If you’re indie enough, you collect one of two things: records (including the ironically classical LPs that once belonged to your parents) or cassettes. Though you’ll come across hundreds of people who espouse that cassettes are a dying breed, Impossible Colors, a record label out of Chicago putting out phenomenal “cassingles” would prove all those avidly-opposed-to-anything-but-the-digital-era wrong. Their latest release, just in time for Cassette Store Day this past weekend, includes a split cassingle filled with shimmery shoe gaze and dream pop tunes from Videotape and Impulsive Hearts.
The mix up of these two Chicago-based bands is the first release for the newly created Impossible Colors Club, which will feature 12 monthly cassingles available to stream, download (for those who are among the digital-only lovers), or purchase in cassette form. The Impossible Colors Club combines all the best parts of a cassette: the amazing texture and sound you can only get from this medium, the nature of the limited edition, and handmade cards designed by local visual artist Kriss Stress, whose one-of-a-kind two-toned pieces combine pop culture with amazing textiles. Stress’s work has been featured in everything from fashion projects to the Impossible Colors Club.
Videotape, a 5-piece group who have already received some great coverage from Chicago publications, has taken indie pop back to its origins a la the Empire Records soundtrack. Their contribution to this new release, “Salty”, combines some catchy electronic tones with sparkling guitar-driven chords and deep, multi-layered vocals that will keep you feeling summer well into October’s crunchy leaves and grandpa sweaters.
Impulsive Hearts, made up of Danielle Sines, John Paul and Dan Julian, balance out Videotape perfectly with their single, “ MDB”. It’s at times Iron and Wine-esque but with the addition of some garage-rock sounds, reverb and feedback that elevates those folk melodies to something far more relevant to the current indie rock music-scape.
Impossible Colors is putting a spotlight on Chicago, a city absolutely bursting with new talent and burgeoning artists, and combining it with the beauty of a classic medium: the cassette tape. Learn more about these great artists, connect with them and if you haven’t already, celebrate Cassette Store Day by unwrapping this gem: