Prolific Chicago indie-rocker Jason Balla expands his catalog with his new solo project, Accessory | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Prolific Chicago indie-rocker Jason Balla expands his catalog with his new solo project, Accessory 

click to enlarge Jason Balla of Accessory

Jason Balla of Accessory

courtesy the artist

Chicago indie rocker Jason Balla divides his time between Britpop-inflected four-piece Ne-Hi, atmospheric postpunk three-piece Dehd, and reverb-drenched duo Earring, all of which have made prominent places for themselves in the local underground rock scene. I can’t imagine Balla has much time on his hands, so when he starts a new creative endeavor, it’s likely because he feels he must. So here we are with his soft-spoken solo endeavor, Accessory; the show tonight is a celebration of the project’s first cassette release, Blue Tape (ACX). Balla has figured out how to use just enough reverb and distortion to make himself sound like a full band. He usually processes his vocals so they sound like several people are singing (though not exactly harmonizing), and he drenches his guitar parts in reverb, painting big, moody brushstrokes while leaving swaths of space that ooze melancholy. He does it especially well on the yawning, minimal early single “Flowers on the Highway” and the mesmerizing, serene “Changes.”   v

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