Distractions has been spreading its lounge sounds around Chicago the past couple years, primarily in the underground circuit, delivering eccentric live performances in various DIY venues. I only came across the act last summer, when it played a cramped attic space in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. And I was an instant fan. The band has a distinctly Chicago sound, an ominous atmosphere of dreamy, moody melodies, jazz-influenced instrumentation, deep vocals, and deeper lyrics - surf music for the beach bums of murky Lake Michigan’s shore. So it’s especially heartwarming to find that the band, after knuckling down and recording some new material, is beginning to garner some much deserved attention.
Distractions released their self-titled debut on cassette format back in May through local cassette label Plus Tapes. It made a huge splash in the blogosphere, especially the single “All I want,” and since then the band has been riding the wave. They signed with Infinite Best Records this summer and took their first tour, trekking the east coast and Canada. The band will be re-releasing the remixed, remastered debut album on 12” vinyl through Infinite Best in January 2011. But in the mean time, they’re dropping a 7" single, due out December 7 through Twosyllable Records.
The 7” single will feature “We Were Better Off in the Rain,” a track taken from the debut release. It combines shimmery, delayed guitar with warm rhythms and a dreampop melody. Dulcet vocals ooh in the distant background, contrasting with the somber, baritone vocals of lead man Tom Owens who croons “Even if I try to let you win, I always find a way to make you lose.... Weather’s something that you cannot change.” The 7” will also feature a b-side track not taken from the debut album “I Need a Reason.”
While the 7” won’t be released for a few more weeks, keep your ears open for a listen of “I Need A Reason” over at Twosyllable's site, as well as word of the full-length vinyl release at Distractions’ MySpace. You can also catch them live at one of their two upcoming Empty Bottle performances: they open for Bird Names November 27 and open for Sleeping in the Aviary January 10.