Vocalist and guitarist Chris McCaughan is known to most as one-third of Chicago punk rockers the Lawrence Arms, the less snotty voice complementing the drunken rasp of co-frontman Brendan Kelly.
Rocking out in that trio since the late '90s, McCaughan had honed his punk chops even earlier in area groups like Tricky Dick and the Broadways. Always writing, McCaughan eventually found himself with a bunch of songs that were too sparse for the likes of his main gig, so while the Arms were touring in support of their acclaimed 2006 album Oh! Calcutta!, he began hitting up coffee shops before the band's nightly shows for some solo performances. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, the gigs were well-received, eventually leading him to put together a full album under the alias Sundowner. Though most of McCaughan's songs were basically stripped-down tunes à la most singer/songwriters, he still enlisted the help of some friends once inside the local Atlas Studios: Lawrence Arms bandmate Neil Hennessy helped on bass, and fellow Chicagoan Jenny Choi -- who'd previously worked with acts like Mike Park, the Methadones, and Hanalei -- contributed cello, keyboards, and some singing. The resulting Four One Five Two (named for his parents' address, where he lived during recording) appeared via Red Scare in March 2007. A second album, We Chase the Waves, arrived on Asian Man Records in 2010. After making a jump to Fat Wreck Chords, McCaughan released his third album as Sundowner, Neon Fiction, in 2013. ~ Corey Apar, Rovi