One of my favorite albums of 2019. It's interesting I heard of this band through the network I reside in. Lucky for them, they don't have to be pigeonholed to a scene. I feel like they're Phantogram-good. Chicago's new blood is so much fresher than that retired-ass Wax Trax sound.
Favorite track: Soft Peaks.
Heavy Handed feels like getting in on Chicago’s best kept secret. Rita Lukea, Jonathon Freund, and Tyler Ommen developed their debut LP over the past two years recording at Decade Music Studios and playing tirelessly at venues like Thalia Hall, word of mouth underground electro dance parties, and on festival stages. Rita opens the album singing “So come on baby walk through the door / I meant to let you in”. With Pixel Grip’s Heavy Handed it’s a synthpop paradise beyond heaven.
Rita’s dynamic, boundless voice guides Jonathon’s lush analog synth arrangements and Tyler’s tight, irresistible drum grooves to form a sound that transcends any one place or time. Heavy Handed melds Chicago house, French electronica, and Hi-NRG while Rita dazzles with strong, clean pop melodies dipped in eroticism which at times boil over into ecstatic otherworldly babble. “Soft Peaks” is perfectly at home being played at a European discotheque, and “Diamonds” makes them a perfect pair with bands like Little Dragon or Holy F*ck.
Title: Heavy Handed
Artist: Pixel Grip
Format: Limited edition LP and Digital streaming worldwide
Released on April 12, 2019 via Feeltrip Records
"Heavy Handed is their debut LP, and it’s a stunner. Not only do Pixel Grip have an ear for that aforementioned marriage of sugary hooks and shadowy analog synths, but they have an able grasp on Chicago musical history, nodding to the dreamier side of house music (“Body Like That”) and the poppier side of Wax Trax (“Can’t Compete”)..."
-Jes Skolnik, Bandcamp
released April 12, 2019
Produced by Jonathon Freund
Mixed by Adam K. Stilson & Jonathon Freund
Written by Rita Lukea & Jonathon Freund
Published by Feeltrip Records
Recorded at Decade Music Studios, Chicago IL, USA from 2017 to 2019
Engineered & Mastered by Adam K. Stilson
album art and design by Alexa Viscius
Special thanks to our family and friends, Jeannie, Jill, David & Diana, Adam, and to all of you who come to our shows and and play our record. Thank you.
It's hard to decide on my favourite track, they are all great. The whole atmosphere of the album is one of late summer and oppressive heat, with people slowly roaming dusty streets or hanging out in sparse shadow, old cars with plastic charms bleached out by the sun dangling from rear mirrors, motels with box air conditioners louder than they are effective... mitula