by Henry Bianco
What is it about being from the Midwest that lends itself to writing seriously killer pop hooks? A native Chicagoan, Brent Puls writes everyman music much the same as the city he calls home: beautiful, inviting, and perfectly imperfect, in the way that only a true denizen of the Windy City could understand. You know that guy or girl who sorta looks like he or she might have just finished off a three-day bender, leaving you wondering if that look was actually fabricated with a few hours in front of the mirror, but in the end it doesn't matter because you just wish you looked that good? You'll find moments of that effortless cool at the core of Brent's debut solo EP, West of the Lake, featuring carefully (but not too carefully) sculpted post-pop hum-a-longs with arrangements gently caressed by decidedly Not rock and roll instruments like mandolin, viola, brass, and even banjo (provided by me!).
You may recognize Brent if you don't already know him by name, as he's also a founding member of Chicago Neo Soul mainstays Bumpus, as well as Grammar and Terrible Spaceship. Clearly Brent is no stranger to playing a utility role within an ensemble, but if you care to catch Brent step out into the solo spotlight, he will release West of the Lake this Friday at Schubas Tavern. The show costs $8.00, doors are at 10:00pm, and you've got to be at least 21 to get in. Get there early to catch Death Ships and The Glory Singers, why don'tcha?!