Cult emo experimentalist Weatherday arrives in Chicago

In February, teenage Chicago indie rockers Dwaal Troupe contributed a tender, dusty tune called “Everyone Forgot but You” to Porcelain Songs, a 30-track compilation made by fans of enigmatic Swedish indie-rock project Weatherday. The musicians involved in the comp put it together via Discord, a messaging app and social-media platform that allows young fans to incubate closed communities dedicated to their favorite artists—hence the comp’s subtitle, A Weathercord Compilation. The number of Discord users on the Weatherday server is relatively small (fewer than 800), at least compared to, say, the Grimes server (Pitchfork reported more than 15,000 members). But Porcelain Songs illustrates the intensity and breadth of Weatherday’s cult among other musicians: the comp features electronics-spiked pop-punk from British-Lithuanian duo Flyovers in Patterns, wispy ambient by Polish solo project Starshy, and experimental collages from Portland artist Goth iHop. 

It’s difficult to make sense of Porcelain Songs without having heard the solo project that inspired it—the arena-size ambition, cheeky experimental flair, and beguiling intimacy of Weatherday’s lo-fi recordings create an aesthetic umbrella expansive enough for all the comp’s disparate sounds to fit beneath it. Helmed by a multi-instrumentalist who goes by Sputnik, Weatherday has so far dropped only one full-length in its brief career, 2019’s Come In (Porcelain Music). The album’s soaring songs tie together shoegaze fuzz, quasi-symphonic flourishes, postpunk gloom, and posthardcore rushes. Sputnik’s shabby, earnestly yearning vocals give the project its defining character by helping corral these components into a coherent sound. In just a few years, Come In has become an urtext for emo’s emerging fifth wave, giving young musicians permission to break rules that inhibited earlier generations. Last year, U.S. indie label Topshelf, a crucial fourth-wave emo outlet, dropped a double-LP reissue of Come In, and the whole run of 2,000 sold out—if you want a pristine copy, be prepared to pony up $100 on Discogs. Earlier this year, Weatherday collaborated with Seoul fifth-wave emo artist Asian Glow on the Weatherglow EP, whose polished, concise songs express both artists’ desire to reach for the stars.

Weatherday, Michael Cera Palin, Weatherday, Oolong, Elton John Cena, Sat, 7/2, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, $16, $13 in advance, 5+

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