Category: Audio

Power of Dusk share new recordings, demo 2020

Punk/hardcore outfit Power of Dusk have released a new EP of demos, appropriately titled demos 2020, which you can stream now on Bandcamp. The tracks were recorded last fall by Mark Wyman at Earth Analog, mixed and mastered by Kris Di Benedetto.

Top photo from the demo's album art.

Buy local music on Friday when Bandcamp waives its revenue share on music sales

Earlier this week, Bandcamp announced they would be waiving their revenue share for music sales this Friday, March 20th from midnight to midnight Pacific Time. If you've had your eye on buying music generally through Bandcamp, this would be the opportune time to purchase something from any artist, as all of the funds will go directly to said artist on Friday.

While supporting artists is important, keep in mind there are a ton of acts in town that would really appreciate your support during this time, if you are able to do so. Basically all live music has been postponed for the time being, so there's no earning there. 

I've put together a non-comprehensive list of a bunch of recent local album releases from the last year or so. This sale goes for all album sales, not just recent ones like I've listed below. Just know that no matter what you buy, this is what's happening on Friday.

If you want to dive in even more, look no further than Bandcamp's Urbana and Champaign tags. That's how I find local music from time to time. Perhaps you can make someone's day by buying one of their albums through Bandcamp, or even some merch from their website, or giving them a shoutout on social media. 

Did I miss one that you'd like me to add to this list? No sweat, just email us at and I'm happy to add it. This list would go on forever if I kept going with local album releases.

Top photo from Bandcamp's website
Audio / Video

Ticketless Traveler release videos to accompany their 2019 album

Ticketless Traveler dropped their self-titled album last year. But over the last three weeks, they have released three (!) videos to accompany their songs. Ticketless Traveler's album and the videos involved local musicians Paul Kotheimer, Morgan Orion, Gerry Guthrie, Patience Mudeka, Tafadzwza Diener, Jenny Goodwine, Michael Shapiro, and Carl Reisman. Since the band only gigs a few times a year, the album and the videos are a great way to get them in your ears.

Check out their video for "Simple Machines," and the album, Ticketless Traveler, below.


Top Image: Album art from Ticketless Travelers' self-titled album (2019).Two men are outside a large, military-style tent. One, on their knee, appears to smoke while a mirror balances on his back. The man behind him shaves with the mirror. Image from the band's Bandcamp page.


zzo releases new EP, Temporary Bliss

Zoe Willott's indie pop project zzo has released a new EP, Temporary Bliss, which you can stream now. 

Here are two opportunities in the near future to see zzo perform:

Top Image: Album artwork for the EP, view out of an airplane window with the airplane's wing in view. In the background, a white snow-covered mountaintop and blue sky. Photo from zzo's Bandcamp page.


HAL9K releases EP Bicycle Day

Local artist and producer Adam Meixner has released a new EP under his performing name HAL9K. Bicycle Day, which dropped on January 23rd, showcases HAL9K's club-ready, indietronica sound. Check out the release below. 

Top Image: Meixner stands in front of a brick wall wearing a dark jacket, a t-shirt and a black scarf. One can also see a yellow double exposure of Meixner's face trailing behind him. Image from the HAL9K Soundcloud page.
Audio / Video

Trouble Chasin’ release video for “Wrong System”

Local group Trouble Chasin', the collaboration between Chase Baby and Sandman Slim (formerly known as Truth AKA Trouble), have released their second music video for their song, "Wrong System." The video, produced by Chicago's Smoke Bonito, was shared by the Champaign Cypher Series' Youtube account and can be watched below. You can also check out their album, Trouble Chasin' 2, on most streaming platforms and linked below. 


Top Image: The album artwork for Trouble Chasin's second album, Trouble Chasin' 2. The album name sits at the top of the album. Behind the text is the image of a corner store at night. One man sits on a bench under a light on the side of the building while another man walks toward him, away from the door of the store. Album artwork sourced from Trouble Chasin's Soundcloud page.


Listen to LLYN’s new track “Documents”

Indie rock outfit LLYN are debuting the new song "Documents" right here at Smile Politely, and you can listen to the song below via their Bandcamp page. The band has been hard at work on their new record Fever Dream which is getting a proper release show on Saturday, February 15th at Rose Bowl with You Folk and Nectar to support.

Top Image: Members of LLYN standing side by side in a black and white photo. There are four members. Photo by Anna Longworth.


Listen to Nectar’s new track “Blister”

Indie rock outfit Nectar have a new track "Blister" which they debuted over at BreakThruRadio, which you can hear over there or stream below. 

The band has a handful of dates coming up, including February 15th at Rose Bowl Tavern with LLYN (they're releasing their new album) and Chicago's You Folk.

Top Image: Four members of Nectar standing side by side in front of a yellow walll, member second from the right leaning head on member to the right's shoulder. Photo by Janelle Abad.


Cole Bridges & The Overpass drops new single, announces tour dates

Local artist Cole Bridges — formerly of The Fights — has released his first single since 2016. "Right Where You Are," recorded with the new band, The Overpass, was recorded in Urbana at Shangri-Nah Studio. 

Bridges, who is currently touring through Oklahoma and Texas, will be playing a show at Tolono's Loose Cobra on January 17th. The show will also feature Bobby Stevens of St. Louis. 

Top Image: Album art for Cole Bridges & The Overpass's new single, "Right Where You Are." A crayon drawing of a man with a guitar for legs whose right arm turns into a road with buildings on it. He wears an orange hat. The background is tan. Image provided by the artist.


Metaphysics drop new album Wasteland

Shoegaze/dream pop outfit Metaphysics have released their new record Wasteland, which you can stream below, and over at their Bandcamp page or a streaming service of your choosing. 

The band performs from time to time in C-U, and has released a variety of music over the years, so this is a nice new proper release from the four piece. Stream it and check out the album art and tracklisting:


  1. When The Sun Goes Down
  2. The Day Is Done
  3. Go Outside
  4. Dyling To Live
  5. You and Me
  6. Polarized
  7. Don't Let It Be
  8. Junk
  9. Shining Star
  10. The Nothing

Album art from Metaphysics' Bandcamp page


LLYN releases new single “Wasting Time” featuring Kenna Mae

LLYN has been fairly active over the last year or so, playing quite a bit around C-U. The indie rock outfit has released a new song "Wasting Time" which features Kenna Mae, who performs on her own as well as with Relevator mostly these days.

Stream the song on Spotify, and check out the next few shows that LLYN has on the books:

Photo of members of LLYN by Anna Longworth