Three of Chicago’s most prominent bands on the indie-rock and pop scene join forces Wednesday at Higher Ground. The compelling triple-bill is headlined by five-piece indie rock group Twin Peaks — seven months after headlining the ninth Waking Windows festival in Winooski — which this time out has a new album in tow.
Openers include two other rising stars on the Windy City scene — Lala Lala and Ohmme. Lala Lala, the Chicago-based indie rock project of Lillie West, 25, performs in support of her sophomore album, “The Lamb,” widely praised as one of 2018’s best releases from an emerging artist.
And Ohmme — which opened Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy’s sold-out 2018 show at Higher Ground before headlining ArtsRiot four months later — is an acclaimed art-pop group led by ultra-talented multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham.
Twin Peaks, which Pitchfork recently called “one of the most prominent Chicago rock bands of the past decade,” brings its renowned live show back to the area in support of its fourth album, “Lookout Low,” released in September.
Produced by A-list producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Elton John, Kings of Leon) and recorded in Wales, the album was tracked live in the studio and delivers a more intimate country-soul vibe with more harmony vocals and orchestration than on previous albums. Ohmme’s Stewart and Cunningham overdubbed vocals on more than half the tracks.
Under the Radar called the album “an enjoyable sojourn (that) gives the guys a fresh new batch of big tunes to air during their frankly incredible live shows,” while Exclaim said the band’s “warm and groovy album is exemplary in its ability to create tracks that sound as if they’ve been part of the rock ’n’ roll canon for years.”
“It’s a breezy and easy listen,” added Uncut, “but there’s also a deeply layered approach where stacks of harmonies and melodies interweave gracefully.”
Born out of Chicago’s thriving indie music scene, Twin Peaks was formed in 2010 by a core quartet of longtime friends: guitarists Cadien Lake James and Clay Frankel, drummer Connor Brodner and bassist Jack Dolan. Multi-instrumentalist Colin Croom joined the band following its 2014 sophomore album, “Wild Onion.”
Barely out of their teens when they started, the band “burst onto the scene … with garage rock so energetic and earnest that critics carted out comparisons to the Kinks, the Stones and even the Replacements,” according to Spin.
“Lookout Low” is a follow-up to the band’s lauded third album, 2016’s “Down in Heaven,” which Spin called “their mellowest, poppiest set yet.” And Twin Peaks’ 2017 compilation album, “Sweet ’17 Singles,” furthered its ever-evolving sound that’s even more expanded and tightly honed on “Lookout Low.”
“This was the most collaborative it’s ever been for us,” says Brodner in press materials. “We wanted to try all the weird ideas and be as open as possible.”
“Everyone’s having so much fun playing together, and we’ve all grown and gotten better,” says James.
“There’s something intangible about how our chemistry and friendship has evolved,” adds Dolan. “We rely on each other so much.”