Chantitown is an artist whose music was an absolute joy to stumble upon this week. Start your day or wind down later on with Road That Never Ends, and not only do you get the beautiful ambiance of a folk-trip-hop musicality, you also get poetic lyricism, a gorgeously unique vocal and interesting melody to match, and the pleasure of discovering a songwriter with something refreshing to say – and a truly majestic way of saying it.
River follows the opener with a welcomed touch of rhythm and colour. The instrumentation is wonderful, a great introduction that gives off a slightly tribal feel with increasing anticipation. The lyrics bring through a personal touch here and some longer-form melodies that paint a more detailed, complex experience. The verses pave the way beautifully towards a fascinating, satisfying hook that somehow again feels totally new yet comforting; as if you’ve known it forever, like some long-lost alternative classic.
Wise Man is another stunner, dramatic in a mellow way – simple ambient choices make for a captivating soundscape that supports and enhance the singer’s incredibly original vocal style. Her voice falls somewhere between Dolores O’Riordan and Paula Cole, but these are minor familiarities a musical mind can’t help but conjure up – really the sound is just something completely refreshing right now. And all the while, the ideas put forward lyrically and in the artistic expression of each composition provoke a deeper level of thinking than the vast majority of mainstream releases across the past decade. This is not your obvious, clear-cut style of writing – it’s bigger than that, and for all of these reasons and more it connects in a strangely addictive way.
Bridges adds further eclecticism to the project, a mildly theatrical, melodic back and forth emerges. Vocal harmonies work well to help build upon the song’s inherent sense of drama – which again is cleverly contrasted with moments of stillness. The lyrics and the way the soundscape evolves is incredibly entrancing, holding close to your attention throughout and actually managing to connect with the deep thinking side of you – by means of clearly personal yet often slightly vague, accessible wording. It is absolutely possible to write original songs in this era, the sort that draw no comparisons but feel completely expressive and fresh. Chantitown proves that consistently with this project.
Things lean in a slightly more pop-ballad-like direction with Far Side Of The Moon. There’s a delicacy or purity to this one that seems toned down somewhat. The singer’s voice reaches new heights though, with whispered passion and a flawless presentation of a freely meandering melody. The song works on the strength of its own writing and performance, being far less about the ambiance but more about the moment – incidentally reminding you of the artist and the potential wonder of an acoustic live show.
I’m genuinely blown away by this project and will be listening on repeat for the foreseeable future. Whether your intent is to calm yourself or feel a little hyped for a short journey or event, somehow the music cleverly walks the line between energizing and soothing. There’s intensity and lightness in equal amounts. River as a single is the perfect example of this but the entire EP is just brilliant. Absolutely worth adding to your daily playlist.