Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Lilacs prove their classic sound will never go out of style.

The Lilacs. Still busy rocking. Still playing clubs with static, single-color stage lights.
Ken Kurson and David Levinsky form the core of The Lilacs, a Chicago power-pop band releasing their first new music in over 25 years. The Lilacs Endure is a 4-song EP that sees the group picking up exactly where they left off, crafting timeless little guitar crunchers that are sticky as warm bubblegum on a hot summer day.

The group’s sound is exactly what you’d expect when you consider Kurson once played bass for Chicago legends Green, and Material Issue’s Jim Ellison provided the band with their name and produced their debut 7” The Lilacs Love You, released way back in 1991.

I’ll admit I’m new to the band, which is odd since they ran—and presumably now run again—in many of the same musical circles I do. But you can certainly count me as a fan now. My initial take on the new material, before I read any of the band’s history, was that they sounded like a slightly more aggressive version of The Pooh Sticks, a Welsh band that was primarily a studio project with a rotating cast of musicians giving voice to the fictional band members a la The Archies or, well, Gorillaz. Theirs was a shaggy sort of pop that had roots in the late ‘70s with multiple nods to other artists, and The Lilacs share some of that musical DNA, albeit with a more focused and organic approach.

It’s wickedly fun stuff.

“Monica” is the lead track off the new EP, and though the video was posted months ago I’m betting you, like me, never saw it. So check out the video below. Want more? Sadly the band seems to be avoiding my streaming player of choice (Bandcamp!) so there’s a Spotify stream below, though those are always wonky once you step outside the player. No matter, it’ll bring you to the EP one way or another … and you want to hear this!





The Lilacs will celebrate the release of The Lilacs Endure at Phyliss’ Musical Inn on October 19 at 9 p.m. The new EP is out now.

4 comments:

Unknown said...

K.K.,
I am pretty media challenged.my preferred method is kindly asking siri to please play" The Lilacs Endure " and wallah!Four absolute pop masterpieces. Any Lilac fan who appreciates this CD will surely want to attend the October 19th release celebration and a birthday that will be the best,most memorable event of this old rockers' life.The Lilacs love you and, I love the Lilacs. Long live Chicago music and the musicians and bands keeping the scene alive. 10/19/2019

Cindy said...

Ahhh, to see John behind the drum kit is almost too much. Watching Ken strain and celebrate belting out the lyrics is over the top. I am so happy to see you at "work" on music. Speechless.

Billy Sternberg said...

Monica is worthy as anything getting played on any radio station today. The last person sang into a can as good as Ken Kurson was Everett McGill.

Jules said...

The PMI scene really wasn't you...