It may get a little confusing, but California Wives, Chicago’s newest conglomerate of new wave pop servants to hit the colorful concrete streets of the city’s music scene, is making waves in their short existence under a moniker that would have you expecting something much different. But given that their music has been compared to the revival of legendary new wave glory - think of New Order’s snyth-pop mixed with the rock elements of Prince, and back boned with guitar riffs reminiscent of The Police - Jayson Kramer (vocals, keys, guitar), Dan Zima (vocals, bass, guitar), Joe O’Connor (drums) and Hans Michel (guitar, keys) don’t mind the confusion, as long as they can help breathe new life into music genres that have been around longer than they have.
Forming in 2009, after original band members, Zima, O’Connor, and Michel, realized they needed to cover new ground, Kramer suddenly brought his love of electronic music into an already talented core of musicianship that completed the foursome, and blended all of their influences into one cohesive idea.
Fanning the flames after recording and releasing dance-pop love child, “EL 84” in early 2009, California Wives’ self-recorded 4-track EP No. 8 dropped only a few months later, reinforcing the foursome that they were on the right track with songs such as the bass-grooving “True Blue” and the vibrant pop single “Bibles & Wires.” Later that fall, the group released the synth-tastic “Twenty Three”, which became the band’s hottest single to date. Now on the verge of releasing their much anticipated September 3 EP, Affair, recorded at Gravity Studios, and mixed at Chicago’s famed Engine Music Studios -whose artists include Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Iron and Wine- Affair displays California Wives’ all-around musical dexterity that boasts flanking guitar and glimmering keys, with ever-so-clever lyricism, in tracks “Blood Red Youth”,“Guilt”, Photolights”, “Purple”, and a brand new version of “Twenty Three”.