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Autograf

An all-encompassing art project rather than a conventional band, Chicago's Autograf craft a shimmery mix of futuristic electronica with a D.I.Y. ethos inspired by their experience in the art world. They found early success with songs like the bluesy downtempo single "Nobody Knows" (2017), then released their vibrant debut full-length The Ace of You in 2020. Autograf continued to refine their style of sleek, emotional dance-pop with 2023's Affirmations, their second album. Formed by Jake Carpenter, Louis Kha, and Mikul Wing, the trio put their talents together at a gallery exhibition, where Carpenter, a sculptor and painter who worked as a welder in a fabrication factory, and Wing, a street artist, created an installation that included a homemade robot. As the electronic music scene reached a certain peak in 2015, the group wanted to bring some sexy back to the genre. Autograf remixed songs by a string of prominent artists including Fatboy Slim and ODESZA, and they released their first original song, "Dream," a languidly sensual track that recalled the most positive Avicii output. In September, they dropped the electronic disco "Running," another glittery jam, which featured original artwork to accompany the release. The third track in as many months, "Metaphysical" again featured Autograf-designed cover art, as well as vocals from sultry alt-R&B singer Janelle Kroll. Autograf's future philosophy and artistic talents led them to create their own instruments and stage installations, which they hoped would revolutionize the electronic music scene. In early 2016, the trio released their debut EP, Future Soup. A handful of remixes occupied their time later that year before Autograf returned in early 2017 with a pair of singles. First to arrive was the WYNNE-assisted "Nobody Knows," followed shortly by "You Might Be," which featured vocals by Lils, and "Sleepless in NYC." "Hope for Tomorrow," a collaboration with Klingande and Dragonette, appeared in 2018. The group also released "Dead Soon" with Lils and Bonsai Mammal, as well as "Gravity" featuring French Horn Rebellion. The EP Love & Retrograde was released in 2019, followed by the anthemic "Ain't Deep Enough" with Jared Lee. Several more singles preceded 2020's The Ace of You, Autograf's debut album, which included heavily streamed tracks like "Walk with You" (with Janelle Kroll) and "Easy" (featuring Papa Ya). Autograf continued issuing singles such as 2021's "Drifting Away" (with Kyle Reynolds) and 2022's "Move Up." "Love Runs Deep" (with Tiina) and "Vertigo" (with Malou and Burko) did particularly well, and both were included on the 2023 full-length Affirmations. Following the album, Autograf collaborated with Stellar ("Death Note") and Switch Disco ("Ease My Mind").
© Neil Z. Yeung & Paul Simpson /TiVo

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