When the The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather finally arrived, it has been four years since the release of We Were Set Up, the record that cemented Canasta's place as a staple - perhaps even the unspoken centerpiece - of Chicago's orchestral pop scene this millennium. But according to the Chicago Reader, the wait was worth it: "...this local sextet's second full-length is so perfect—every note falling into place with deeply satisfying craftsmanship—that you'll swear you've heard it before. But you haven't..." Making use of a collaborative songwriting process that relies on all six musicians, Canasta has always augmented the standard rock set-up with an piano, keyboard, violin and trombone. But despite an ever-changing roster that has included twenty members (!), founders Matt Priest and Elizabeth Lindau continue to keep the lyrics thoughtful, the orchestrations meticulous, the melodies unforgettable and the sound uniquely "Chicagoan."
But don’t get the impression they spend all their time cooped up in the studio and rehearsal space. Since forming, Canasta has managed to live out one rock n' roll fantasy after another. They've toured this country extensively, including stops at SXSW, CMJ and Daytrotter, and made an unexpected journey to the hinterlands of Mongolia, as guests of the U.S. State Department. And here in the Windy City, they’ve headlined the legendary Metro, held the prestigious Schubas residency and sold out the famed Old Town School of Folk Music. They've gigged with the diverse likes of Wilco, Alabama Shakes, Macy Gray, Grizzly Bear, Devotchka, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Kaiser Chiefs, The Lemonheads, Menomena and Sloan and even played a set for President Obama. Their songs have made their way into TV commercials, a movie trailer and NPR’s programming and they've sold out pressings of all three of their releases. But perhaps Canasta’s most impressive feat is its longevity; the group recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, a virtual eternity in "indie rock years!”