Putting a danceable twist on art rock, Krautrock, and avant-garde influences, Chandeliers’ kaleidoscopic electronic jams are artful yet accessible. The founding members consisted of the quartet of Chris Kalis, Dan Jugle, Dan Quinlivan, and Scott McGaughey, whom played with adventurous indie rock bands like Icy Demons, Killer Whales, Michael Columbia, and Mahjongg. They began making electronic music in 2005 as an escape from Chicago’s chilly winters, debuting live early that year at University of Chicago and former Lumpen space BuddY. Harry Brenner quickly came aboard to add live drums and percussion. Their first recording, the Circulation EP, arrived two years later and the albums The Thrush, Dirty Moves, and Roulé (a split with like-minded Chicagoans Mahjongg) revealed more layers of Chandeliers’ entrancing energy. In 2011, Cinema 16 commissioned the group to perform original live scores to Wallace Berman's Aleph; and Elmen Etting's 1933 nature/dance film Oramunde. The grooves continued on the 2012 album Founding Fathers, deemed "one of the most exciting records to come out of the Chicago underground in a long time" by the Chicago Tribune.
Chandeliers have supported kindred spirits such as Shabazz Palaces, Psychic TV, Cluster, Yeasayer and performed at the WIRE Adventures in Modern Music Festival and Tomorrow Never Knows Festival. They have performed the music of Terry Riley, Moondog, Steve Reich, and the Residents. In 2015 Lisa Armstrong joined Chandeliers and the group composed a number of live scores, including a live score to the 1981 Hungarian animated film Feherlofia at CIMMFest 2015 and scored the feature film Orders, directed by Eric Marsh and Andrew Stasiulis. A single Cruisin, was released in March 2017 on limited edition 7" vinyl, now out-of-print. Law of Fives, the group's fifth full-length, was released on limited edition cassette in November 2017 and another 7" single High Diamond in May 2018 on Potions Music.
"Founding Fathers" is one of the most exciting records to come out of the Chicago underground in a while. While the ensemble is still a fundamentally avant-garde band, the members' love of vintage, synthetic funk drives the sound and makes for danceable songs free of cliche and full of surprises."
"The melange of references range from disco to Acid; from Herbie Hancock to House; the colour of psychedelia to the groove of Moroder, all united by a cleaner than clean electronic sound. It’s music for a perfect world, the soundtrack for a club where the dawn never comes and the lights are never turned on."
"Founding Fathers explores galactic pop, krautrock retrofuturism, incandescent jazz aesthetics, and acid house so acidic, Timothy Leary wouldn't even fuck with it. While their space funk grooves might feel familiar, closer listens reveal a visceral alienness that's hard to properly relate, which is always the mark of a novel approach."
"One of the best-sounding albums I've heard in a while, full of deep, rich bass and ethereal but warm synth pads, which they apply to novel hybrids of a diverse range of styles—Krautrock, dub, new-agey ambient."
"Snatches of early Chicago House..
and echoes of German experimentalism. What’s unleashed is an endearingly kaleidoscopic, complex world. As evocative as the evocative things it invokes."
"Chicago's Chandeliers are fantastic without qualification. The foursome plays a sort of DFA disco-rock with a shitton of synthesizer. It makes you wonder why James Murphy is signing a twee lap-pop dude like YACHT when something this great is out there. Fear of getting upstaged? Yes, it's that good. The room, all of it, bobbed and flailed approvingly."
Baltimore City Paper