Chicago indie rockers Maps & Atlases create nuanced compositions that are as easy-feeling as they are complex, juxtaposing organic sounds with highly technical arrangements to stunning effect. Their carefully layered sound possesses the attention to detail usually associated with math rock, but there's nothing formulaic about the delicate instrumentation of "Old Ash" or the off-kilter rhythms of "Solid Ground". At their live shows the band keeps the energy high with virtuosic playing and infectious dancing, treating ticket buyers to an unforgettable concert experience that emphasizes stellar musicianship and heart-on-sleeve emotion.
Maps & Atlases was formed in 2004 by a group of Columbia College Chicago students. The band developed a considerable regional following in the mid-'00s with extensive touring, including numerous Chicago-area basement shows with like-minded acts Matt & Kim and Russian Circles. They landed a deal with Sargent House Records thanks to several impressive self-released EPs, and in 2010 they made their full-length debut on the label with the album Perch Patchwork. The record was a critical success, drawing the band out on an international tour and further expanding their fanbase. They followed up in 2012 with sophomore album Beware & Be Grateful, another stellar effort that critics praised for finely crafted songs like "Winter" and "Remote & Dark Years". Festival favorites who've lit up the stages at SXSW and CMJ, Maps & Atlases continue to captivate with their intricate tunes and animated performances on tour.