Before Chicago singer-guitarist Molly Madden began performing indie-rock songs as Uma Bloo in 2016, she used that stage name as a burlesque performer. As she told Tribune critic Britt Julious in 2020, burlesque provided her an outlet to explore complex emotions while giving her a confidence she hadn’t felt growing up in a devout Catholic household. These days Madden has a full band, and she’s just released a new Uma Bloo album, Don’t Drive Into the Smoke (Earth Libraries). Madden’s songwriting has burlesque’s flair for the dramatic gesture, and her somber electric guitar casts a spotlight on her voluptuous voice. She’s a careful singer, and often drapes her tender, intimate lyrics over the music as gently as she might make a bed. Her bandmates employ a variety of styles that bring out the color and dimension in her performances, moving among arty synth sounds, alt-country, and indie rock. On “To Be Vast,” echoing snare drum and a smidgen of slide guitar enrich Madden’s languid singing with a dusky, golden swagger. And no matter what stylistic direction each song takes, Madden makes it clear that the stage belongs to her.
Bridey, Brigid Broderic, Uma Bloo, Thu 3/31, 9:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $12, 21+