With a sound that’s both organic and technological Chicago’s Maps & Atlases specialize in songs that are as engaging as they are hard to classify. Incorporating elements of folk, mathematic rhythms, and a wide range of guitar styles, the quartet avoids becoming unnecessarily complicated by injecting their songs with pop sensibilities and Dave Davison’s emotive yelp. In a live setting, the band is a technically flawless machine, as bassist Shiraz Dada and guitarist Erin Elders sprawl out over Chris Hainey’s precise and unusual drum patterns, and when all four members’ contributions are combined, their individual parts make a mesmerizing, interlocking tour de force of a performance. See this incredible display of musicianship in practice by watching video of the band’s performance on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters from earlier this year.
Maps and Atlases are heading back on the road in the fall with Jukebox the Ghost to continue supporting their most recent album Beware and Be Grateful (out now via Barsuk), so keep an eye on their Facebook or website to read about those dates as soon as they’re announced.