MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Pokey LaFarge’s “So Long Chicago”

“It’s a snowbird’s escapist vacation song,” says Pokey LaFarge of “So Long Chicago,” the final teaser for his upcoming LP, Rhumba Country. “Whether it’s spring break or winter break, it’s about getting out of the city or suburbs and heading to the beach for a week or so.”

Set for a May 10 release on New West, Rhumba Country was inspired by a more settled, workaday lifestyle in Maine, where LaFarge immersed himself in family life and manual labor on a local farm, churning out songs in his downtime. While he was there, LaFarge ran into fellow Midwesterner Elliot Bergman (Wild Belle), and the two eventually headed to Los Angeles to work on the songs that would become Rhumba Country. LaFarge again enlisted the help of producer Chris Seefried (Fitz And The Tantrums), who worked on 2021’s In The Blossom Of Their Shade and several other LaFarge releases.

In The Blossom Of Their Shade basked in the light that occasionally flickered amid the darker, pandemic-inspired self-examination of 2020’s Rock Bottom Rhapsody. Rhumba Country incorporates Blossom’s exotic African and South American strains—this time as ingredients in a kaleidoscopic mix informed by LaFarge’s love of mambo, tropicalia, rocksteady and early rock ’n’ roll.

LaFarge offers this about the retro-inspired footage for the “So Long Chicago” lyric video, much of it filmed by LaFarge’s wife, singer/songwriter Addie Hamilton: “Since the song is about a vacation getaway, Addie thought we should make a fun video featuring some of the Super 8 footage from our adventures.”

We’re proud to premiere “So Long Chicago” today.

—Hobart Rowland

To celebrate the release of “So Long Chicago,” New West is giving away a $250 Southwest Airlines gift card. Enter to win here.

See Pokey LaFarge live