by Tiana Feng

Windy City Gentleman presents us with his first album, produced by Brian West of Nelly Furtato/K’Naan.

The result is something quite dark in nature and atmosphere and 6 tracks that leave you wanting more. From the first track Ethanol you hear his yearning for an escape from this life. Despite this, he presents you with a catchy rhyming chorus. I Need It Too is a down tempo song that starts acoustic. You get trapped in the somber atmosphere until the layers of sound start to build in a way that reminds of a band called Radiohead.

The title track China White is a more rhythmic track. Of all the tracks, I think it is the most successful because of the lyrics. The lyrics on the rest of the album are a little bit vague, but this one tells us a story and lures you in. The synth effects in the conjunction with the bass piano chords really add to the drama of the track.

The Stranger takes the album to a more “indie” sounding track and Brian West does his magic on the synths and layering sounds to create the same tension and release we love to hear in bands like the Arcade Fire. Hey Mister! is a radio friendly track bound to get you jumping on your feet. As track 5 of 6, it is nice to have a track that isn’t completely dark, but fun. The final track Good Old Friend is a beautiful way to end the album on a light note. It speaks of good days of skipping stones, lovely in its simplicity.

Overall the album displayed Windy City Gentleman’s versatility. All 6 songs stand great by themselves as singles even though they are entirely different from each other. I hope to hear more from them soon!