Unicycle Loves You is the kind of band that we at Epitonic, well...love. Too hysteric to be dubbed dream-pop and too buoyant to be punk rock, Unicycle Loves You resides somewhere in between those two subgenres, a bracing mix that's hard to not like.
The Chicago-based trio has released three albums in the last four years, defining and distilling their uniqueness, best exemplified by the band’s most recent record Failure. Recorded in the home of songwriter, producer, vocalist, and guitarist Jim Carroll, Failure is awash with an endearing DIY vibe in vein of similar home-recording projects like Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, which are both clear and present influences for Unicycle. Tracks like “Wow Wave Cinema” and “Garbage Dump” find buzzing guitars layered under aggressive bass lines and crashing beats. It all serves to create a messy-yet-enjoyable sound that provides the perfect platform for the marriage of Carroll and bassist Nicole Vitale’s vocals, a pairing that's somehow simultaneously antagonistic and charming.
Looking back at the band’s self-titled debut, and 2010 release Mirror, Mirror, it’s clear that Failure was a massive de-glossing effort and an attempt to strip away all the frills of the previous records in order to create a raw, unrefined, and more focused inclination. Hearing it on the album I thought it worked well, but seeing it live added a whole new dimension of understanding and appreciation. In a day and age where studio gimmicks and effects are commonplace, it’s nice to see a band successfully journey in the opposite direction.
Unicycle Loves You. Love them back.