March 26th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (312) 339-8733
strangeletsmusic AT Gmail
It may be unorthodox for a band to feature a live video recording as their first full-length release, but these are unique times. On April 30th, Chicago-based art rock trio, Strangelets, will premier Live from Prairadise on their YouTube channel, with the live album to debut on streaming services two weeks later. The first single from the album, “When We Were in Paris,” is currently available to view and stream (link).
In the midst of the pandemic, Strangelets retreated to a remote prairie estate to record a live 10-song performance with the assistance of video director Clint Mosling. What resulted is a psychedelic visual journey through the human condition, exploring topics like selfishness, isolation, and tribalism. The performance begins with second single, “Grrr,” and its brutal predatory imagery, and then progresses along a variety of visual and sonic vignettes. The performance also includes three previously unheard songs (including the first single).
Strangelets formed in 2018, made up of remnants of The Tallest, who had achieved some small amount of local notoriety in the mid-2000’s. The group is comprised of Jason Blundy (singer/guitarist), Eric Schmidt (drums), and Wes Smith (bass/backing vocals). While heavily influenced by both British and American alternative rock of the 80’s and 90’s, the band is not shy to draw from any genre, with songs inspired by various styles, from prog rock to bluegrass. Prior releases by Strangelets include their 2019 debut single, “Villain!” and 2020’s tandem singles, “Wolves in Wool” and “A Walking Disaster” released together as +/—.
Strangelets formed in late 2018 – a new incarnation created by three musicians with years of experience playing together in other projects, most notably The Tallest in the mid-to-late 2000’s. This new project switches the script, with Jason Blundy assuming the role of primary vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. Wes Smith, accomplished singer and songwriter himself, moves to bass and backing vocals. Eric Schmidt, having remained the common thread between all three in recent years, continues on drums. Together, the trio craft rock and roll songs meant to seem both familiar and unique, drawing from a variety of genres within rock and beyond.
The three members of the band have gone on a decades-long musical journey starting with Jason and Wes meeting in Lexington, Kentucky in 1995. Jason had been singer and songwriter for another project, but joined Wes along with Matthew Humble in The Amoeba soon after their meeting. The group spent several years in Lexington honing their skills as performers and songwriters. Just before the turn of the millennium, Wes and Matthew moved to Chicago and began to establish themselves in the Chicago music scene.
Remaining in Lexington, Jason spent the next three years completing college, focusing his time as a solo artist on developing his guitar-playing and songwriting skills, culminating in the recording of an album’s worth of material, including a couple of songs that have remained in rotation to the present day. In 2002, Jason moved to Chicago to join Wes and Matthew in Stories for Boys (the band also including Elijah Humble on guitar and Corey McCafferty on drums).
At that point in time the band were in the process of recording an album at Above the Cadillac studios in Kentucky, which was completed in two sessions in 2002. The album was shopped around to several small labels before catching the attention of Squid vs. Whale: A Record Company, based out of Portland, Oregon. The band embarked on a West Coast tour in 2004, signing on with the record label to release the album “The Future Burns the Sun” after changing the name of the band to The Tallest. Prior to the tour, Elijah and Corey decided to move on from the band. Al Nicolini joined the group, taking over on drums.
Following the release of the album, the band continued to play the Chicago scene along with additional touring in the South and West, where they began work on their second album (eventually produced in Chicago, but not released until many years later). As the band prepared for what would be its final tour out West, Al decided to step away from the band. By chance, Jason had recently met Eric and, upon learning about Eric’s drumming experience, Jason quickly recruited him to join The Tallest on tour. Eric had cut his teeth playing in the Chicago suburbs as well as while attending college in Colorado before a brief hiatus upon returning to Chicago.
Upon completion of their last tour, the band continued to play around Chicago until Matthew eventually called it quits in 2009, with Wesley deciding to leave the group not long after, leading to the end of The Tallest.
It wasn’t long, though, before Wes, Eric and Jason were reunited as The Coils in 2012, this time with Jason taking over as bassist. However, that project faded shortly after recording a demo. While Jason decided to go on hiatus, Wes and Eric continued playing together, forming BirdsNsnakes in 2015 and playing several gigs around Chicago over the next three years.
Throughout the period from the end of The Tallest to the present, there has been an undercurrent with Eric and Jason rehearsing privately, working on select songs written by Jason over the course of his music career. The two even performed the material as a side project titled Nerd Alert! in 2015. In the summer of 2018, with BirdsNsnakes drawing to an end, Eric and Jason invited Wes to join the project on bass. The three of them spent several months reworking old material and writing new songs before recording their first single “Villain!” in early 2019. Taking their name from a lyric in that song, Strangelets made their presence publicly known in the summer of 2019, leading to their debut performance on October 5th, 2019.
The group are currently preparing their first full length release “Live from Prairadise” premiering April 30 on YouTube.
Live from Prairadise – Live LP – 5/14/2021 (Premiere on YouTube 4/30/2021) – Streaming
“When We Were in Paris” – Single – 3/36/2021 (first single from Live from Prairadise) – Streaming
+/– – Tandem Single – 9/29/2020 (includes “Wolves in Wool” and “A Walking Disaster” – Streaming
“Villain!” – Single – 6/1/2019 – Streaming