Sound check: New Violet Crime, Footlight District songs tackle personal growth

  • Violet Crime tackles self improvement on the new single and video "Bad Habits."

    Violet Crime tackles self improvement on the new single and video "Bad Habits." Courtesy of Anh Pham

 
 
Posted10/8/2021 6:00 AM

Big-picture issues such as politics and the pandemic can sometimes make people overlook smaller problems close to home. Two new singles hitting the Chicago scene this week look at ways of tackling the idea of personal growth.

Violet Crime's 'Bad Habits'

 

Maybe it's being work-obsessed. Maybe it's not making the bed. Maybe it's leaning too much on vices.

Bad habits. Everyone has them.

Geneva native Jeff Mills said his downtime during the pandemic gave him a chance to reflect and re-evaluate, leading to Violet Crime's new single "Bad Habits."

"When the world collapsed in April of 2020, I think we all had to take a look at ourselves, and any weakness that anyone had was amplified. At least that's what happened to me," he said. "I became very aware of things, like I'm not walking to the train every day and suddenly I'm gaining weight. I'm more aware of how unproductive I can be and how unkind to my body and mind."

The lighthearted soul-pop single, which is out on streaming Friday, addresses personal flaws and how pointing them out can lead to change.

Sounds heavy, right?

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The video, which premiered this week, is anything but. The Violet Crime crew -- Mills, Selina Doran, Kasey Gandham, Tom Goier of Geneva and Kevin Nagel of Mundelein -- has a little fun alongside broccoli-hating kids and adults with bad communication skills in the mini-story shot by Philip Goode and directed by Jessica Tenuta. Flashes of wisdom "courtesy of moms everywhere" illuminate the scenes throughout the bright, candy-colored video.

In its fun, the single shows it's not torture to strive to become better.

• See Violet Crime when the band plays with Grace Coletta Friday, Nov. 19, at Golden Dagger, 2447 N. Halsted St., Chicago. $15 at goldendagger.com.

The Scarborough siblings belt out a call to action in The Footlight District's new single "War Paint."
The Scarborough siblings belt out a call to action in The Footlight District's new single "War Paint." - Courtesy of The Footlight District
The Footlight District's 'War Paint'

Becoming a better version of yourself is one thing, but the five Scarborough siblings in The Footlight District -- Sarah, Gracie, Faith, Hannah and Cecil -- take it a step further as they look at the bigger sense of community in the new single "War Paint," out on Friday.

The Scarborough siblings belt out a call to action in The Footlight District's new single "War Paint."
The Scarborough siblings belt out a call to action in The Footlight District's new single "War Paint." - Courtesy of The Footlight District
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Footlight District puts on an intense stage show, and the new song captures that through its heavy-duty riffs and driving, rhythmic battle drums.

"Go and put your war paint on, son/Don't you know you're a smoking gun?"

"It was our first recording coming out of quarantine, and we had all this pent-up energy from being trapped inside the house for months," said Faith, the band's guitarist.

The in-your-face delivery belies a softer message, one that makes up the core of The Footlight District's philosophy: Be kind.

"I know it sounds cliché, but you are the change that you want to see in the world. It's a call to action that you can make a difference," Faith said.

"It's a revolution, and a revolution starts with yourself," Faith said. "It starts with each person individually making a small change that all lead up to big changes. Just the small things that you do every single day by showing a little bit more kindness, a little more generosity. Treating people with respect and dignity. Getting involved in your community. You may not agree with every single person, but we're all here on this planet together, and we can really make an effort to get along and love everyone a little bit more."

• The Footlight District will headline a Halloween show with Fluorescents and Black Bolts Sunday, Oct. 31, at Carol's Pub, 4659 N. Clark St., Chicago. Free. See carolschicago.com.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at bshamie@dailyherald.com, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck). Brian also keeps tabs on the local music scene at chicagosoundcheck.com.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.