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The M’s

The opening tracks off the M’s sophomore album, Future Women, shimmy with the same kind of upbeat ’60s whimsy as early Beatles’ films, bringing to mind that iconic scene where John, Paul, George, and Ringo frolic recklessly around a snowy field, bumping into each other and giggling as they tumble down.

On one of these tracks, “Shawnee Dupree,” M’s singer Josh Chicoine asks cheekily, “Are you jealous ’cause she’s sleeping with me?” And though his voice has an English lilt that snugly fits the M’s British Invasion-era tunes, Chicoine hails from Chicago, not Carnaby Street. The slight English affectation does not mean the M’s just ape Britpop; there are also hits of orchestral pop along the lines of Apples in Stereo, and the now-defunct Beulah. Elsewhere, bluesy beats provided by the rhythm section of drummer Steve Versaw and bassist Joey King on songs like “Trucker Speed” are an homage to ’70s giants like Steely Dan.

Besides the various classic rock influences melded into near perfection on Future Women, the M’s also have an indie rock pedigree to boast about. They’ve opened for fellow Chicago-dwellers Wilco as well as Broken Social Scene and Ambulance Ltd. The M’s are about to kick off a tour opening for Of Montreal, and are slated to play four shows at Austin’s South by Southwest festival next month. Future Women is out now on Polyvinyl Records.

The M’s tour dates:

2/22, Fargo, ND (VFW)2/23, Minneapolis, MN (400 Bar)2/24, Chicago, IL (The Empty Bottle)2/25, Madison, WI (Memorial Union)2/27, Nashville, TN (The Basement)2/28, Carrboro, NC (Cat’s Cradle)*3/1, Charlottesville, VA (The Satellite Ballroom)*3/2, Philadelphia, PA (The Starlight Ballroom)*3/3, New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)*3/4, Portland, ME (SPACE Gallery)*3/5, Cambridge, MA (The Middle East — Downstairs)*3/6, Hanover, NH (Dartmouth College — Lone Pine Tavern)*3/6, Buffalo, NY (Mohawk Place)3/8, Dayton, OH (Elbo’s The Bar)3/10, Chicago, IL (Virgin MegaStore)3/13, Columbia, MO (Mojo’s)3/14, Norman, OK (The Deli)3/15, Austin, TX (Emo’s Jr. — Polyvinyl SXSW Showcase)3/16, Austin, TX (Yard Dog — Schubas’ SXSW Showcase)3/17, Austin, TX (The Beauty Bar — Jane magazine Party)3/18, Austin, TX (Gallery Lombardi — Mile High Party)3/22, Cincinnati, OH (Alchemize)3/23, Cleveland, OH (Beachland Ballroom)3/24, Baltimore, MD (Fletcher’s)3/25, Brooklyn, NY (Southpaw)3/26, Cambridge, MA (The Middle East — Upstairs)3/27, New York, NY (Pianos)3/29, State College, PA (Darkhorse Tavern)3/31, Champaign, IL (Cowboy Monkey)(* – supporting Of Montreal)

The M’s official site The M’s on MySpace

An earlier version of this story erroneously implied that Apples in Stereo had disbanded. The band is presently in the studio, recording a new album.