Blind/ Star - Chapel Club Single Review
Chapel Club are to music rather what Voltaire is to literature: scholarly, literary and not particularly geared to the average Sun reader. It's not so much that you require a dictionary or a degree in English Lit. to get into this latest single 'Blind', but an understanding of metaphor, subtext and the workings of vocalist and lyricist Lewis Bowman's mind may help.
Although that said, 'Blind' is perhaps more accessible than the other somewhat surreal singles taken, like this, from their debut album 'Palace', and arguably one of the best. Bursting into life after a delicate eight-second guitar opening, before Bowman's baritone trips in and the song heads into yet another little gem in the Chapel Club bag of wave-like guitars and emotive crescendo.
'Blind' is essentially Bowman using his favourite form of expression - the imagery of nature ('my heart is high like a returning tide/hard at your body like a coastline') - to explore a relationship ('we fell together like an accident/two lives colliding like continents') and was largely inspired whilst he and his long-term girlfriend (now fiancée, Helen, the woman who graces the 'Blind' cover artwork and supplied co-vocal input on 'Telluride', which appeared on the 'Wintering' EP) were apart some years ago.
The stripped back acoustically arranged B-side cover of Primal Scream's 'Star' was first performed live in session on BBC 6 Music back in January, and shows that Chapel Club are as equally well disposed to taking on others' material (they have previously recorded Morrissey's 'Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself') and are not afraid to embrace a leaner, minimalist sound. 'Star' was inspired by Bobby Gillespie's socialist leanings and wanting to write a song about equal rights, and it proves an ideal showcase for Bowman, whose vocals slide smoothly over the psychedelic-infused lyrics and seductive melody.
An ace single. And whether or not you already own the album, it is made more than worth buying just for the B-side.
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