Smith Westerns’ Cullen Omori Goes Solo, Signs To Sub Pop

At the end of last year, the Chicago glam/garage group Smith Westerns announced an “indefinite hiatus,” and it was one of those times where it felt less like a vacation from band duties and more like a permanent breakup. And now it looks like frontman Cullen Omori is going solo. He’s signed to Sub Pop, and he’s planning to release a solo album next year. Omori started out in Smith Westerns as a teenager, so even though they had time to release three albums and tour heavily, he’s still just 25. And while the band’s three albums all sound vastly different, a press release mentions Bowie and T. Rex as inspirations for the new album, so it seems likely that he’ll stick with the glam-influenced sound of the last Smith Westerns album, 2013’s Soft Will. Omori tells The Chicago Reader that he started working on solo songs last year, around the time he felt that Smith Westerns were hitting a creative wall. He’ll make his solo live debut at the Chicago venue Schuba’s on 10/30.