As anyone who’s lived there can tell you, the Midwest can be an unforgiving place. The winters are freezing, the summers are humid and it’s easy to feel landlocked by the vastness of earth in every direction. Chicago’s Chin Up Chin Up have successfully embodied that feeling with their second full-length, This Harness Can’t Ride Anything; yet as bleak as things may appear, there’s a pervasive feeling of hope inherent in the band’s brand of avant pop which stretches further than the Windy City’s skyline.
Chin Up Chin Up (think optimism and perseverance, not exercise) formed in 2001, with the guitars of Jeremy Bolen and Nathan Snydacker. Percussionist Chris Dye, bassist Chris Saathoff and keyboardist Greg Sharp joined shortly thereafter. Chin Up Chin Up’s memorable introduction was 2004’s critically acclaimed We Should Have Never Lived Like Skyscrapers. Tragically, original bassist Saathoff was struck by a car and killed before the album was finished, so the band pieced together his bass parts from demos to complete the album. In due time, Chin Up Chin Up decided to regroup and move forward, asking Narrator frontman Jesse Woghin to take over on bass.