July 18, 2018 / 8:18 PM

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Tuesday's Under 21: The Orwells, young punks protesting the government, loitering at the mall


It's easy to forget how young some of our favorite performers are when they enter the music world. From Michael Jackson's Jack 5 debut at the age of 11, to Lorde's chart-topping single "Royals" at the age of 16, it doesn't take much life experience to make a splash in the music industry. Tuesdays Under 21 is a Music Times feature dedicated to bringing attention to talented musicians and performers under the age of 21. Who knows? They just might be the next big thing.

WHO: The Orwells

WHERE: Elmhurst, Illinois

AGE: 17 & 18


At the age where you and your friends (or at least us and our friends) were putting together makeshift rock bands that played "garage rock" because that was the only place where we could find room, Illinois band The Orwells have already released a few records and played some fairly sizable gigs. Because they play actual garage rock that's worth something (sorry, our high school bands).

The Orwells caught the attention of MTV and Pitchfork with its simple and fuzz-laden "Mallrats (La La La)," a track consisting of the parenthetical statement repeated many a time, with tidbits about flirting at the mall. "Who Needs You" is more audible, and more political in the group's approach to punk.

The band has released two EP's during 2013, the first of which-Remember When-was produced by TV On The Radio guitarist Dave Sitek. And that sizable gig? Lollapalooza. After opening for Fidlar throughout the summer, The Orwells will announce plans for a U.K. tour on November 13.

So when do they find time to finish school? No biggie. Despite whatever stereotypes you associate with kids that wear cut-off jean jackets with Dead Kennedys patches, The Orwells graduated early.

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