North Carolina duo It Looks Sad explores indie-rock's gray areas on Sky Lake | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

North Carolina duo It Looks Sad explores indie-rock's gray areas on Sky Lake 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

click to enlarge It Looks Sad

It Looks Sad

Lauren Woods

Shortly after Carolinas indie label Tiny Engines launched in 2008, it became a crucial outlet for the burgeoning fourth-wave emo scene, releasing material by bands such as Tigers Jaw, Restorations, and The Hotelier, which began breaking out in the mid-2010s. A few years ago, the label began to aggressively expand beyond the sounds that characterized its early years, and in the process inadvertently highlighted the ways many contemporary punk and indie-rock outfits borrow from emo. But It Looks Sad, a melancholic duo from Charlotte, North Carolina, lean on UK postpunk for their mope quota more than anything that could be described as emo (though I do hear strains of the latter). On their debut album, November’s Sky Lake (yes, on Tiny Engines), It Looks Sad mold shoegaze fog, plastic percussion loops, and trim, cold guitar melodies into glum, oddly triumphant indie-rock tunes. At their best moments, such as on their blue-hued single “Faded,” they hit the same hard-to-pin-down sweet spot as (Sandy) Alex G—one where indie-rock magic can only happen with a touch of emo.   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories