Band of the Day

2014.12.29

Bailiff

Sprawling rock ballads which radiate with a newfound brightness and playfulness
Burn me in the blaze of your heatwave, drive me like the tide of a landslide.
lyrics from Shake My Heart Awake

Like a Queens Of The Stone Age of Motown, Bailiff has the staggering ability to blend upbeat pop elements with heavy rock undertones to create a new kind of “dark pop.” Fresh off the April release of their EP, Remise, which caught the attention of WXRT, Impose Magazine, and American Songwriter, the Chicago based indie-rockers return with a second installment –Remise II – due for release October 7th, 2014.

A striking collection of dynamic pop tunes, the four track EP journeys from emphatic indie anthems to sprawling rock ballads, all of which radiate with a newfound brightness and playfulness, while at the same time showcasing Bailiff’s stronger and more refined songwriting.

Bailiff began when Josh Siegel (vocals, guitar) put out a musicians-wanted ad on Craigslist and Ren Mathew (drums, vocals) responded. Before they had finished songs, the band had hardcore fans, including Evan Sult; the ex-Harvey Danger drummer first heard the band rehearsing in an adjoining practice space and was inspired by what he heard to knock on Bailiff's door and introduce himself. Bailiff released their debut EP, Mm Hmm, in 2009, followed by a full-length release, Red Balloon, in 2011, both to local critical acclaim.

Shortly after the release of Red Balloon, Siegel and Mathew recruited multi-instrumentalist Owen O’Malley to the official roster. In April 2013, the three ensconced themselves in a sub-suburban studio with engineering wunderkind Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie, Superchunk, Bob Mould) and spent two weeks forging their most eclectic work to date. Remise is imbued with flourishes of West African blues, Celtic folk, and jagged electro-pop, while reaffirming Bailiff's knack for writing a durable hook.

In addition to their head-nodding grooves and radio-ready pop hooks, the band have also secured a well-known reputation for their “awe inspiring” live shows, having opened for acts as diverse as The Lumineers, Nada Surf, Dinosaur Jr., Murder By Death, Jeff The Brotherhood, and Dawes.

Featuring tracks recorded alongside the initial EPs, Remise II covers wide emotional ground over its compact play length. There’s the effervescent and catchy “Golden Hour,” and charming pop ballad, “Love Like Mine,” a track which O’Malley aptly describes as “sweet, playful, and earnest – this was one of the first attempts to write something that was as different as possible from our last album (Red Balloon), which is a lot darker,” he notes.

“Build it Again” ratchets up the tension with angular guitar and mandola riffs and an unrelenting kick-tom pulse. Rounding out Remise II with whispers of Red Balloon’s darker moods is the poetic, “Out Of The Blue,” a slow and layered track that sprawls lyrically across the EP.