It's no surprise to see Pavement, Sebadoh and Animal Collective prominently listed among the influences of the Chicago trio Darling: The band crafts hooky, endearing and accessible pop music--somewhat skewed, slightly obtuse and unusually free-associated pop music, but pop music to be sure. And if the group is a bit too obviously derivative of its heroes, well, it's less annoying than it might be given more conventional and straightforward inspirations. (Hard to slavishly imitate any band known for its unexpected twists and turns.)
Formed by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Jeff Schneider in 2003, after several shifts of its lineup, the group has solidified around Schneider, bassist Nick Voss and drummer Don Ogilvie, and it's celebrating the release of a new seven-track EP entitled "Burned by the Sun" with a show Saturday night at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. (Decibully and Foundry Field Recordings share the bill starting at 9 p.m., and the cover is $8.)
The disc leaves the listener craving a full album, but for now, we can enjoy what it's given us and sample its sounds online at www.myspace.com/darlingchicago.