If there’s one virtual certainty about the city of Chicago, it’s that the people who live there take a lot of pride in their hometown. You can include the members of The Dead Licks amongst those who can’t help but be very devoted to their city. Today, the band is unveiling their brand new single “Towers (Chicago),” a tribute to the Windy City that will be included on their debut album In Disguise, due on May 20th.
A melodic, slow-burning indie rocker, the song was written primarily by singer and guitarist Tom Inzinga on an acoustic guitar before he brought it to the band, who filled it out into a more complete presentation. With dreamy soundscapes and a relaxed vibe, the song is a reflection of how the band feels about living in Chicago and the appreciation they have for their locale.
The group unveiled a first sample of In Disguise with the release of the album’s lead single, “With A Bottle Of Whatever You’re Having,” last month. This album shows a lot of musical growth for the quartet since their previous single and EP releases. They made sure not to rush the finished product when it came to recording In Disguise, a mature-sounding record with songs that feel breezy and at ease.
Some of the album was written and recorded with the band members apart from each other due to pandemic-related considerations. In fact, the drums were first recorded with a drum machine due to the absence of drummer Jimmy Gallagher. They first used a drum machine, before passing tracks along to Gallagher who banged out his drumming parts which were then mixed in. What the band has wound up with is a layered, well-recorded album that sounds like a fully realized version of the capabilities the band showed on their earlier material.
To gather some more insight on “Towers (Chicago)” and how their hometown has influenced them, we took a few minutes to chat with Inzinga.
Hey guys! We love your new single “Towers.” What inspired the track?
Tom Inziga: “I had recently gotten COVID-19 and was quarantined from work in November, 2020. When I managed to muster up some energy a few days in, I was extremely bored and started to write on my acoustic guitar. It was a rare instance where the entire song came to me in an hour or two, first the chords, then the lyrics. I ended up doing a demo and a video for fun that day that we posted on our Instagram. I was inspired by COVID. As clichéd as that sounds, because I am sure there will be hundreds of songs inspired by it, but I was literally sick with this strange disease that had completely decimated my energy and I just wrote about my feelings towards the whole endeavour that was unfolding in front of everyone’s eyes.
“It started as a homage to my hometown, Chicago, then it kind of veered into a song about how different Chicago had already been in November, 2020, and how it would never be the same, which it really isn’t the same. It is slowly going back to normal but it is still different now. It’s a love letter to my favorite city as well as a reflection on the pandemics effects on it.”
Who are some of your main sonic influences?
“Sonically we are very much inspired by rock bands that tend to veer into other genres territory. Radiohead being a massive influence, The Strokes, The Arctic Monkeys as well as electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Odesza.”
How has Chicago shaped your act?
“It is where we all live now. Our daily work, our interaction with friends, and various relationships, and our week by week lives here in Chicago all shape how I approach lyrics and music and I’m sure the same applies to my band mates.”
In Disguise Track Listing:
3. Kids at the Park
4. My Wish
5. Fly Under the Sun
6. With a Bottle of Whatever You’re Having
7. Clever Fool
8. The Moors
9. What Happened
10. American Diners
12. Towers (Chicago)
13. Right All Along