[Cover photo credit to Christy Bassman]
Led by drummer Brad Elvis (Screams, The Elvis Brothers, Big Hello, The Romantics) and vocalist/guitarist/saxophonist Chloe F. Orwell (Big Hello), Chicago’s The Handcuffs will be releasing their fourth studio album, Burn The Rails on June 3rd, 2022 via Pravda Records on CD and via digital download with the vinyl LP arriving later this year. For the new album, The Handcuffs found inspiration from the “subversive” and analog days of early 1970s rock & roll, weaving together elements of Glam, Indie, Garage, Art and Blues Rock.
The 13-song album was tracked at Kingsize Sound Labs, Chicago with producer/engineer Mike Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case, Billy Bragg, Mavis Staples, My Morning Jacket, The Mekons). Guest keyboardist Morgan Fisher of Mott The Hoople demonstrates brings synthesizer and piano to a couple of tracks on the new LP. The relationship with Fisher, a musical hero of the band, began after singer Orwell’s rave review of Mott The Hoople’s 2018 reunion tour went viral on social media, attracting the attention of Fisher. From there a creative collaboration was sparked, in-spite of an ocean separating the now real-life friends.
Finishing the record during the peak of the pandemic and lockdown, gave several of the songs an inadvertent anthem-for-the-times feel, with themes of “love and loss, heartache and hope, and even the great ideological divide that was as omnipresent as the virus”.
The Handcuffs began as primarily a studio project, in which Elvis and Orwell wrote and recorded an abundance of material. During the process, they realized that they missed the live band experience, and so The Handcuffs as recording artists and a dynamic live band was born. Completing the line-up are bassist Emily Togni, lead guitarist Jeffrey Kmieciak, and keyboardist Alison Hinderliter, all of whom originate from different parts of the country but have made Chicago their home.