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Light Pollution

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Biography

Midwesterners often feel obligated to apologize for/complain about their landscape. Chicago’s Light Pollution does not. The contrasting feelings of wonderment and isolation evoked by the frozen Midwestern plains deeply pervade their sound.

23-year-old songwriter James Michael Cicero grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, the son of Italian and Spanish Catholics. His grandfather was a first-generation Spanish immigrant trumpet player who moved to Chicago to lead a Big Band; aspirations that did not ensure financial stability. As a result, when Cicero bought his first guitar at the age of seventeen, his father took to locking it in the attic.

Cicero left for college in Dekalb, IL, met drummer Matt Evert, obsessively wrote songs in class, and soon dropped out. Over the following years, the two honed their skills and sensibilities, eventually acquiring Nick Sherman and Jed Robertson; evolving into what is now Light Pollution.

Swirling analog synths, shimmering arpeggios, and washed out tape noise are embedded into combinations of 90’s shoegaze, chillwave, and vocal psych-pop. Thanks to a unique blend of hi-fi and lo-fi tracking and their Midwestern demeanor, they are able to create hazy, psychedelic, layered sounds that set them apart from recent waves of lo-fi pop bands.

Light Pollution is finishing up their full length debut, due out on Carpark this summer. Cicero wrote the album over the course of a long, stoned, agoraphobic winter spent isolated in a heatless warehouse west of Chicago.

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