Bound Stems

Ye olde Press Bio: Almost every night, some Bound Stems get together for something or other. A lot of times it's for practice, but sometimes it's for a barbecue, with a lot of friendly friends around. A lot of times it's at the studio, and songs are underway. Sounds unspooling in the background: El train, northwest bound; cicadas; a stick gnawed by a puppy; now a chorus of cicadas; sidewalk conversations; giant whirring air conditioning stacks; airplanes approaching O'Hare; fat car tires, and the polite beep of a car in the mouth of an alley. Bound Stems started making music together in late 2002, but they were already up in each other's business. Bobby Gallivan (guitar, vocals, lyrics), Dan Radzicki (bass, keys, vocals) and Dan Fleury (guitar) played basketball on the same team in high school. When they met Evan Sult (drums, tapes), they'd been playing together for a long while. He'd been in Harvey Danger (London/Sire, Polygram) in Seattle, but just moved to Chicago. Three years later, they present their EP, The Logic of Building the Body Plan (Flameshovel Records). It was a lot of work in seclusion, really: a practice space and a studio and back and forth for six months, pretty much every day. That's what made their album, Appreciation Night, such a complex, beautiful composition, full of tricky time signatures and memorable lines. Bound Stems released Appreciation Night in September 2006: to celebrate in advance, they made an EP, The Logic of Building the Body Plan, which features seven tracks, including two from their debut record; three new songs; and two song compositions created by Bound Stems and co-producer Tim Sandusky, with whom they recorded both releases at Chicago's Studio Ballistico. Bobby's a high school history teacher. Fleury's a financial whiz kid. Radz is a lab scientist, no shit. Evan's an art director at a comic book publisher. Czech that out. Another voice on the EP is Kate Gross, who graced both the studio and the stage with Bound Stems for a while. Newest member Janie Porche sings harmony and plays an SP606, an acoustic guitar, a keyboard or two and an electric named Sweet Tones. The Logic of Building the Body Plan is an intricately arranged 26 minutes of pop music founded on secretly complicated rhythmic structures. Male vocals and female harmonies build narratives off scenes summoned by the instruments and by a library of stolen sounds that emigrated to their songs: grandmas, crafty cabbies, trains, party laughter, turnstiles, storytellers, and a field's worth of crickets. It's approachable music; it sounds like they knocked themselves out, which they did, and it also sounds like a pleasure to dive headfirst into. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.