Return of the Century by The 1900s on Apple Music

11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

At first blush, the 1900s’ Return of the Century sounds like a neo-folk-rock classic, adorned with winsome vocal harmonies, chiming guitars and bittersweet melodies. But there are darker, more mysterious aspects to this Chicago indie-combo’s sophomore album that sink in after the surface sweetness wins the listener over. The band — now slimmed down to a sextet — weaves vignettes of romantic dysfunction and spiritual domination into its elegantly nuanced tunes. Singers Edward Anderson, Caroline Donovan and Jeanine O’Toole offer these songs with an earnest yet melancholy air, accented by Andra Kulans’ violin flourishes. “Amulet,” “Lay a Ghost” and “Zerkalo” wrap elliptical lyrics around honeyed hooks, creating a pleasantly unsettling atmosphere. “Lions Fur” is a particularly good example of what the 1900s do best — vaguely tropical in sound, it combines a cascading tune with nervous observations about life’s boundaries. “Overreactin’” drapes rippling strings over a silken groove, while “Jean Demon” basks in ethereal orchestration.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At first blush, the 1900s’ Return of the Century sounds like a neo-folk-rock classic, adorned with winsome vocal harmonies, chiming guitars and bittersweet melodies. But there are darker, more mysterious aspects to this Chicago indie-combo’s sophomore album that sink in after the surface sweetness wins the listener over. The band — now slimmed down to a sextet — weaves vignettes of romantic dysfunction and spiritual domination into its elegantly nuanced tunes. Singers Edward Anderson, Caroline Donovan and Jeanine O’Toole offer these songs with an earnest yet melancholy air, accented by Andra Kulans’ violin flourishes. “Amulet,” “Lay a Ghost” and “Zerkalo” wrap elliptical lyrics around honeyed hooks, creating a pleasantly unsettling atmosphere. “Lions Fur” is a particularly good example of what the 1900s do best — vaguely tropical in sound, it combines a cascading tune with nervous observations about life’s boundaries. “Overreactin’” drapes rippling strings over a silken groove, while “Jean Demon” basks in ethereal orchestration.

TITLE TIME
2:35
2:59
3:01
3:44
3:12
2:40
3:15
3:30
3:16
3:59
3:19

About The 1900s

Chicago indie pop outfit the 1900s officially formed in the spring of 2004, but the group's roots date back more than a decade. Singer/guitarist Edward Anderson, guitarist Mike Jasinski, and drummer Tim Minnick first collaborated in high school, playing experimental noise rock under the name Minotaurs of P. Collegiate commitments forced the project to dissolve, but in 2001 Anderson returned to Chicago, signing on with Minnick's current band, roots rockers Forty Piece Choir. His tenure proved brief, however, and he eventually resurfaced in the post-punk unit Plane. Anderson remained in close contact with Minnick and Jasinski, however, and after recruiting bassist Charlie Ransford from power pop combo Turner Joy, they began recording their first demo sessions under the 1900s moniker. In the summer of 2004, vocalists Jeannie O'Toole and Caroline Donovan joined the lineup, and with the subsequent addition of violinist Kristina Dutton, the group's music quickly evolved, embracing elements of vintage sunshine pop and contemporary folk-pop. After playing their first-ever live gig in support of Bobby Conn, the 1900s signed to Urbana-based indie Parasol Records, issuing their acclaimed debut EP, Plume Delivery, in the spring of 2006. The record won raves from many quarters and the band spent the rest of the year playing short tours and working on new material. In the summer of 2007, the 1900s (still sporting the original lineup despite romantic entanglements) scored a spot at Lollapalooza, winning them some new fans. Their first full-length album, Cold & Kind, was released by Parasol in the autumn of 2007. During the three years before the release of the 1900s' next album, they released a stopgap EP (Medium High), Anderson and Donovan released an album by their side project Mazes, and Jasinski, Dutton, and Minnick left the band. Violinist Andra Kulans joined to replace Dutton and the revamped band released its second record, Return of the Century, in November of 2010. ~ Jason Ankeny & Tim Sendra

  • ORIGIN
    Chicago, IL
  • FORMED
    2004

Top Songs

Top Albums

Listeners Also Played