Holy Sons, Elisa Ambrogio, RLYR | Beat Kitchen | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Holy Sons, Elisa Ambrogio, RLYR 

When: Wed., Nov. 12, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $12, $10 in advance
As the drummer for Om and Grails, Emil Amos keeps the music cohesive and moving forward, but the songs he writes for his solo project, Holy Sons, are all about falling apart. On his latest album, this fall’s The Fact Facer (Thrill Jockey), he doles out self-reproach in a voice that sounds like Bill Withers trying to go 70s pop-country, framed by arrangements that could pass for Fleetwood Mac’s Danny Kirwan trying to navigate subtly dubbed-out soul music; his anguish would be hard to take if the elements weren’t so precisely balanced and the tunes so damned catchy. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Elisa Ambrogio has been mixing classic songcraft into the Magik Markers’ chaos for a few years now; in 2009, she told the Village Voice that she’d been taking songwriting tips from a book by Jimmy “Wichita Lineman” Webb. Her use of mournful cello, stately piano, and soaring wordless vocals makes The Immoralist (Drag City), her solo debut, sound like it was abstracted from 60s girl-group hits, and her lyrics hinge on spare, evocative detail. RLYR, a new instrumental trio that consists of Trevor de Brauw (Pelican), Steven Hess (Haptic), and Colin DeKuiper (Bloodiest), opens. —Bill Meyer
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