We collaborated with Dark Matter Coffee and released our This Is On Mixtape today! You can get a FREE tape at our show tonight at The Empty Bottle! We'll be sharing the stage with Charles Mantis, who also released his Datura Inoxia tape via DMC, and Evening Glow. See you there!
We are super stoked to be doing our first East Coast tour! Tell yer family and friends!
We are happy to share our Visits video premiere via RedEye Chicago! This was a very special project for us, as we shot the video ourselves and Corey edited it.
You can watch it here: http://www.redeyechicago.com/music/redeye-moritat-visits-video-premiere-20150422-story.html
Let us know what you think of it!
Yessss! It is still available only at DRYHOP BREWERS for a limited time! It kicked super quick at the release show, so get to the brewery and try yourself a pretty damn tasty APA while you can. Read what Philip Montoro had to say about the beer .
Chicago's music scene is as sprawling and diverse as the city itself, and there are thousands of musicians, rappers and the like hoping to catch listeners' ears. With that in mind, here are 15 artists we expect big things from this year. --Andy Downing for RedEye
Image 9 of 15
Members: Venus Laurel, Konstantin Jace, Corey McCafferty (all 36)
Sound (in five words or less): Experimental art-pop with a twist
What to expect in '15: The songs populating the trio's new EP, "High Plus Tight" (out Jan. 20), are as unexpected and intriguing as the story behind its unlikely creation, a winding tale that involves a robbery and the discovery of long-lost CD-R of twisted pop beats.
Next Chicago concert: Feb. 9 at Empty Bottle
Moritat – High Plus Tight
written by: Ben Bassett December 6, 2014
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Ever heard the expression “swept under the rug”? Usually it refers to things to be forgotten—or that we want to forget. Confrontations and regrets, these are the things reserved for making neighbors with the hairballs and dust-bunnies. But Chicago-based band Moritat lifted up the rug to discover something that was never meant to be swept away: a time capsule of themselves, an early EP they thought was lost.
While moving out from an old apartment, the band found a CD long lost under the living room carpet. Written in neon marker were the words “HIGH PLUS TIGHT.” When they played the CD, they rediscovered songs that were once thought lost, then deftly transformed those early tracks into a lofty collection of edgy, avant garde indie pop in the new EP High Plus Tight.
A handful of years ago, roommates Venus Laurel, Konstantin Jace, and Corey McCaffertey formed Moritat, storing some early recordings on an ancient relic known as a “CD.” Shortly after the songs were recorded, their apartment was robbed. Everything, including their gear, laptops, instruments, and personal belongings, were cleared out by the marauders of musical exposition.
It was a sad chapter for Moritat, but the band was not deterred from its dream of creating together. Moritat moved on from the burglar episode and released its freshman effort Chill Blazin (produced by Brian Deck of Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine fame) to critical acclaim. After the rediscovery of its early recordings in 2013, Moritat went to work refining the ideas from that once-lost CD.
Those ideas, literally pulled from under the rug, are eloquently and uniquely crafted on High Plus Tight.
The sparkling EP hosts sweeping guitars drenched in thick reverb and hauntingly pained vocals that even Justin Vernon would applaud. Sonically, it recalls something between Kylie K and Kimbra—though not as driving and rock-centric as the former, and certainly not as poppy as the latter—but Moritat manages to carefully construct a niche for its sound, what the band dubs “avant pop.”
The first single, “Visits,” is an excellent introduction to the EP and to Moritat itself. Reminiscent of a Bon Iver song with a pop beat, “Visits” finds a groove composed of synth dance beats and a mystical, thought-provoking lyrical melody. The lyrics call out, “Part of me, part of you, parts of you, out of touch out of tune, mysteriously someone said/The moon, visits the house of Jupiter.” The lyrics, like the music, find a great balance between pop pandering and the unapproachable seriousness of indie.
Moritat mixes its own brand of creative minimalism, with just enough danceable pop, landing on a musical plane where haunting and happy co-exist.
“Glass Door” is another of the EP’s most solid tracks. Easily the edgiest of the collection, “Glass Door” features an almost uneasy and angry crunched guitar tone, adding to the intensity of a song that almost has to be about trust issues. “I’m in my mind, I’m running out of my head/I’m in my mind, I see you two making the heartache,” sings Laurel, only adding to the building tension of the song. Together, “Glass Door” and “Visits” are a good indication of what Moritat is capable of on this EP.
High Plus Tight is a solid follow-up (and simultaneous throwback) effort from Moritat, with an excellent backstory that only adds to the great mythology of this record. The EP is an enticing entry point to introduce listeners to a promising Chicago band. Some things may be best left under the rug, but High Plus Tight is not one of them.
Moritat – High Plus Tight tracklist:
- “Starry B”
- “Glass Door”
- “The Lips, They Move”
Moritat just might be the most agreeable, harmonious local band. Formed in 2009, the members — Venus Laurel, Konstantin Jace and Corey McCafferty — bring years of deep personal relationships, artistic theory and outside influence into their work. They are a band uncompromised and uncompromising, even in their fifth year together. Now, as Moritat prepares to release its new album, "High Plus Tight," in January and is set to headline a show at the Empty Bottle, its members are eager to continue pushing the boundaries of their sound.
The strength of the band's interpersonal relationships is its true core. Laurel and Jace have known each other for 15 years, and are now engaged. Until recently, the trio resided in a work/live compound in Albany Park. Laurel and Jace occupied the top floor, McCafferty the floor below, and the basement served as a practice area.
Moritat functions and thrives by maintaining a harmonious balance of friendship and professionalism. "We share a lot of books, a lot of literature. From those relationships or cultural points, I feel like that's what's kept (the band) going," Jace said. "We have a kind of sympathetic communication, but there are no fights."
Music then is not a challenge or a hump to overcome in their free time, but a fluid thrill for like-minded individuals. Albums are not a toil, but a chance to collect their ideas and translate them to the rest of the group. They take their time with each new release, but are not idling in search of ideas. Rather, they trust in each other and translate their music from the mind of one creator (in this case, Laurel, who wrote songs using the Reason software) to the minds and instruments of the others.
"It's about having these strong relationships with each other and having these channels open," said Laurel. "With these channels to just feel so free and make those cheesy chord progressions, from there, we can usually come up with something pretty damn good."
It also allows them to grow and write artistically without the constraints of genre. Many genre names were applied to Moritat's sound in the past, from avant pop to art rock to indie R&B, but none seem to stick or accurately portray the full scope of the songs.
"We just wanted to be free to write how we want with the idea that there are stories in the songs," Jace said. "We wanted to start a band, but not really be confined to a limited genre and instead be really free about the compositions."
Consider a track like "Visits," a jammy and soulful down-tempo gem with a minutelong instrumental buildup. It sounds indebted to the art rock of decades past, but there are psychedelic elements in the song's lyrics, such as when Laurel sings, "The moon / It hits the house of Jupiter."
"It's much more of a sensation or feeling approach," Laurel said when describing the process of creating their songs. "We would actually just jam for hours at a time, free-form and experimenting, while also bringing fully formed songs already to the table."
This refusal to conform to genres also plays out in how they interact with the vast, eclectic local music scenes. Jace considers their band somewhere in the middle of the city's disparate scenes. Musicians tend to keep to their own and rarely work outside of the invisible boundaries. If they do work outside of their scene, it is often with musicians who do not live here, finding commonalities in their microsounds rather than where they live.
But Moritat has found a way to circumvent these limitations. In the past, the group has gotten a remix for its song "Automatic Lover" from The-Drum, a local production duo whose music would sound equally at home in R&B clubs and eerie David Lynch films. And the members are deeply influenced by the musicians around them. Bands like local art rockers Chandeliers are not a source of direct competition, but help inspire Moritat's further exploration of its experimental, free-form style.
The upcoming show is a test of the trio's ever-progressing sound. "This album has the most energy we've ever created as a band," said Laurel. It will be their first performance of this new material and they've previously put off performing live to refine the group's sound. With a working and familial relationship this secure, nerves don't play into Moritat's work.
"It really is about writing these songs," said Jace. "We'll let this unfold in the most natural way. From there, we can keep creating these new worlds."
When: 9 p.m. Dec. 2
Where: Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave.
Tickets: $5 (21+); 866-777-8932 or emptybottle.com
At the Bottle December 2nd 9pm! This will be our first show in 7 months, AND we'll be testing out new material from our High Plus Tight EP. Come on out to hear our new sounds and celebrate AXONS record release!
We are the May feature for Chicago Singles Club! (Note: It is NOT a dating serivce site) Peep it here : http://chicagosinglesclub.com/ Watch us break it down in a 4 minute interview.
And thanks to everyone who made CIMM Fest so awesome.
Next: New songs almost in the bag. We cannot wait to share these with you! They are definitely High + Tight y'all. Stay tuned.
Thanks to Cooper Crain (CAVE) for doing this sweet remix of our track Clill Blanzin, go ahead-it's a FREEBIE.
And we're looking forward to playing one of our favorite venues in the city March 16th, with The Limbos. Early show at 8pm sharp, see you there!
Hey You! Happy New Year! First off, in case you haven't heard- we have been working hard on some NEW music, and we can't wait to share it with you!
Second, we are playing Reggies Rock Club Friday January 10th for a SXSW Showdown! 5 bands, 30 minute sets, and the winner gets to play SXSW AND have a free place to crash. We play at 11pm SHARP, and would love love love your support! Help send us off! The showase is a fundraiser to make the event possible, so bring all yo friends! It's a 17+ show folks.
Get your tickets here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/460217
In case you haven't seen this review of I Forgot to Kiss Her by Australian Vice Blogger Soundly Sounds:
POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2013
The first thing that crossed my mind when viewing this amazeballs clip from Chicago based musical brain fuckers Moritat, was obviously ‘What the fuck am I watching?’ However, I need to point out that this is said in the best possible way. The clip of Tron meets your local planetarium fits perfectly with the treading nocturnal pop that Moritat offer you for a spiritual awakening. Their music is very Blonde Redhead-y, but has enough distinction to be enjoyed as an entity unto Moritat itself. I cannot get over the beautiful organ that poises delicately in the background and subtly carries the whole song. Fuck this is a masterpiece.
NEXT SHOW: At Township with Many Places, The Field Auxillary, and Handsome Lady.
Show at 9pm, we are on at 11p!
Thanks to Tuesday Night Dinner, and to everyone who came out to this awesome affair!
We are excited about this one. This will be an intimate evening where we'll be doing 2 sets!
Next Door Chicago is located at 659 W Diversey- it used to be the old Barnes and Noble store back in the day. Remember that place? Now it's a community event space where they host classes and have free music nights!
The show is from 7-9pm, Sat January 12th, FREE, ALL AGES, and good vibes. Come join us for our first show of the year!