Editor’s note: Over the next week, we take a look at some of the bands who jumped out at us in 2019. Leading up to that, we asked some friends and scene contributors for their picks, too. Chicago Sound Check supporter and friend Andy King, who runs the AUX Audio podcast network and his own weekly interview series, AUX Populi, shares one of his discoveries from this year.
On November 25th, at around 4 p.m., I was standing in front of an apartment building with no way of getting inside, realizing I had never exchanged numbers with anyone from The North and Wells Band. All communication had been done solely through email. Panicking, I pulled out my phone to see if I could find a quick way to get in touch with the band. As the screen came on, an Instagram message had just been sent through by John Love, the band’s pianist/keyboardist.
It read: “Hey! It’s John from North and Wells! When you get here, if you would like to just buzz up, my doorbell has ‘Love’ on it! So ring for Love!”
Ring for Love.
For a band that’s only been active less than a year (less than less than a year), they have already accomplished a great deal. With three singles out on all streaming platforms, and several gigs under their belt at Cubby Bear, Reggie’s and Tonic Room (to name a few), The North and Wells Band are well positioned to hit the ground running in 2020.
Like so many of my recordings these days, I spent a little over two hours interviewing John Love, Jake Stopar, Sam Roth, and 12:12 (stage name for lead vocalist Gideon Redic). I left that apartment impressed. Impressed with their combination of youth and wisdom, wit and thoughtfulness, intelligence and silliness. And that’s exactly what they bring to their music. Music that clicked with me immediately, and left me somewhat speechless.
The North and Wells Band deny a connection to any specific genre, because they intend to experiment freely with their capabilities, and collaborations. However, if I was forced to use one word to describe their vibe, I would call them ‘soulful’. Of the new bands hitting the scene this past year, there are none as charming and as capable as North and Wells, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Find their singles “Chicago Summertime,” “Holding Back” and “Kosher” on Apple Music, Spotify and most streaming services. You can also keep an eye out for new singles coming in both January and February, as well as a longer record this autumn. Up-to-date information on the band can also be found through their Facebook and Instagram pages. Also check out their episode of AUX Populi.