The album Plato’s Stepchildren, from Miami’s Crosstown Chameleons, is one that genuinely feels like a best-of from a collection of artists – rather than a singularly threaded project. The songwriting follows an endlessly expressive pathway, the music has the realness of organic pop-rock – these are the things that make up the band’s vibe. The vocals and melodic progressions, however, vary throughout, sometimes leaning towards a slightly Beach Boys-like vibe, at other times feeling more classically connected to The Beatles. All in all, you come to appreciate the eclecticism and style as purely that of the band. Every band member contributes to the writing, and this – in my opinion – is what gives the music such a widely accessible aura. The songs connect in a not too personal way, seeming honest and genuine at all times, but making sure to include you as a listener.
Color Of My Heart is an early favourite from the album and one of the more memorable, easy to repeat songs from the collection. The acoustic guitar introduces things with organic rhythm and a crisp, warm ambiance. The leading vocal that follows makes the experience feel as if the singer’s right there in the room with you. The melody too is so simple yet effective, long-stretched in that each line extends across a meandering melody – refreshing when compared to the shorter fragments of ideas presented in the majority of folk-pop releases. Then you get the hook, a non-intrusive ear-worm, weaving its way into your subconscious in a calming yet partly melancholy manner. There are equal parts seriousness and something more laid back about the song – it’s soothing and simultaneously memorable; in the way that a soft-rock hit from the nineties would have been.
Mirage (Live) is another personal favourite from the album, the vocals are just stunning and the song pours through with an authentically Pearl Jam-like rock and soul edge. The entire album is an easily enjoyable must as a playlist for the coming months. Hopefully there’s plenty more to come from Crosstown Chameleons over the coming years.