Javier Reyes (Post Animal, Djo, Dolores, Sweetloaf, Column, Jake and Javier) is a Minneapolis-born, Chicago-based musician who released his first solo record, Big Amigo, in June 2021. Recorded over the summer of 2020 in his apartment, Big Amigo has Javier’s love for funky pop and dance music on full display. Heavily influenced by the hyper pop movement, he calls it his “honeymoon with auto tune”. Big Amigo was pressed on vinyl by Shuga records and is available on bandcamp and at Shuga records. He’s currently in the process of completing another record and is looking forward to playing more solo shows.
Who is Reno Cruz? In his past lives, the California native has put in stints as an actor, jewelry salesman, banjo player, and cheesemonger. A resident of Chicago, he’s worked to earn his stripes as a backing musician for various local luminaries — including Lala Lala, Wyatt Waddell, Sen Morimoto, Shawnee Dez, and others.
At the dawn of 2022, Reno Cruz emerges from quarantine isolation to cast his own stone into the abyss–a debut record that marries his penchant for intricate guitar work and hushed vocal melodies with an intentional blend of layered folk instrumentation and psychedelic digital processing.
The result is a kaleidoscopic jewel-box of an album, each subsequent listen revealing previously hidden depths. With lyrics directly lifted from journal entries and past conversations, Reno directly addresses the listener with a carefully preserved account of loneliness that nevertheless highlights the companionship possible in solitude.
While this record speaks to anxiety and isolation, its homespun instrumentation–courtesy of a talented ensemble of collaborators—is a testament to the power of community and reciprocal care. Reno’s nimble acoustic guitar waltzes alongside a DIY orchestra of woodwinds and strings, while his voice, lustrous and bruised, co-mingles in harmony with his closest friends. The resulting ten songs, expertly mixed and mastered by Brok Mende at Friends of Friends Recording, constitute a radiant debut that bridges the space between loneliness and togetherness.
Ondine is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in New York City. Her songs are raw, honest, textured expressions, blending genres and techniques to create something entirely new.