Featuring former members of The Dials, Telenovela and The Returnables, Chicago, IL-based indie rock trio Pamphleteers, comprised of Rebecca Crawford (bass, vocals), Geoff Atkinson (drums) and Jonathan Ben-Isvy (guitar) can trace their origins to playing together in a series of bands for the better part of a decade, to friendships that go back further than that — and to a tragic event that ultimately ended their primary projects and had them reeling: back in 2005, an suicide attempt/international car crash took the lives of three Chicago musicians, Crawford’s husband John Glick, who was also Ben-Isvy’s bandmate in The Returnables, Crawford’s bandmate in The Dials, Doug Meis and Michael Dahlquist of Silkworm, who was a mutual friend of the members of both bands.
Although reeling from such profound loss, the surviving members of each of those bands, decided that the best way to pay respect to their dead friends and loved ones was to continue forward with music. And in fact, both Crawford and Ben-Ivsy have treated their current project as a way to find joy in the small things, and as a way of just moving forward — while acknowledging the losses at the heart of their latest endeavor. “Shivering,” is the first single off the band’s recently released full-length debut Ghost That Follows, and the single consists of shimmering and angular guitar chords paired with propulsive drumming, tumbling bass line, Crawford’s plaintive and urgent vocals and an anthemic hook in a song that sounds as though it were inspired by 80s post-punk — but at its core the song feels simultaneously joyous over small pleasures and haunted by the ghosts of their friends and loved ones and the recognition that some losses linger forever.
The recently released video for the single fittingly uses a ton of nostalgic imagery — including a cassette tape being run through an off-brand Walkman that appears as though it were recorded onto an old VHS or Betamax tape, psychedelic imagery of people skateboarding in the California sun and amusement parks shot on Super 8 film but treated through a kaleidoscopic filters and the like.