Since 2013, Melkbelly have cloaked forward-thinking pop-songs with a shroud of disjointed rhythms, feedback, and noise. Peel back the layers of the group’s rich and colorful sound and you’ll grip the simple and true melodies that lie within the discord. It’s as you move in closer that Melkbelly comes into focus: thoughtful artists who’ve dedicated themselves not only to their community, but to surprising hooks that explode in cathartic cacophony.
Born out of a Chicago DIY circuit that champions collaboration and experimentation across genres, the modest family affair began in earnest when the guitar team of Bart and Miranda Winters joined forces with drummer James Wetzel. The combo of a minimal-pop duo and a drummer who lashes at his kit like it’s being swarmed by wasps was steadied by the propulsive contributions of Bart’s brother Liam on bass. From a freak noise-rock project, Melkbelly morphed into a rising Chicago rock band, releasing a series of dazzling EPs before dropping an inventive and original debut full-length, 2017’s Nothing Valley
On brand new album PITH, the group puts its expanded capacity to use, emphasizing the depth of its arrangements by giving tracks space. “Louder louds, softer softs—somehow this emphasizes the in-between,” explains James. This dynamic evolution is a show of gratitude to the scene they call home and the heroes they now call friends, and also establishes Melkbelly as a forward-thinking group perfect at sounding just like themselves.