While the rest of Chicago was shoveling out from the snowy depths of the big blizzard of 2011, a trio of musically inclined local gals used its time productively, forming the dark, surfy quartet now known as Blizzard Babies.
The hope in forming the group was an ambitious one: "We wanted to be the kind of band that is so fun there is no way you can't like us; that not liking us makes you a jerk," explains Taylor Kelley, the group's guitarist and singer, from her cellphone as the band drove through rural Pennsylvania last week, en route to a string of East Coast dates.
Initially hatched as an idea between ukulele player Pam Buschbacher and bassist Meghann Fae Mossell, co-workers at Whole Foods who discussed their dreams of a band in between bagging groceries, Blizzard Babies became a band once they roped in Kelley. "We wanted something that was really democratic, not just about one person leading. We all wanted to lead and, yet, not lead at the same time," Kelley says. "We just thought it would be fun."
The group's sound was just a matter of chemistry, with no agenda beyond the feminist spirit they shared. "We all have similar points of reference but difference influences, with feminism being the thing we had in common," Kelley says. "It put forth a kind of power, and also we had the same complaints about all the (stuff) you go through being a woman playing music." Feminism was a unifying principle that undergirds the band's sound, decisions and lineup.
Though the group started with a male drummer, its members realized they wanted a band of all women, and Liz Albertson joined them.
"I grew up in the middle of nowhere and I always wanted to find other women to play with. I would try and get my girlfriends to play with me, so this is a teen dream come true for me," says Kelley. "There is an energy unique to band of female friends, something you don't see in other kinds of bands."
Kelley says that this friendship and sense of sisterhood goes a long way. "People have described our live shows as being like a slumber party," she laughs. "It's pretty jokey. We have a lot of in jokes, and when you put us all together it's just fun energy, even when we are singing about ghosts or whatever."
As far as the marginalization Blizzard Babies sometimes faces as a group, Kelley says that the solidarity the band's members find in playing together is what bolsters them. "When you get reviews that say things like 'This group isn't all nail polish and glitter,' you realize how women being good friends and making music is still radical, especially since we have always been raised to be competitive with other women."
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Township, 2200 N. California Ave.
Tickets: $5 (21+); yourtownship.tumblr.comCopyright © 2015, CT Now