Xoe Wise announces the release of her new album, Air, out today. The album was co-produced by producer and multi-instrumentalist, Minterm and Wise. The record was mixed by Los Angeles-based film composer and mixer, Gabriel Mounsey, whose credits include Cloud Atlas, Babylon Berlin, Sense8, Messiah, and dozens more. Martin Wenk (Calexico, Nada Surf), contributes on horns. Dominic Johnson (The Who, Father John Misty) contributes on strings. “Air is about learning to let love in even when it is scary, explained Wise. “I had been holding on to pain and fear, and needed to let go and trust myself. Taking chances and deeper breaths has helped me realize that the air I was searching for, was either in me all along, or was around me. I just had to let it in.” Wise will donate July digital sales to Brave Space Alliance Organization, an organization close to her heart.
Dividing her time between social justice efforts and indie rock, Wise takes her scooter to some of Chicago’s favorite local music venues and businesses, for a pop-up live music set, in which 50% of donations go towards the hard-hit local businesses needing assistance due to the economic effects stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic. Wise will play pop-up shows at a curbside near you and pick a business per lottery drawing live on the Xoe Wise Facebook Page to determine which business will get 50% of all donations for the day.
“From live music to mental health, life is different right now for everyone,” says Wise. “Music has always been a way of expression and connection for me. These pop ups shows have been helpful for my mental health and I hope they offer joy to others as well! The goal is to play music, connect people (at a distance), while also supporting the Chicago places we love.”
In addition to her pop-up shows, Wise launched Thank You Thursdays, a live stream to explore what local non-profits are doing during the pandemic. She discusses the designated non-profit’s activities, sometimes plays a jingle, hold a raffle or play a set. 100% of the live stream concert goes to the non-profit in the spotlight. Wise has been active in the social justice scene since moving to Chicago, and is entering University of Chicago this fall to study for a social work degree, after previously completing a degree in Pyschology. Wise explains, “I believe people can help each other, am passionate about the clinical research that addresses poverty, inequality, criminal justice and mental health.”
Recently featured in Chicago Tribune, Wise explained how this current climate is personal to her: “My relationship with these music venues, you get to know them through the years as a musician. The staff become family,” Wise said. “I want them (to) still (be) part of the conversation and to feel that connection even if I’m not on their stage right now. I want that community to still exist.”