Impulsive Hearts
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Impulsive Hearts

Chicago, IL | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Chicago, IL | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Indie




"Impulsive Hearts is a Chicago band that wants to give something back to the community"

Every band has a mission, but what if your band’s mission was to give back to the community?

Enter Impulsive Hearts, a Chicago-bred band that does more than just craft catchy garage pop tunes. Founded by Danielle Sines, Impulsive Hearts has begun to make a name for itself throughout the Chicago area by operating under its own socially aware agenda.

Most bands may play a one-off benefit show, but spend the majority of their time performing at straightforward gigs. Impulsive Hearts has performed benefit shows for organizations such as Our Music My Body, Planned Parenthood, and Girls Rock! Chicago. And the efforts aren’t just a gimmick. “We do more benefit shows than anything because to me, I have an independent business,” said Sines, who also works as a therapist. “(Therapy) is in some ways my passion. (Music) is my passion, and I’m trying to find ways to balance both.”

“Everything I do is fairly straightforward and simple. The idea is to make it accessible and fun,” Sines began. “This more recent record is not as fun. It’s a lot more stripped down and I think that’s just because from 2016 to 2019, the whole world has sort of changed.”
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And although Impulsive Hearts might not have completely abandoned that sound, Sines said the group has also embraced a more explicitly political framework in its lyricism. On their new EP, “metoo: a benefit for Resilience,” many of the tracks are rooted in the tumultuous social and political era we currently live in. “I couldn’t write breezy sort of pop happy songs because I don’t feel any of those things,” Sines admitted.

Their benefit performances are rooted in the ethos of the band. It’s not that Impulsive Hearts is explicitly political, but it is intentionally thoughtful about how they operate as a group. “Because I’m nervous or self-conscious, I don’t recognize how much good or how much power I have and can reach back and give stuff to people too,” Sines said. Some of that ethos has even begun to seep its way into the very music the group makes. According to Sines, Impulsive Hearts 1.0 was known for uplifting tunes.

The EP’s first track, “Alien,” was written around the 2016 election. “The first track is me basically wondering how did we get here, how do we get away from here, feeling a sort of disconnect,” said Sines. “I felt so strange being in Chicago because every place outside of Chicago, I just thought, who are you? What were you thinking and what have you guys done?”

The entire EP benefits Resilience, an organization that empowers survivors and aims to and sexual violence. Released this month and just in time for sexual assault survivors month, “me too” is a thought-provoking and powerful call to action. Sines wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m always thinking of different ways with music to bring people together, to raise money, to have more of a dialogue about certain things,” said Sines. - Chicago Tribune

"The best Chicago albums of the 2010s"

The Reader polled dozens of critics to arrive at an absolutely indisputable ranked list of several hundred records that will definitely not start any arguments.

#43: Impulsive Hearts, Sorry in the Summer (Beautiful Strange, 2016) - Chicago Reader

"Impulsive Hearts use their summery pop-rock to raise money for Resilience"

Impulsive Hearts use their summery pop-rock to raise money for Resilience

When T.S. Eliot wrote "April is the cruelest month," he wasn't thinking about what passes for spring here. But this time every year, Gossip Wolf breeds lilacs and grudgingly mixes memory and desire—while listening for new jams that sound like warmer weather. Singer-songwriter Danielle Sines and her beach-ready jangle-pop project, Impulsive Hearts, reliably provide! Last month, Sines and the band (drummer Dan Julian, bassist Doug Hoyer, violinist Jess LeMaster, and saxophonist Fallon McDermott) dropped the sun-dappled four-song cassette MeToo: A Benefit for Resilience, proceeds from which will support Chicago nonprofit Resilience, which helps victims of sexual violence. Impulsive Hearts will have copies at their free Empty Bottle show on Monday, April 22, with Bike Cops and Gal Gun. - Chicago Reader

"Impulsive Hearts born of restless ears"

Impulsive Hearts born of restless ears

Jessica Hopper,Special to the Tribune

Impulsive Hearts, restless ears, catchy pop tunes

Impulsive Hearts is the brainchild of Danielle Sines, and like so many of the city's musical projects, it was born of house-bound winter boredom. After a single solo performance that Sines likened to karaoke, she roped in two friends and they are now at work on their debut album that showcases the band's penchant for dark, guitar-driven pop. Here is an edited transcript from a recent conversation with Sines.

Q: How did you get started doing this?

A: It was the result of that really crappy winter — 2012 — and I started writing a bunch of stuff and then played one live show as Danielle and Her Drum Machine. And I hated it. It's not as much fun as a band or playing with people. It felt like karaoke (laughs). John (Paul) and Dan (Julian) are some of my best friends and musically inclined, and so we started doing this thing last winter.

Q: Why music and not something else, knitting, or powering through entire seasons of TV shows like the rest of us?

A: I have always been a music and arts person, that's where I fall into, creatively. The album we are working on right now is my version of my story, and it's where I am right now. It's a space for that creativity. For me, this is the way that I naturally express myself. I enjoy writing catchy, poppy songs people can sing along to. With everything I do, there has to be meaning. The story doesn't have to have much weight, but everything I do, everything we do as a band — the meaning is clear. To us. The lyrical component touches on darker themes and coming-of-age stuff, from my experiences. A lot of this is just an outlet for me, working as a family therapist; this is my own safe place.

Q: Your songs are studies in contrast, sweet melodies and then distortion and rage. How deliberate is that?

A: It is all deliberate. We have some (songs) that are studio recordings, and I wasn't really happy with them, how they came out. But the rest of them, the band and I, we went up to a house in Michigan and we worked on every layer, so that there is a punch in certain parts. We really spend a lot of time thinking through our parts, and that's why I really love working with them. Everything we are doing has both — the negativity and the pop, the polish and the dark grunge — crashing together. And not too much pop, I don't ever want it to be too deliberate sounding.

Q: Going from making this really private personal project to playing venues with a band, making an album. How has that transition been?

A: It's been a process, mostly an overwhelmingly positive process; I started playing guitar for live shows and that gave me more control over the sound and that was a big shift. It helped me break out of my shell and feel more confident in expressing myself. There are so many awesome people in the scene who are so very nice and helpful. I think a lot about how there is this reputation for hipster snobbiness, but my experience (of playing in a band) hasn't been about who you know. Just people being like "I really enjoyed your sound" and they help you navigate. The only really negative thing at all is sometime we get booked with other bands of women, other girls and while it's not degrading to be booked with other women — it's awesome — just the ideas of "We're going to have a ladies night!" If that's going to be the rule, then put more women on stage.

Q: It can be ghettoizing, women still being posited as outsiders in rock, essentially.

A: I think it's really interesting. This summer, we went to Pitchfork Festival as a band, which was awesome. And one of the things I naturally gravitated to was all the "girl" bands, and it felt like when you have so many women musicians included in something like that, it's not a matter of them being on display. I am hoping things continue to go like that in Chicago's live music scene.

When: 9 p.m. Thursday

Where: Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.

Tickets: $8 (21+); 773-227-4433 or
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Music Entertainment - Chicago Tribune

"Beat Kitchen Rocked Out with Colleen Green, Impulsive Hearts, Upset"

When this show was first announced it was only the pairing of Collen Green and Upset, who had just released I Want to Grow Up and '76 EP respectively. The lineup for this show at Beat Kitchen slowly grew larger as the date crept up. Two local acts, Sam Vicari and Impulsive Hearts, were added to the already worthwhile show. Little did I know that I would walk away from this show with a couple new bands to follow and a greater appreciation of the ones I already loved.

I was out ordering a drink during opening moments of Impulsive Hearts, but I quickly abandoned that pursuit after hearing them through the swinging door of the venue. Frontwoman Danielle Sines had an great presence on stage, belting out her songs while guitarist John Paul rocked out beside her and Dan Julian trounced the drums. Their songs have an almost surf rock sound to them, but with a surprising harder edge to them live. Their final song MDB solidified the band's place in my heart. The song had the whole band at their best, with Sines voice reaching a beautiful peak singing "I can't sleep when I'm with out you." They were a great highlight of the night and pretty much stealing the show for me.

Collen Green began her time by adjust her levels, teasing out the beginning of a song. The tease never really came to fruition as she checked the tune of her guitar and prepared her drum machine, asking the crowd if everything sounded alright. Not too long after she donned her sunglasses, completing her onstage persona and quickly jumped into "Pay Attention". Green doesn't need much to come off as one of the coolest people in the world as everyone in the crowd clung to her every move. She sang every song with an effortless precision, catching the perfect mood of her dreamy songs. "Wild One" Her set was entirely made up of her latest album I Want to Grow Up and the crowd was completely charmed by the affair. - Gapers Block

"RedEye Rock 'n' Vote Top 10"

RedEye Rock 'n' Vote 2014 Top 10

In the NBA and NHL, more than 50 percent of the teams make the playoffs.
An all-time high of more than 200 artists entered the 11th year of RedEye’s Rock ‘n’ Vote local band competition (featuring well-known alums including Rockie Fresh, I Fight Dragons and JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound). That means that less than 5 percent of the acts earned a spot in the Top 10. Now, these rising artists need your help—until 5 p.m. Sunday, visit and pick who you want to see on May 22 at Lincoln Hall. (Early bird tickets are $10 from 4/30-5/6 and $12 after that.) The top four vote-getters win a spot on stage, competing for on-site text votes and judges’ approval, not to mention a slot at the Taste of Chicago 2014.
Impulsive Hearts
Neighborhood: Humboldt Park, Roscoe Village, Evanston
Sound: Surf-pop with roots in shoegaze and ‘60s girl groups
Influences: The Shirelles, The Beach Boys, Nirvana, Liz Phair, Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls
Live show: The self-recorded songs by singer-songwriter and Michigan native Danielle Sines, 30, come to life with as many as five people on stage that Sines says brings a punk feel to the material
Claim to fame: Opened for Bear Mountain at Schubas; featured on Notes and Bolts
Fun fact: Recently recorded songs at her parents’ Michigan lake house in a quiet, wooded area, loud and late into the night, a la Bon Iver; Sines has a Master’s in marriage and family therapy - RedEye Chicago


Bubbling up from the Chicago underground, Impulsive Hearts pick up where recent revivalist acts like Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast have left off, adding just a hint of that indelible Midwestern sadness to the neo-girl group garage rock sound. Front woman Danielle Sines employs a sandpapery crunch of distortion, wielding her guitar as an emotional weapon and creating an unsettling sonic squall overtop of which sugary, plaintive vocals and deeply personal, yet vaguely enigmatic lyrics seem to float effortlessly, turning a blind eye to the storm surge swirling below.
All of this comes together in near pop perfection on their recent single (“Zombie”) for Chicago’s Notes And Bolts imprint, up and coming purveyors of up and coming Chicago acts offered on willfully obsolete media formats.
Far from having anything to do with the recent undead craze currently feasting on the flesh of the cultural zeitgeist, the zombification of the narrator seems to be the primary focus. Seemingly snapped to attention by the opening bell chime, the narrator suddenly realizes they’ve been ranting and railing at an anthropomorphized rain, sky, sea, and sun (taken as individual parts or elements of a greater whole), all of which have been more or less oblivious (or at the very least uninterested) in said ranting and railing.
With this realization, the song’s narrator finally gives in and admits to having “tried for too long to be somebody else,” concluding that it is no longer worth waiting around and hoping for something to happen after pleading for reasons why, offering views of what could have been, acknowledging there to have been only one, albeit one who leaves too soon, and finally resolving to take matters into her own hands.
Following a restatement of the initial verse, the song breaks wide open into a swirling free-fall of a bridge during which the narrator concedes that, regardless of what might be or have been and no matter how hard she tries to reason it away, there will always be the one who will have the pull of the rain, sun, sky, and moon, before everything but a subtle organ and Sines’ audibly conceding, defeated voice bring the song to its somewhat antithetical, resigned conclusion. - V I N Y L / C O M P U L S I O N / R E V I E W


Still working on that hot first release.



Chicago’s Impulsive Hearts have been described as a smack of sunshine, jangly pop for a cold winter’s day. On Cry All The Time, the band’s second LP, the surf-rock group delves into darker themes of love and loss, while maintaining bright, fierce and catchy-as-hell songwriting.

Impulsive Hearts pick up where recent revivalist acts like Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast have left off, adding just a hint of indelible Midwestern sadness to the neo-girl group garage rock sound.

Danielle Sines leads the group with captivating vocals and fuzzy guitars, while the rhythm section – Doug Hoyer on bass and Dan Julian on drums – drives each song to its crescendo. The group is rounded out with saxophonist Fallon McDermott and violinist Jess LeMaster to add character and depth to the arrangements, creating a larger-than life sound.

 Look for the release of Cry All the Time on March 6, 2020 via Midwest Action (vinyl) and Cavity Search Records (digital).

Band Members