calendar picks 3Music

Maps & Atlases

Maps & Atlases

For most people, walking the dog is a mundane necessity. For Dave Davison, one-fourth of Chicago-based indie-folk-rock outfit Maps & Atlases, it proved necessary inspiration for his band’s latest record, Beware and Be Grateful.

“I think the inspiration of the whole album, or of all the pieces, is more apparent in hindsight. We would just be wandering around, walking the dogs and making up songs, and I think there is kind of a wandering feel to to the record,†says Davison. “We had a sense of… having this slightly alienated feeling, or this feeling of trying to find connectivity with everything, and your environment, or trying to find a perspective on what you care about, or what gives meaning to… our activities.â€

At a more basic level, the LP is an expansion—though by no means is it a complete departure—from past sonic territory. “I don’t know that we made a deliberate decision for anything to sound a particular way, but I think it is a logical progression,†says Davison. “We’re always focused on trying to walk the line between music that’s accessible and fun and that we can connect to people with.â€

Doing so involved exploring new studio techniques and incorporating certain live elements that have given the band its touring identity in recent years.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves in new ways while in the studio, to do something new on every song that was going to be challenging for us,†he says. “We wanted to incorporate as much of the improvisation that came about during the previous year of touring into the process of recording, to give the album a sort of lively feel.â€


  • Hank & Cupcakes Strip Down

    Sagit Shir loves being naked. Don’t misunderstand—she’s fully clothed on the other end of the phone line, steaming toward the next tour stop with her husband and bandmate, Ariel...
  • Eef Barzelay, Adam Klein

    The title of Clem Snide’s 2011 EP had a pretty obvious choice: Clem Snide’s Journey. It’s a literal description—the six tracks were delightfully bare acoustic covers of  Journey tunes....
  • Protect Athens Music Conference

    The annual event addresses the changing face of music business—but it's not a doomsday seminar.

  • Menomena, Guards

    Since the band formed over a decade ago, the members of experimental Portland rock band Menomena have lived on instincts, writing much of their material in long-winded, wide open...