PLAYLIST: Deeper’s No Ketchup Tunes

A collection of songs by the Windy City’s finest, including Melkbelly, Mykele Deville, Dehd, and The Hecks.

I mean, yeah, Chicago’s one of the biggest cities in the United States, and yeah, there’s plenty of major musical acts spanning every genre imaginable constantly being exported from the Windy City—but there’s something to be said for the city’s uniquely tight sense of artistic community. In addition to all the overlap in personnel among bands and labels, you’re probably gonna bump into one of these people working at the nearby record store, taproom, or venue the night after you watched their Free Monday show at Empty Bottle.

Deeper are among the groups on the verge of transcending their communal celebrity and receiving due praise on a national (if not global) scale. The hype preceding their second LP for Fire Talk, Auto-Pain, seems to be growing every day, and although it sounds like it was cobbled in the same Northwest Side basements as recent LPs from Dehd, Lala Lala, and The Hecks, there’s a universal jangly post-punk charm to it that untethers it from the scene.

But for the sake of context, the trio has thrown together a playlist of tracks by their contemporaries from their time coming up in the city. While none of these artists quite match the eerie anxiety of Deeper, they surely all know their way around a Chicago dawg.

Auto-Pain is out this Friday, March 27, via Fire Talk Records. Pre-order it here.

Melkbelly, “Humid Heart”

Melkbelly’s new record drops a week after ours and we can’t wait for it. Back in the day, when we were in a pinch right before our first tour, Bart and Miranda let us screenprint our shirts at their place right before hitting the road. Forever homies.

Stuck, “Bells”

Stuck is an awesome new band in the city and this track closes out their new record. Greg is great at matching lyrics to the tone of the song. 

Fran, “So Surreal”

Maria’s voice is incredible and “So Surreal” really showcases her range. This song makes us long for the spring.

Cafe Racer, “Faces”

Cafe Racer makes this hypnotic wall of psych and the outro of this song really showcases that. Their live sets are nuts and we’re really excited to have them play our record release show. Their record’s coming out on Born Yesterday, a label run by our bassist Kevin and Greg from Stuck. 

Makaya McCraven, “Above & Beyond”

While we were coming up in the city we would catch improv sets from Makaya. This song showcases his ability to cut between jazz and hip-hop influences.

Mykele Deville, “Mingus Baby”

Love Mykele. Really great lyricist and inventive beats. Drew and him worked together at a coffee shop in the city back in the day when they were both still grinding to make music more of a full time gig.

Tenci, “Earthquake”

Tenci is an up-and-coming talent in the city and we’re really excited to have her on our album release show. We really like the space she creates in her songs, especially in their live show.

Pool Holograph, “Codex Hammer”

Pool Holograph are some all-time buds and “Codex Hammer” showcases some of the awesome textures they bring to their songs. They played the release show for our first album, too.

Claude, “Turn”

We caught Claude open for our buddies in Discus at their album release show and really enjoyed their set. Claudia’s voice is so good on “Turn”—love how this track unfolds. Excited to see what they do in 2020.

Fetter, “The Wreckage”

Good electronic music is often under-reported in the city and Fetter is doing some really cool stuff. Caught their set at a DIY show probably a year ago and this song has always stuck with us.

Tasha, “Kind of Love”

Tasha’s voice is a show-stopper. The sparse arrangements of her songs let her voice and lyrics get all the deserved attention. “Kind of Love” is such a beautiful track.

Sports Boyfriend, “Jasmine in the Summer”

Sports Boyfriend is a sentimental favorite of ours. Eileen writes cool bedroom pop songs that easily get stuck in your head. She recently dropped a new EP and we were just bumping “Jasmine in the Summer” in the car.

Bunny, “Let Me Be Your Dog”

Bunny is a staple in the Chicago scene and “Let Me Be Your Dog” is one of our faves from them. Stoked for them to get their debut record out.

Fire-Toolz, “mailto:spasm@swamp.god?subject=Mind-Body Parallels”

We saw Fire-Toolz open for The Hecks once and it was the most immersive performance we’ve ever experienced. All their music is so creative and insane in the best way possible.

Dehd, “On My Side”

Dehd is the catchiest band in Chicago and we’re stoked to be label mates with them on Fire Talk. “On My Side” encapsulates everything Dehd does well—strong lyrics, cool guitar lines, and dope vocals. Jason’s old band Earring was on the label before we joined and he was instrumental in getting us signed. 

The Hecks, “Flash”

The Hecks are everyone’s favorite band in the city and their new record really took them to a new level. The production is insanely good and “Flash” shows why we always have them on repeat.


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