[19 March 2007]
Illinois, the delightful indie rock outfit, seemed to be performing at every conceivable location at this year’s SXSW festival (even playing an Urban Outfitters). The band actually comes from Pennsylvania, and is the latest offering from Ace Fu—the prolific indie label who brought us Annuals, Devotchka and Oneida. The members of Illinois don’t appear to take themselves too seriously, but this may work to the band’s benefit as their light-hearted indie pop is both versatile and enjoyable. From the harmonizing “Bah-Bahs” on “Alone Again”, to the funky banjo on “Nosebleed”, to the modest piano arrangement on “What Can I Do For You?” Illinois serves up a veritable grab bag of delectable indie rock. Coming from the idyllic town of Buck’s County, the band describes their home town as a place where “kids still ride their bikes in the street and the first girl you kissed is now your wife”. It is this innocent and vivacious spirit that spills over into the band’s playful sound. And if their debut EP, What the Hell Do I Know?, is any indication it looks as if Ace Fu has found yet another formidable indie rock act.