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DOWNLOAD THEN SEE: California Wives

By Sarah Cobarrubias in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 10, 2012 7:20PM

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California Wives caught our attention two years ago with the release of their debut EP Affair. Despite no new material since then, the synthpop 4-piece still managing to accumulate a strong fanbase, get themselves signed to Vagrant Records, and book gigs like Taste of Chicago and North Coast. But a few days ago, the band finally put out their very first full-length album, Art History.

In this new album, there’s quite a bit of layover from Affair—we’ve already heard four of the new album’s tracks on the old EP, though the new album is, not surprisingly, richer and more vibrant than the old stuff (it’s produced by Claudius Mittendorfer, who’s worked with acts like Interpol and Neon Indian). The song “Blood Red Youth,” for example, opens both of these releases; the new version chugs along with a buoyant beat and punchy synth, while the old one is a bit drab and drawn out by comparison. The album goes on with a mix of stadium rock and New Wave tracks—summery jams to keep the season alive. Here are a few to sample:

MP3: California Wives’ “Purple”
MP3: California Wives’ “Marianna”

The band is getting ready to head off on a big old U.S. tour in support of Art History, but first they’ll head over to Lincoln Hall for an official record release show this Wednesday. The supporting acts are nothing to scough at either: psychpop outfit Santah gives the penultimate performance, and pop-rockers Deserters open.

In other California Wives news, Sharpie revealed an interactive video for the band’s song “Purple” last night on the MTV Video Music Awards. Here it is:

California Wives play Wednesday, September 12, at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln, 8 p.m. $10, 18+