy, raw, lo-fi 2016 debut, Sleepyhead, the group remained somewhat mysterious to us when passing through with the likes of Cherry Glazerr, Chastity Belt, Wolf Parade, and Frankie Cosmos over the last few years, but now picking up buzz and on Hardly Art, their more widely buzzed about 2018 followup, The Lamb, has helped the group find broader recognition beyond the DIY scene. While Lala Lala’s first effort was fueled by descending into a toxic and self-destructive lifestyle, The Lamb navigates the process of coming out on the other side, examining the young singer’s insecurity, mortality, struggles with addiction, damaging relationships, and grief, funneled through an even more honed dreamy, grungy, indie punk package. A definite artist to keep an eye on, Lala Lala’s frequent stops in town supporting so many excellent bands should be a compelling enough reason to give them your undivided attention.
Yet another Chicago act (props to Twin Peaks for helping boost the hometown scene), indie duo OHMME only formally came together in the summer of 2014, but members Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham had been apart of the vibrant local DIY scene for many years prior. Prompted by a shared love of free improvisational music and influenced by avant-garde rock, the pair’s eclectic, lush, harmonic, and genre-bending sound was honed over several years of singles and a self-titled 2017 debut EP, before signing with Joyful Noise and releasing their first full-length, Parts, last year. A bit different from the rest of the bill, but just as vibrant a part of the Chicago scene, OHMME have shared the stage with big names like Jeff Tweedy, Iron & Wine, and The Joy Formidable, and have collaborated with everyone from Whitney to Chance the Rapper. Needless to say, you want to show up early!
Twin Peaks, Lala Lala, and OHMME will perform Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 at The Basement East. The shows are 18+, Saturday begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.) and Sunday begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20-22 here (12/14) and here (12/15).