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Discover Chicago Indie-Rock Band, Ratboys

Good things take time. Ratboys has been chipping away at the indie-rock scene since their 2010 debut. Now, it seems they are finally ready to take a step into the limelight with The Window.

Artist Profile: Ratboys

Beginning as a duo before transforming into a quartet in 2017, the Chicago-based band has remained consistent in producing small, subtle waves in an otherwise very large ocean of music. It’s not that they’re a bad group; it’s quite the contrary, actually. But it seems that years of humility and small waves have built up to the tsunami that they have become with their latest releases.


The addition of two members (Marcus Nuccio on drums and Sean Neumann on bass) added a layer of much-needed depth to the indie-rock duo. It evolved Ratboys into a fuller, more robust sound that was previously absent. A perfect instance of not knowing what you’ve been missing all this time until you’ve finally found it. After the induction of the last two members, the band went on to release their second album, GN, in 2017. This began an upwards ride toward acclaim and recognition whilst gaining praise from bigwigs like Rolling Stone in their “15 Great Albums You Probably Didn’t Hear in 2017” article.

It’s Ratboys’ unique sound that earns them a place at the table. This is the year of the indie comeback, but most artists tend to lean into the indie-folk side of the spectrum. In contrast, Ratboys dives headfirst into the strange, uncharted territory of indie-country-rock. There’s enough guitar ruckus cushioned between twangy elements that create a cacophony of sound in listeners’ brains. It’s dreamy, rowdy and outright demanding of your attention. In this way, the band transports you to the ’80s while keeping a foot in the 2010s, passing along the early 2000s on the way. They take all the greatest parts of past music and put it together in one shining big, blue present.

Ratboys 'The Window' album cover art.
Ratboys ‘The Window’ album cover art.

The Window is Ratboys’ Best Work Yet

There is no debate. The Window is the best piece of music that Ratboys has released thus far. It’s got all of the components of a successful record—smooth production from none other than Chris Walla, paired with Julia Steiner’s soft but powerful vocals. She’s become a master of storytelling, utilizing the bass and drums to build up her stories before crashing down with each strike of the drum. There’s depth to each track; emotions that go unnoticed lest you pay attention. It’s great music to listen to passively, and even greater music to feel during more in-depth sessions.

If you want the best taste of Ratboys, check out their standout tracks, “It’s Alive!” and “Black Earth, WI.” And when you undoubtedly get hooked, here’s the rest of The Window down below:

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