Music

Sofar Sounds Kicks Out a Playlist

The purveyor of secret, intimate shows around the world picks some favorite tunes


Sofar Sounds, which pulls together intimate, secret shows with cutting-edge bands in about 180 cities around the world, knows what’s hot in music. Founded in London in 2009, Sofar Sounds describes their events as not “a party with live music, but an interactive listening experience for people who want to discover new music and meet like-minded people.”

The monthly events rely on local volunteers to help curate the best in local music. Each session happens in different, unique spaces — rooftops, backyards, distilleries, warehouse spaces — with a different host at each place. About 50 to 100 people can attend, but getting in is selective in order to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to check out stripped-down musical sets. Sign up for their list here.

The Chicago Sofar Sounds team pulled together a playlist of some of their favorite music of the moment. Check them out. Learn about new bands. And go tell your friends.

CAA: What inspired this playlist — how does it represent So Far Sounds?

Sofar Sounds: The artists featured on this playlist are all Sofar alums — some have even played multiple shows with us and in other Sofar cities as well. Our team goes through a listening and voting process leading up to each show and looks for artists that make a certain impact. They also must understand our mission: That their performance is not for pay but for the love of music, that there are no openers or headliners, that they will play stripped down, etc. We have been fortunate to work with the best of the best within an incredible network of emerging, local artists, and you’ll hear it for yourself when you give this playlist a listen.

CAA: Who are some of the top Chicago artists to watch out for?

Sofar Sounds: If we have to name just a few: Saba, Marrow, The Way Down Wanderers, Santah and Fort Frances

CAA: What is So Far Sounds doing to help spotlight emerging music?

Sofar Sounds: Sofar was born out of frustration with what going to a concert has become. People who are too drunk, on their phones the whole time, talking the whole time … you name it. We provide an environment where artists can really get their music across to an audience of eager listeners. For artists, we fill a room full of 50, 60, 70, up to 100 people who are all there to actively listen to and engage with music. We professionally film the sessions, create a video of a song performed for each artist, and spread it across our social media. Which, right now, includes 60,000+ Facebook followers and 90,000+ YouTube subscribers. We try to help bands who have played for us before when they go on tour by trying to help them line up a Sofar show in one of the over 160 cities around the world that Sofar is in.

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