Something Else! sneak peek: Chicago, “Somethin’ Comin,’ I Know” and “Watching All the Colors” (2013)

Proof positive that Chicago is, at long last, working on some new music arrives via streams of two songs — still in demo form. In fact, these rough cuts don’t even have the band’s fabled horn section yet.

Hank Linderman, who previously worked on Yuletide songs with Chicago, is helming this as-yet-unnamed forthcoming project — which would be just their second collection of original material since 1991. Linderman has also produced albums by the Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmit, Phoebe Snow, Tim McGraw, Aimee Mann and Chicago’s Robert Lamm — notably on his 2008 solo effort The Bossa Project.

“Watching All the Colors” bears more than a passing resemblance to those Lamm sessions, while “Somethin’ Comin,’ I Know” rumbles along with a more scuffed-up cadence — until it’s broken up by this sun-streaked, Beatlesque bridge. In both cases, keyboards take the place of Chicago’s familiar horn contributions by Lamm’s fellow Chicago co-founders Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Walter Parazaider. Lamm, Loughnane and Lou Pardini (who officially joined after Bill Champlin’s departure in 2009, having served a couple of stints in the touring band) are featured on vocals.

The group has reportedly been working in a catch-as, catch-can fashion, putting down tracks between dates on their tours. Loughnane, the band’s trumpeter, had previously sung lead on “Song of The Evergreens” from 1974’s Chicago VII, and “Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” from 1998’s Chicago XXV. Chicago is rounded out by bassist Jason Scheff, drummer Tris Imboden and guitarist Keith Howland — all of whom have been in the band for 18 or more years.

Chicago’s most recent album was XXXII: Stone of Sisyphus, though that previously shelved 2008 release was actually recorded in the early 1990s.

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