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Who? Formed in the stoic environs of Bucks County, PA, Illinois are lead by singer Chris “Arch” Archibald, who also bears songwriting and banjo duties, bassist/backing vocalist Martin Hoeger, guitarist Andrew Lee, drummer John Paul Kuyper, and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Goldbach. Illinois formed after Arch had too many songs and not enough bandmates, and the group is set to release its first EP, What the Hell Do I Know?, via Ace Fu.

What’s the Deal? Layered vocals delivered through a telephone-cum-mic mingle with bright and pingy piano and funk-laden banjo on Illinois’ EP, a debut that somehow boasts pepped-up soundscapes even as Arch reflects on nosebleeds and bad days. And though its moniker and track titles like “What Can I Do for You” suggest an element of uncertainty, the album exudes a veteran easy-breeziness, especially on the Shins-like “Screendoor.”

Fun Fact: With over a hundred songs at their disposal Illinois whittled the bunch down to a lucky seven for this EP. DAMON SGRIGNOLI

Now Hear This: Illinois – “Screendoor” DOWNLOAD MP3

Now Watch This:Illinois performs at the NY2LON/ CMJ Party

On the Web: Illinois at

Talk: What the hell do these guys know?