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Grian Chatten-Chaos For The Fly-Released June 30th, 2023

Grian Chatten is the vocalist for Irish band Fontaines D.C. The post punk band is among the most interesting in recent years, and continues to stand out and differentiate in a slog of other post punk bands that have also popped up.  They are Grammy nominated, Mercury Prize nominated and have number one albums in the UK.  Chatten has not been quiet about the anxiety of being in this band and the touring that has caused emotional and physical illness. That band has been out there.  He has said this solo album is kind of a cry for help. 

People will make a deal out of him singing with more melody, and more mellow vibe, but this was all pretty apparent on the Fontaines album Skitny Fa from last year. The band has also covered Nick Drake in the past. He is singing with a lot of melody though, and images of Drake, Leonard Cohen and Lee Hazlewood come to mind. There is a lot of texture in these songs with strings, horns and electronic beats at times, it’s a beautiful album. I keep looking for obvious lyrics to find some narrative on him being burnt out or finding therapy in these songs, and it’s not happening. Maybe it was just the process of writing these songs for him. It is a very good album, and really solidifies his possible longevity in this thing called music with or without Fontaines, unless he decided to just chuck the entire music thing out the window someday. If you want to take a dip with one track I would recommend “Bob’s Casino”. 

The Japanese House-In The End It Always Does-Released June 30th, 2023

The Japanese House is Amber Bain, and she has been releasing music for about a decade now. The 2019 album Good At Failing, I didn’t give much of a chance. The vocals were too manipulated for me personally. This one has a bit of that, but not over the top or annoying. This is a really good pop album. It’s a break up album, sure, but very danceable and head bob-a-ble in places. There are plenty of somber moments here like the light pop of “Over There” co-written by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The song “Touching Yourself” is pretty close to a perfect pop song, with it’s Talking Heads “This Must Be The Place” vibe and intimate lyrics. This is a collaboration with George Daniel who drums for 1975. Muna, make an advertised guest appearance on “The Morning Pages” a light pop song with glitchy and slightly off the wall accompiniment. The acoustic guitars come out on “Baby goes again”, which wouldn’t feel out of place on a Phoebe Bridgers or Lucy Dacus album. This is a very nice listen, with a few songs standing out a lot more than the rest on the first couple listens. Check out “Touching Yourself” if you just want a taste. 

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