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MP3 Canasta - We Were Set Up

Chicago sextet that plays ultra-melodic, highly orchestrated chamber pop, augmenting the standard rock set up with violin, piano, keyboard and trombone.

13 MP3 Songs
POP: Delicate, ROCK: Modern Rock

When dealing with Canasta, it pays to have a taste for the unpredictable. The Chicago indie outfit is as likely to compose a bright, upbeat ditty as they are a country-tinged narrative or a moody epic with soaring vocals. But at heart they’re a pop band, albeit an ambitious one. Every song is infused with instantly hummable melodies atop lushly layered arrangements that make expert use of a unique six-person lineup (vocals, piano, guitar, violin, keyboard, bass, drums and trombone).

All of this comes together on the group’s first full-length album, We Were Set Up. Engineered by Ted Cho, founder of Poi Dog Pondering, and mastered by Mike Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case), it assembles eleven new songs on top of two re-recorded favorites from their acclaimed Find the Time EP. It’s a record that, for the first time, truly captures Canasta’s dynamic musical palette, in a way that has won the band comparisons to the Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, the Decemberists, the Sea and Cake, and Wilco. In keeping with the band’s collaborative spirit, We Were Set Up also features contributions from vocalist Edith Frost and members of the Coctails, Freakwater, and Archer Prewitt’s band, among others. The album was self-released in mid-November and has already sold over 500 copies.

"...one of the most vibrant pop sounds to emerge from Chicago in years..." - UR Magazine
"...one of Chicago''s best pop bands... We Were Set Up doesn''t disappoint..." - Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader
"...smartly constructed songs that balance traditional pop and indie-minded subversiveness..." - The Onion
"...Best Local Music of 2005... indelibly stylish and hard to pin down..." - Northwest Indiana Times
"...quite impressive... it could sneak its way onto some year-end top ten lists..." - Real Detroit Weekly
"...fantastic... incredibly tight and consistently good throughout 13 tracks of pop goodness..." - https://www.tradebit.com
"...Best of Chicago''s Unsigned Artists... this band has the potential to join the ranks of its heroes..." - Illinois Entertainer
"...4 Stars...Canasta''s sense of what makes for quality music is evident with just one listen." - The Pitt Times (Pittsburgh)
"...miniature blockbusters built for the head and heart... earnest, literate and lonely in all the right spots..." - The Daily Herald
"...Each song is a barrage of hooks and nuanced performances... their value to the pop music scene continues to grow..." - PopMatters
"...pop phenoms... the delicacy of Belle & Sebastian and the lush, upbeat melodies of the Shins..." - Flavorpill
"...nothing less than blissful... a revolution just might ensure..." - The Badger Herald (Madison)
"...boundary-psuhing... lush indie-pop orchestrations... a great local band..." - Chicago Tribune
"...I was hooked from the opening organ chords... pure chamber pop bliss.” - Splendid
"...further proof of the city''s indie-rock renaissance..." - TimeOut Chicago
"...splendid... killer..." - Jim Derogatis, Chicago Sun-Times

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah * Kaiser Chiefs * Sloan * The Posies * The Delgados * Longwave * Earlimart * Crooked Fingers * Elf Power * Saturday Looks Good to Me * Edith Frost * The Damnwells * Pit er Pat * Sea Ray * Menomena * Nicolai Dunger * The Kingsbury Manx * The Earlies * Neva Dinova * The Impossible Shapes * Owen * Head of Femur * The M’s * Grizzly Bear * Kelley Stoltz * Beauty Pill * Central Falls * Headlights * Swearing at Motorists * Catfish Haven * The Sights * Sam Champion * The Living Blue * Hopewell * The Changes * Sybris * The Like Young

• Curated the esteemed, month-long “Practice Space” residency at Chicago’s Schubas in April.
• Headlined the legendary Metro (Chicago) and played sold out shows at Schubas and Double Door (Chicago), as well as the Annex (Madison).
• Appeared at the SXSW Music Festival and twice at the CMJ Music Marathon.
• Sold 750+ copies of the now sold-out, self-released EP, Find the Time.
• Declared one of “Chicago’s Best Unsigned Artists” by Illinois Entertainer.
• Heard on major Chicago radio stations WXRT, WKQX (Q101), and WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio), as well as countless college frequencies throughout the country.
• “Slow Down Chicago” was named one of the “Best Songs of 2005” by WXRT.
• Acquired music licensing representation by Minty Fresh Records.
• Performed/recorded to benefit domestic-abuse, AIDS, and arts organizations.

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