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Real Numbers, Exploration Team, Cats On Leashes (free)

  • Mickey's Tavern 1524 Williamson Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Minneapolis-based four-piece Real Numbers breathe new life into the C86 jangle-pop aesthetic. Originally formed as a punk trio in late 2000s, Real Numbers released records with Three Dimensional Records, Floridas Dying Records, and No Problems Records alongside independent releases before their 2016 LP, Wordless Wonder, was picked up by Slumberland Records. Wordless Wonder introduced a lead guitarist, Ian Nygaard (Nice Purse, Howler), to the mix. The addition of Nygaard's clean, melodic riffs atop warm, strumming undercurrent from bandmate Eli Hansen helps to complete a well-rounded sound.

The band's 2017 single reimagines "Frank Infatuation," originally released as the opening track to Wordless Wonder, with a new track, "Leave It Behind" as the B-side. This new version of "Frank Infatuation" amps up the contrast, creating a focal point for each part of the song. The introductory bass line comes more into the foreground before passing off the spotlight to the lead guitar figure and then onto the vocals. In a distinct departure from the band's characteristically jumpy beats, "Leave It Behind" matches Hansen's moody vocals with a melancholy, echoey sway and gentle harmonies that carry this slow ballad up and away. Real Numbers share the bill here with local jangle/twee-pop quartet Exploration Team and melodic punk outfit Cats On Leashes. —Katie Richards

Later Event: March 23
Zama (free)