Chartreuse are pleased to share details of ‘Tall Grass’ their first new music of 2020. It is lifted from a forthcoming second EP, Keep Checking Up On Me. It is released 9th October through Communion Records.
A video launches the new track today, shot on thermal imaging cameras by director Joe Connor (Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Georgia). Watch it here
The band will follow the release of Tall Grass with a whirlwind, virtual tour of venues, taking over their Instagram accounts for a live set. For further details please see below.
Tall Grass follows and maintains all the promise shown on the band’s debut EP, Even Free Money Doesn’t Get Me Out Of Bed in late 2019. It’s a hushed, slow-burning hymn of contemplation. Controlled and steady, it’s the dictionary definition of a so-called headphones moment, with each instrument revealing itself and growing in stature like the sinewy roots of a tree, with Michael Wagstaff’s vocal the essence that allows the song to grow. It’s a song that stands out in its patience.
Wagstaff explains: “Tall Grass is about looking both out and in. It explains the world I was in when I wrote it. Sitting in a landscape of introvertism, reflection and coming out of myself to be apart of the world, really feeling the anxieties and complexities that come along with it
“I imagined someone I love was there being the horizon for me to focus on while I balanced and tried to explain myself.”
It’s a powerful introduction to another strong collection of songs by Chartreuse, who are quickly becoming a reliable source for these tremulous and measured sounds.
Named after a colour that supposedly cannot be seen when printed (but also a French liqueur discovered by monks some 900 years ago and rogue marketed by its makers as ‘the elixir of long life’), the four multi-instrumentalists that form Chartreuse find inspiration in the assorted works of Hans Zimmer and by long drives out of the city, daydreaming of future lazy studio sessions in the South of France. They all agree on assorted songs and records by Radiohead, Bon Iver, Ben Howard and Sharon Van Etten, and agree to disagree on many others.
Hailing from the Black Country, Chartreuse create richly textured, loose-limbed, soul music. It oozes warmth, intimacy and melancholy. It’s a sound that roughly orbits that languid, we’re-in-no-rush insouciance of a Lambchop, the shivering grandeur of Nick Cave, and occasionally the chest thumping, life-affirming unity of The National. There’s something of the lounge-y, devil-may-care attitude of King Krule here too. In truth, it sounds unlike any of them, an unexpectedly furtive marrying of studious folk, soul, jazz, and RnB in its truest sense by a young band making their deliciously beguiling first steps.
Loosely fronted by the alternate vocals of Michael Wagstaff and Harriet Wilson, these are thoughts, feelings and curiosities initially scrawled out on paper scraps, and songs that act as their writers’ own personal therapy. Conceived and sculpted in their rehearsal cabin, less in homage to Justin Vernon than the only quiet room they could realistically find, it’s offered them a private space to seclude themselves away and pore over every detail of their recorded sound. And you can hear it.
That Chartreuse have taken their time to deliver a follow up should come as no surprise. What’s the rush? Having started and finished their second EP just as the world ground to a halt back in March, Chartreuse spent those solitary weeks away from each other sending track stems back and forth primarily of flourishing instrumental sounds. Building the songs blind, but somehow second guessing each other to within similar ballparks, the band created a mixtape, of sorts, splicing these bits and pieces together to make an interesting whole. A documentation of a band’s creation during lockdown, they uploaded it online and left it to ruminate. Just for fun.
The Keep Checking Up On Me EP is released 9th October 2020 through Communion Records.