On October 6 at the Mill, I saw one of the better indie pop shows I’ve seen in a very long time. The two bands that I saw that night were Like Pioneers and Love Songs for Lonely Monsters.
Like Pioneers is a Chicago-based quintet that makes melodic, fast paced noise pop. The band merges dueling guitars with a super solid rhythm section and the whimsy of actually good pop lyrics. It was sweet, charming, and musically interesting. The band oozes charisma. I got a chance to talk to the guitarists Bobby Gallivan and Jesse Woghin after the show was over, and I found them to be super nice dudes who clearly just love playing music with each other, fitting the spirit that they displayed on stage. They will be coming back again, so keep them on your radar.
Love Songs for Lonely Monsters are a Des Moines based band. They have an awkward name, but nothing is particularly awkward about their music. They were, actually, something of a revelation for me. I came in expecting nothing and was completely floored by the end of their set. In listening to them, I kept hearing a female-led version of The Wedding Present and other members of the C-86 movement with a little bit of rocking thrown in for good measure. The band was cohesive and dynamic, but lead singer in Amy Badger stole the show. She’s got stage presence for days and a voice to match. Seeing as they are from the state, I’d count on them appearing in Iowa City again.
If this is the state of the indie pop around the Midwest, indie pop is in very, very good hands.