Chapel Club – Debut album and tour
It's almost a year since we covered Chapel Club in our Subsonic section, the band then releasing their second single to be lauded by the press. With a record deal that reportedly had every label under the sun trying to lasso and brand, what many thought would be one of the biggest newcomers of the year, there's no wonder that Chapel Club's 2011 debut album "Palace", out now, was one of the most eagerly awaited releases of the last year.
So what is it like? Well, this may be one of those rare cases where the hype was justified.
"Palace" begins with a fairly unobtrusive, Eno-esque intro that predictably (perhaps cleverly so) leads up to the bass heavy opening of "Surfacing". Chapel Club take this opportunity to demonstrate the dynamic range they are capable of, with sweeping synths, well executed tonal guitar, and vocalist, Lewis Bowman's nice nod to 1930s song "Dream a Little Dream of Me". "Five Trees" follows in similar tone, whilst managing to stand well clear of the previous track's melody.
A new band, with more than one tune? It appears so!
Other highlights are the gorgeously reverb heavy "The Shore", which although destined to remain an album track, must be the ultimate thinking teen's make out music for this summer, "Fine Light" with its clever change of tempo, and the beautiful conclusion of final track "Paper Thin".
Tiresome comparisons have been made to Joy Division/New Order and Echo & The Bunnymen, but the overall impression left by this impressive debut album, is more reminiscent of output from The Smiths, or, surprisingly, Pulp, in their "Different Class" era, albeit with less satirical humour. Indeed, the album may come to occupy a similar niche in this musical decade to that which "Different Class" or "His and Hers" held in the 1990s. Understated yet ambitious, "Palace" is an intelligent, referential, collection of songs, from this band's formative year, revealing some very promising talent. A band sure to make their mark this decade.
For more background on Chapel Club why not watch our exclusive interview with the band, back stage at Dot to Dot 2010.
See Chapel Club live this month at:
Thursday 3 February - Bristol, Thekla
Friday 4 February - Liverpool, Academy 2
Saturday 5 February - Sheffield, Leadmill
Monday 7 February - Leeds, Cockpit
Tuesday 8 February - Nottingham, Bodega
Thursday 10 February - Glasgow, King Tuts
Friday 11 February - Dundee, Doghouse
Saturday 12 February - Newcastle, Cluny
Sunday 13 February - Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
Tuesday 15 February - Southampton, Talking Heads
Wednesday 16 February - London, Heaven