Make Me a Mixtape: Pure Intruders' Indie Collage Aux Session

Make Me a Mixtape is a segment where we interview artists and have them make a mixtape of seven songs based around a particular scenario, explaining why they chose each song. This week, we chat with the Chicago-based indie pop trio Pure Intruders, who curated seven songs for impressing indie Northwestern students on a Saturday Night in November.

Photo by Laurette McNabb

Back in March, the Chicago-based indie pop trio Pure Intruders released their EP No Hard Feelings, a relaxed and warm glimpse into the band's sound. Madeline Julia Smith's airy voice glides over '70s disco-inspired rhythms and synth lines, as well as touches of diverse percussion, a delicate acoustic guitar and twinkling piano. The trio formed during the 2020 lockdown and took advantage of the creativity flowing out of their solitude. Smith and Brandon Suarez (keys and percussion) recorded out of Chicago while Jonathan Noel (bass and guitar) contributed from afar in Atlanta, but Suarez’s crisp production dissolves any distance between them. Each song fills your ears with detailed layers of sonic textures, pulling that retro disco style into a contemporary and experimental pop lens. The trio's Chicagoan roots, neon night-life aesthetic and artful musicality inspired the scenario for this mixtape. Picture this: it's a Saturday night during November in Chicago. You're in an apartment with a bunch of indie art students from Northwestern and the members of Pure Intruders. Some pretentious kid passes the AUX to the band to keep the vibe going, or to make some sort of judgement on what they play. Get ready to shuffle awkwardly, entranced by the sound of these seven semi-danceable songs that pass the art student test.

I Just Wanna Dance (Maybe)

Feist — "One Evening"

"November in Chicago can pretty much already be freezing. Feist literally sounds like warmth to me. I feel like 'One Evening' would be the result if she was asked to write a song for the Bee Gees. The track doesn't exactly demand you get on the dance floor, but it's almost impossible not to sway to. Its groove has the potential to start a small dance in the living room, but is also relaxed enough to let you stand in the corner and finish your rant about your last class critique."

Queen — "Cool Cat"

"November can also be a pretty stressful time of the year for some students. 'Cool Cat' is like a satisfying exhale. Most people I know find it hard to believe it's even a Queen song until Freddie Mercury's unmistakable tenor flutters in. Halfway through he aptly belts 'You really know how to set the mood.' This is another track you could essentially converse over, but at some point it'll inevitably steal your attention. Most of the time I have to be coerced into dancing publicly, but Freddie's vocal melody over that smooth bass line would probably do the trick. Especially after a couple shots of Malört."