Smile Politely

Seven things happening in our music scene right now: June 2018

When I started compiling this piece for the month, I didn’t realized that by the end of it, I would have a group of seven releases — either videos, albums, or tracks — to showcase to you all this month. That’s what is happening right now in the scene, and if you’re interested in checking out the other columns, please do so to see what other releases you’ve missed from this year.

There’s a lot to pay attention to, from bands and projects old and new, from the past month or so in the C-U scene. This month focuses on releases, so pause what you’re listening to while you read this and take a listen. 

If you have something that you think would fit into a column like this for the future, email us at

POSTER CHILDREN release Grand Bargain!

Although Poster Children mostly exist in Bloomington-Normal these days, their roots are here in Champaign-Urbana. The band has released their brand new album — their first since 2004’s No More Songs About Sleep and Fire — Grand Bargain!We debuted the title track back in January, and now, the full album is available for streaming/purchasing

No More Songs was one of the best local albums of the decade — top 10 to be exact! — and the new album is worth a listen, without question. Stream the whole thing below.

WINGCLIPPER releases first album is six years, Secrets of the Stars

wingclipper is a act you’ve probably never heard of, and that’s OK. That’s why we’re here discussing what’s happening in the scene: to learn!

That said, wingclipper is the experimental project of Adam Porter, and he released Secrets of the Starsthe first wingclipper record in six years, just a few weeks back. It is really quite good, produced with samplers, drum machines, synths, and more — all on a four track recorder. In my correspondence with Porter, he mentioned that there were no computers used in the process, and all the final mixes were recorded to 1/2” tape on “a restored MCI JH110” for all you nerds out there that are curious.

New outfit PRIMITIVE LIGHTS release new track 

There are a lot of bands in this scene, and there are a lot of members of those bands that are in many bands. This is one of those bands made up of members of other bands for the most part. Though, some of them have retired old projects, and moved onto this one. Anyway, there’s a lot of cross over. 

Tim McGee (Our Landmark, The Chemicals, Penny Horses), Brad Olson (Neoga Blacksmith), Andrew Davidson (The Chemicals), and Dave Pride (formerly of The Fights, Elsinore) are all in this band are the members who recorded the track, though Davidson has moved on, and Eric Fitts plays bass for them now. They have a new track out under this new moniker Primitive Lights called “Little Red Robe”, and you can stream it below.

HATHAWAYS return with new video 

Although only a portion of Hathaways live in Champaign-Urbana at the moment, the band recently relocated a portion of their outfit back to Urbana, and released a new video. Check out the video below, as Hathaways have a lot of ties to the area over the course of the last decade or so.

JOSH ZUCKERMANN releases new track “Reiki”

Josh Zuckermann has been in and out of the local scene for some time, but you might remember his name from Cassius, which was a project him and his brother, Mark Matt, were in together years ago. The Champaign native is now singing/rapping under his own name, and sent along his new song “Reiki” for us to check out. Zuckermann will be around for the summer months, and will be releasing some new music soon, but this is a hot start.

ORATOR released a new track from their forthcoming album

Constantin’s interview with Orator a few weeks back discusses the new record from the sludge metal outfit, Breaking the Cycles of Violence, and let’s not forget that they sent along a new track that we debuted called “Resonate”, one of the first tracks from the new record that is forthcoming. I won’t try to rehash what they’ve discussed in the article above, you can check that out for yourself — for now, stream the track below.

[[mp3 orator_-_resonate]]

THE SUBSECT release a new EP, Hanging Fire

The Subsect is a new-ish post-punk band that has popped up over the last year or so — and the alt-rock outfit’s debut EP Hanging Fire was released back in April. The female-fronted band isn’t super well known in the scene it seems, but a release always helps. Check out the album, you can stream it below.

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