Melkbelly

Nothing Valley (Wax Nine Records/Carpark Records)

Contact Jacob Daneman about Melkbelly

Noisy, subversively catchy and rhythmically sophisticated Chicago quartet Melkbelly emerged from Chicago’s DIY spaces with its experimental instincts intact in songs.  Melkbelly’s members live and breathe Chicago’s art and music underground where their paths crossed and alliances were forged. Vocalist/guitarist Miranda Winters played solo in folk rock project reddelicious. Brothers Bart and Liam Winters (the tall fellas playing guitar and bass in Melkbelly) ran an influential show space in Chicago. Drawn together by their passion for East Coast noise, particularly the flavor originating from Miranda’s previous homebase of Providence, RI, Miranda and Bart of Coffin Ships recruited James Wetzel, who studied jazz drums in college, from improvisational free-drum/noise duo Ree-Yees. This new group of friends orbiting the loft and art scene, began collaborating on each other’s projects, formalizing in a more guitar-driven quartet Melkbelly in 2014. Melkbelly ramped up its Chicago activity and an East Coast foray that included opening slots for Xylouris White, Black Pus, and a gig at the soon to be closed Death By Audio that left band members buzzing about the possibilities.

 

Melkbelly’s debut EP Pennsylvania came out that same year. Engineered by Cooper Crain of Cave/Bitchin’ Bajas, the record came easily. “It all kind of just fell out. They were the first six songs we ever wrote. It was almost like an exercise and it was recorded in just a day,” says Wetzel. The Chicago Reader enthused for single “Doomspringa” with its “noisy guitar freak-outs” and “beautifully melodic verses” and compared Melkbelly, accurately, to a hybrid of the Breeders and Lightning Bolt.

 

In 2016, the band tested the waters with new material, recording two 7-inch singles with Dave Vettraino at Chicago’s Public House—the band had previously contributed to Public House’s Digital Single Series and a tape compilation–while continuing to tour. Inspired by the geography of a West Coast tour, shared band experiences, the van “as a magical place” and failed touristic detours at a meteor crater (it was closed) and Spiral Jetty (not van-friendly), the band gathered material written by Miranda and spawned from recorded jams for its next album. In early 2017, Melkbelly recorded Nothing Valley with Vettraino, writing about half the album in the studio and tracking it to 8-track analog tape.

 

Nothing Valley isn’t just Melkbelly’s debut, it is the anticipated inaugural release for Wax Nine Records (a sister label to Carpark Records) headed by Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz–who’s been a Melkbelly superfan ever since proclaiming their “Bathroom at the Beach” 7″ 2015’s Song of the Summer for The Talkhouse.

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Tour

  •  
    Oct 13, 2017
    Chicago, IL
    The Hideout

  •  
    Oct 16, 2017
    Bloomington, IN
    Bishop Bar

  •  
    Oct 17, 2017
    Columbus, OH
    Double Happiness

  •  
    Oct 18, 2017
    Washington, DC
    Comet Ping Pong

  •  
    Oct 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    Alphaville

  •  
    Oct 21, 2017
    Cambridge, MA
    Cambridge YMCA

  •  
    Oct 22, 2017
    Providence, RI
    Aurora

  •  
    Oct 23, 2017
    Philadelphia, PA
    Space 1026

  •  
    Oct 24, 2017
    Cleveland, OH
    Now That's Class

  •  
    Oct 25, 2017
    Detroit, MI
    Donovan's

  •  
    Oct 26, 2017
    Chicago, IL
    Subterranean

  •  
    Nov 08, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Wonder Ballroom

  •  
    Nov 09, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    Showbox

  •  
    Nov 11, 2017
    San Francisco, CA
    Rickshaw Stop

  •  
    Nov 12, 2017
    San Francisco, CA
    the Independent

  •  
    Nov 13, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    El Rey Theater

  •  
    Nov 14, 2017
    Phoenix, AZ
    LBX

  •  
    Nov 16, 2017
    Denver, CO
    Larimer Lounge

  •  
    Nov 17, 2017
    Lawrence, KS
    Replay Lounge

  •  
    Feb 16, 2018
    Norman, OK
    Opolis

  •  
    Feb 17, 2018
    Santa Fe, NM
    Meow Wolf

  •  
    Feb 19, 2018
    San Diego, CA
    Casbah

  •  
    Feb 20, 2018
    Santa Ana, CA
    Constellation Room

  •  
    Feb 22, 2018
    Los Angeles, CA
    Teragram Ballroom

  •  
    Feb 24, 2018
    Eugene, OR
    Hi Fi Music Hall

  •  
    Feb 25, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Aladdin Theater

  •  
    Feb 26, 2018
    Vancouver, BC
    Biltmore Cabaret

  •  
    Feb 28, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Neumos

  •  
    Mar 01, 2018
    Spokane, WA
    The Bartlett

  •  
    Mar 02, 2018
    Boise, ID
    Neurolux

  •  
    Mar 03, 2018
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Kilby Court

  •  
    Mar 06, 2018
    Kansas City, MO
    The Record Bar