Chapel Club and Pop – Good Together?
The band managed to create a lot of buzz around their first record ‘Palace’, and many fans myself included fell in love with its sweepingly dark shoegaze influence. For lack of a better term of description they were a band that sounded like Joy Division or Interpol, brooding and punkish. Live, Chapel Club were a loud controlled force of energy, they belted out their songs with a rare intensity while their eloquent singer Louis Bowman added his beautiful low swoon.
Ever since Palace dropped I had been waiting for more, their Wintering EP built on Palaces rough foundations and added more melancholy and perhaps more of an electronic influence. The fervour in which I delved into their music is rare and I felt that they could be one of this generations great bands.
On first listen ‘Sleep Alone’ left me pretty cold and I was entirely ready to dismiss the band as attention seeking sell-outs. However after reading Lewis’s article on the bands website, (a sort of plea to give it a try, as well as an open window to the bands mindset) I decided to listen to the single and the other tracks from the forthcoming album; despite my passion for the old stuff the new lighter electronic songs are actually really enjoyable.
‘Jenny Baby’ (about J.Lo) in particular showcases the bands talent for this new style, Bowman’s vocals are now more sickly sweet than brooding and whilst hugely electronic Chapel club have managed to maintain the big sound, still delivered with the heart of a rock band. The synths swamp Lewis’s vocals in beautiful cascades while the drums maintain a classical Chapel Club beat. I defy any fans of the bands previous work not to enjoy this at least out of their new songs.
Bowman comments in his article that since before the band had a name he wanted “songs you can dance to!” and in ‘Sleep Alone’ they have achieved that. The beauty of their musical shift is that somehow they have managed to maintain what it s that made them so captivating in the first place, you can still hear the influence of The Smiths and classic indie bands but they are trying to do something new.
The second album Good Together is expected soon and will definitely alienate a few of their fans, however for fans of music it actually is far better than a rehash of their old songs. The band themselves have commented on the difficulty of playing such dark music every night, now they can enjoy themselves more and listening to the new songs they clearly don’t mind experimenting, this means more Chapel Club music for the next few years and this is good news for everyone.