Demo2DeRo: The Urbanites

February 23, 2010


While NBC 5 weather princess Ginger Zee is unlikely to be eclipsed any time soon as the hottest Valparaiso-to-Chicago export, her Indiana neighbors in the art-rock quartet Urbanites are on their way to generating nearly as much excitement, at least in the indie-rock world.

Songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and long-time buddies Bradley Briggs, Steven Burkholder, DJ Field and Jeremy Schering started making music together in 2007 by swapping computer files of bits and pieces of songs in progress. Eventually, a debut EP, "A Ghost in the Electric City," took shape, and the four began rehearsing in the real (as opposed to digital) world.

Since then, the buzz has built thanks to shows at Metro, Double Door and Schubas. Now comes a second, much more focused and impressive EP, "The Years," which the group proudly notes was recorded live to analog tape at Chicago's Electrical Audio Studios, and which splits the difference between the glossy, arena-rattling grandeur of mainstream modern rockers such as MGMT or the Killers and much more methodical, introspective local post-rockers and indie-pop mavens like the Sea and Cake.

The group doesn't have any Chicago gigs listed on its Web site at the moment, but it is streaming six songs from "The Years," as well as providing a link to a free download.