Unicycle Loves You
Gig Seeker Pro

Unicycle Loves You

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Village Voice interview/write-up"

In Unicycle songs—which somehow manage to combine "mid-tempo" with "high-octane"—you might encounter trace amounts of My Bloody Valentine, Belly, Guided By Voices, Of Montreal, the High Water Marks, the Fiery Furnaces, The Strokes, and Belle & Sebastian, bathed in Carroll and Vitale's mawkish, harmonized sarcasm and concentrated bursts of effects-pedal napalm. - Ray Cummings - The Village Voice

"All Music Guide Review of "Mirror, Mirror""

"dark, sweeping splashes of sonic color pull you into a netherworld that will keep you pleasantly on edge" - AMG

"Official iTunes Review of "Mirror, Mirror""

Unicycle Loves You indulges in a dizzying array of moods and motifs on "Mirror, Mirror". Now paired down to a trio, the Chicago group intertwines cheeky humor and romantic obsession in musical settings influenced by such disparate new wave and post-punk acts as Wire, ABC, and Mazzy Star. The mannered-to-frantic vocals of Jim Carroll and the wistful yet biting tones of Nicole Vitale provide a provocative yin/yang combination throughout these tracks. Anyone in the mood for ultra-caffeinated '80s-style pop will get a jolt out of "Time Bandits", "Mountain Lungs" and similar tunes. Vintage synthesizer textures and a thumping beat give "Quagga" a Day-Glo luster, while "Evil Twin" is a lovelorn ballad lent character by sparse electric piano. Vitale's featured moments are a highpoint, with the Phil Spector-like title number giving her room to emote elegantly. When she harmonized with Carroll on the billowing soul tune "There's A Giant Walking In My Heart", the effect is transcendent. By turns nervous and languid, highbrow and zany, "Mirror, Mirror" is a rich sonic confection. - iTunes

"Unicycle Loves You, I love you"

Some bands explore new territory, almost questioning what music is and changing the musical landscape forever, while others devour the past and turn the old ideas into something new. The best artists are almost always well-versed in their musical history, knowing all that came before them. Originality is nearly impossible without a comprehension of what has already been done, which is why bands usually sound derivative when their influences and/or abilities are limited.

When listening to Chicago's Unicycle Loves You's self-titled debut, it's pretty clear that this is the product of a band that's spent a lot of time listening to the best music of every era, picking apart exactly what makes each thing great.

Sure, we all know that The Pixies, The Cars, New Pornographers, The Beatles, The Kinks, and Belle & Sebastian have made some really great music, but it's evident that Unicycle Loves You fully comprehends exactly what made each of these artists great. Not only do they understand it, but they have the brains and chops to be able recreate that magic, blending/shifting between each of these influences flawlessly, while maintaining a singularly cohesive product.

The list of influences seems endless, but Unicycle Loves You never sounds derivative. Album opener "Great Bargains For Seniors" seems to mix everything from Can to The New Pornographers to Television, and that's just the start. Over the course of 10 songs, the band generates an eclectic contemporary history of pop rock as intelligent and catchy as anything any of those influences have ever created.

Friday night's concert at Park Slope's Union Hall was the band's first ever NY gig, and as great as their record is, they were even more impressive live. Full of energy, despite a very long drive, they were as tight as a veteran band with decades of practice. The dizzying bombardment of style shifts were sewn together seamlessly, even though the band often had trouble hearing themselves on stage. Vocal harmonies act as one of the band's biggest weapons, and they always arrived on point.

Saturday night, Unicycle Loves You found themselves on stage at Pianos, as part of Music Slut's anniversary party. Just as they did the night before, they blew away the crowd. Songs like "Highway Robbery," "Dollars & Cents," "Hawaii!," and "Kiki Bridges" all sounded like potential indie hits—instantly memorable and unique. For the second night in a row, album-closer "Dangerous Decade" seemed to be the highlight of the set.

Forget Vampire Weekend, Unicycle Loves You just released the best poppy indie rock album of the year, and probably the best debut album of the year. Soon the blogosphere will discover this treasure and their name will be everywhere, eventually leading to a backlash after Pitchfork praises them, and they become so popular that it becomes uncool to like them.
- NY Press

"Next 1000"

Often times when bands pay homage to their influences they end up being lax mimickers. Thankfully, Unicycle Loves You is far from that. They take bits from various genres spanning over several decades and pack them all into an indie-pop cornucopia of tasty feel-good music riddled with insightful lyrics. The Chi-town Quintet is currently busy touring/promoting their first full-length self-titled album due out later this year in early June. Unicycle Loves You kids and chances are you'll love them right back.
- URB magazine

"Balancing Act"

Nothing better than the box-of-chocolates analogy can describe the music of Unicycle Loves You. It is a sweet and sugary tasting menu featuring all your favorite delights from decades of old. While sampling their new record, or their explosive live show, you will undoubtedly taste the delicious, crunchy alternative of the early 90's, the smooth silky 80's new wave, the decadent and dramatic 70's glam, and of course, the classic and forever trendsetting 60's catchy pop. It's all right here in one handy package.
- BN

- UR Chicago

"Ones To Watch (Chicago Rocks On!)"

It won't be long until your smitten with U.L.Y.'s upbeat music on their self-titled debut. Combining 60s psychedelia with 70s arena rock hallucinationsand an overall hand-clappy circus vibe, Unicycle Loves You is one big party-and perfect for a hot summer in the city. The band's three-part harmony is a refreshing respite from the manufactured pop on the radio.

- CS Magazine

"Local Album Six Pack"

Is it glam or new wave? Indie rock or power pop? Are they more influenced by the '50s, '60s, or '80s? Or are they just living in the moment? The answers aren't readily apparent on Unicycle Loves You's debut, but what's undeniable is the band's ability to remain entertaining and original while also vaguely reminding you of other acts you can't quite put your finger on. If songs like "Highway Robbery" don't add fun and sunshine to your day, you've got problems music can't fix.

- Chicago Tribune

"Venus Zine Band Of The Month Feature"

Band Of the Month: Unicycle Loves You
Chicago band mixes pop sensibilities with psychedelic inspirations.

By Sarah Collins
Published: September 26th, 2009 | 5:30pm

Vocalist-guitarist Jim Carroll, vocalist-bassist Nicole Vitale, keyboardist Adam Labrada, and drummer J. T. Baker.


Dreamy pop-scapes and well-crafted hooks with a modern sound and ‘60s sensibility

Not everybody can make the transition from marching band to indie rocknroller, but Nicole Vitale, frontwoman for Unicycle Loves You, did it just fine.

“I was a band geek in high school,” says a cat-eyed, curly-haired Vitale. “I was on the football field while everyone else was out partying.” It’s hard to see the geek looking at her today, but she swears it’s a recent turn. “As far as being in a rock band goes, this is new for me.”

But that’s not stopping her from taking full advantage of it. Always attracted by rocknroll aesthetics, the well-dressed singer has an arsenal of vintage gowns and bubble-wrap frocks to keep shows interesting. She’s also picked up the bass, giving her a way to bring her band background into ULY’s intricate sounds.

“I think the musicianship involved with each member. I think we’re a tight band,” muses Vitale when asked why everyone seemed so surprised by their first few shows. “We came off polished from the start.”

As quick as they took off, they weren’t planning on starting a band. It was a crappy day job that the three original members shared that led them to their rocknroll career.

“I had been recording for many, many years by myself and didn’t do anything with it,” says guitarist Jim Carroll. He passed along the tapes to his co-workers, Vitale and former guitarist Jon Pollock, who flipped at the dreamy and muscular sounds.

Vitale was planning on leaving music behind for art, but the tapes changed her mind. “I listened to it, and I thought I had to do something. He doesn’t have a band!”

The three roped in Carroll’s ex-manager as a keyboardist, picked up a drummer, and started rehearsing the songs. “It took us two months and we were like, ‘Let’s play a show,’” says Carroll. “It was very natural.”

Performing bands need a name, however, not something the group had discussed before. Carroll had been recording demos under the name of Unicycle, a name the band unconsciously adopted. “Then when we went to do our first show, we thought that would get lost in the shuffle, so we added the Loves You,” explains Carroll. The added endearment must have worked. ULY has a who’s who of compliments from Pitchfork to Time Out.

They still can’t ride a unicycle, though.

“We are bad luck magnets,” says Carroll, rattling off a list of current band injuries that include two wrist braces, a back brace, and a bum ankle.

With the hazy pop gems coming off of their new record, expect that luck to change. - Venus Zine

"SPIN "Must-Hear Artist" Feature"

A mix-tape of indie rock's best eras, from reverb-drenched Cure guitar lines to New Pornographers-esque boy-girl harmonies.
Recommended if you like: New Pornographers, Guided by Voices - SPIN Magazine

"Now Hear This Feature"

Unicycle Loves You formed in 2006 and have since garnered buzz among hometown blogs and national press such as SPIN and Filter thanks to their energetic and impassioned shape-shifting live performances, notably during CMJ 2008 and 2009. Currently hard at work on their self-produced sophomore release (due in “late summer/early fall” on Highwheel Records), we caught up with band co-founder Jim Carroll to find out more about this group of hard-working and irrepressible raconteurs who have waited in the shadows of Vampire Weekend, MGMT and The Raveonettes for far too long now. - Sentimentalist Magaazine

"Unicycle Loves You w/ Tapes n' Tapes @ Lincoln Hall"

Can you imagine a hearing something haunting yet catchy with that sweetness of a good pop song and the energy of a classic rock hit? Even if you can I promise seeing it live at a Unicycle Loves You concert will far surpass the abilities of your imagination.

Just two songs in after taking the stage, Unicycle Loves You, had more than doubled the audience they had to start with. This of course is a nod to their talent, energy and musical presence. No one could resist! The concert-goers (myself included) wanted to be there to partake of the delicious melodies exploding from the stage as Unicycle rocked out.

They played a number of songs off their upcoming album “Mirror, Mirror” that will be released this coming September. And I for one am extremely excited for the album to hit. It isn’t often that you are able to witness musicians who maintain a sound of their own while still uniquely referencing the best of Britpop and indie rock and really much more than that.

The most impressive part of the performance was how each member of the trio truly owned their instruments. J.T. Baker bounced seamlessly between catchy beats on the drums, Nicole Vitale provided the energy and backbone with bass and Jim Carroll carried us through each delightful melody on guitar with his vocals—smooth but never losing that raw edge you might hear in the Magnetic Fields.

After Unicycle left the stage and the audience was revved up, Tapes n’ Tapes took over to continue the evening. They fully entertained the crowd playing their well-established hits for fans to sing along to. A little more raw and ironic in person than on their albums, they did a great job bringing extra energy to the stage for numbers like In Houston that got the crowd going.

DATE: Thursday, July 22, 2010
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Brendan Shanley ( @lostinprint )
REVIEW BY: Elizabeth Barth - Lost In Concert

"Unicycle Loves You Is The Poppiest Of Them All With "Mirror, Mirror""

Nearly two years to the date after their self-titled Highwheel Records debut was released, idiosyncratic power-pop Chicagoans Unicycle Loves You have just announced the details for album number two. Mirror, Mirror, which the band self-produced, is due on September 7 on Highwheel Records, and, to promote the record, the band has released the title track as a free MP3. The group’s sun-kissed, melancholy pop is reminiscent of a less fuzzed-out Raveonettes, with whom Unicycle Loves You recently played.

Throw in a dash of Bowie in the spaced-out keyboards and production, and bassist/vocalist Nicole Vitale's dreamy vocals, and you’ve got a song that’s awfully irresistible. We hope that the band isn’t throwing out all of the dizzy sonic tricks that comprised its debut, but if “Mirror, Mirror” is any indication, Unicycle Loves You have plenty more up their sleeves which will thrill Chicago music fans. - Chicagoist


Feb 2012, Mecca Lecca Recording Co.

"Mirror, Mirror"
Sept 2010, Highwheel Records

"Unicycle Loves You"
June 2008, Highwheel Records



In 2010, Unicycle Loves You stripped away the studio gloss of their self-titled 2008 debut and took a large step forward with the release of Mirror, Mirror. With front man Jim Carroll in complete control of the recording process, the resulting record was one far more true to the band's vision, and more representative of their influences.

Once again handling the roles of songwriter and producer, Carroll has dug even further into his Sebadoh/Guided By Voices-influenced home-recording roots for Unicycle Loves You's latest record, Failure. Due for release on Valentine's Day 2012, their Mecca Lecca debut contains all of the pop sensibility of earlier favorites like "Highway Robbery," "Justine" and "Mirror, Mirror" but with a rawer, more focused sonic palette.

Loaded with buzzing guitars in the red, addictive melodies, and lush boy/girl harmonies, Failure combines the best elements of dream pop and 90s indie rock for a refreshing new sound. While it may be the band's heaviest, thrashiest album to date, songs such as "Garbage Dump", “Sun Comes Out (And I Don’t Care)” "Bitch Eye", “Piranha” and "Wow Wave Cinema" are also some of their strongest and poppiest moments on record.

Unicycle Loves You have shared the stage with such acts as Weezer, The Raveonettes, Fiery Furnaces, Telekinesis, Generationals, Art Brut, Tapes ‘n’ Tapes, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Bishop Allen & Crystal Antlers.

They have been featured in such print and online publications as SPIN, Filter, Pop Matters, Pitchfork, Venus Zine, Death + Taxes, URB, USA Today, Spinner, Sentimentalist, Chicagoist and NY Press.

Publicity: Jessi Frick

Booking: Hello Booking

Label: Mecca Lecca