• Alyssa Collins

Capital Soirée on Finding Their Sound

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Capital Soirée are still figuring themselves out. The Chicago-area trio officially formed back in 2012; Max Romero and James Kourafas had started an acoustic duo when they were just 11, but added Steven Rejdukowski after linking up in high school. In the years since, they’ve road-tested a variety of sounds. Scroll through their SoundCloud and you’ll hear a band in flux, spanning from the rowdy, pop rock-indebted “Briscoe (Do You Want To Go To Film School)?” to the hooky, sing-your-heart-out “Second Home.”

Such a fickle evolution stems partially from their age — they were in high school after all, a time largely dominated by self-discovery — but also due to professionals who tried to mold them into something that they simply weren’t.

Their early releases were recorded at Backhouse Records by a producer who didn’t seem to get them. They were grateful for the learning experience, but felt confined, and decided to take back creative control by going it alone. After that, they worked under Caleb Harris of The Pact, another unsigned act in the city. He became an influential mentor: instead of changing their sound, he amplified it, helping to give them the confidence necessary to take the reigns on their own. Now, following Next Weekend — their debut EP released last June — Capital Soirée has unveiled Take Me Anywhere, their first entirely DIY project. And this time, they committed themselves to telling the world exactly who they are.

"We [got to] go in and we choose how we want everything to sound and we put more of ourselves in all our recordings," Rejdukowski tells IndieU. "It's more of a representation of us as opposed to how it used to be."

The resulting effort isn’t so much a sonic overhaul as it a subtle cleanse. From the somber-toned “Good Girl” to the fun-loving, upbeat “Second Home,” they sound focused, refined, and fresh, merging the disparate tastes that cluttered their early work into an edgy, alt pop sound all their own. It makes sense: they were always there, lurking beneath the surface. Now, they’re just front and center.

"Going through the hell of what is recording and making your own thing, it sucks sometimes, and I want to hit both of these guys. But at the end of the day it's like,’Wow we just did that," Romero says.

And for a group that’s just starting out, they’ve already got an impressive launching pad. They’ve played marquee venues like The House of Blues, Subterranean, and Metro, and for the boys of Capital Soirée, that’s more than enough.

"That's been the hardest thing. You can have all these songs but if no one knows they exist then who cares? We just take it as it comes. Whatever comes our way is kind of word of mouth at this point," Kourafas says. "We just like to play."

Take Me Anywhere is out now.

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