Chartreuse are pleased to share a new track, Enemy’s Belly, from their upcoming EP Keep Checking Up On Me, due for release on 9th October through Communion Records.
Enemy’s Belly launches today on streaming services, alongside a stunning video shot on the Long Mynd in Shropshire by director Joe Connor (Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Georgia), who was also at the helm for the visuals of recent single Tall Grass.
Watch Enemy’s Belly below.
Co-vocalist Michael Wagstaff had to say on the track –
“Enemy’s Belly was written a few years ago and originally started with the bass parts. We had never started an idea like that before so it took a bit of trial and error. We ended up recording it all into the computer and cutting and sticking and arranging it like that which was a new process for us. We then learnt how to play it together but were struggling to finish it off with lyrics and nothing was really sticking, so Mike had a deep search into old lyric books and found a poem he had written about things unsaid and the feeling of cowardice because you haven’t spoken your mind, which fitted perfectly for the song. It was produced by Luke Smith at his studio in Tottenham and is one of our favourite tracks to play live.”
Following their recent run of virtual shows, which saw the band performing via four venue Instagram accounts through the UK for a live set, Chartreuse are excited to announce a run of actual live shows for December. The tour kicks off in 8th December in Brighton, followed by a show at The Lexington on 9th December and finishing up on 10th December in Birmingham. Tickets will be on sale tomorrow (21st August).
8th December: Hope and Ruin, Brighton – tickets
9th December : The Lexington, London – tickets
10th December : Hare and Hounds, Birmingham – tickets
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 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.
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.
As the guidelines on lockdown slowly began to lift, and a cautious, collective rubbing of eyes ensued, the second Chartreuse EP is readied. It’s called Keep Checking Up On Me and it’s a fascinating, assured next step. The opening moments of Tall Grass, that fronts the new recordings, are hushed and tempered. Shut up and listen. Don’t forget to breathe. It steadies itself in the same gear throughout, Michael’s vocal almost spoken-word in self-reflection. There’s something of the Chemikal Underground about it; intimate snapshots given space to breathe and room to manoeuvre.
The EP was produced partly by Michael himself (Tall Grass and Hope That You’re Not Holy) and partly with Luke Smith at his studio in Tottenham. These five new songs feel immediately at ease with each other and their shared sense of out-of-stepness. A subtle grandiosity with character, that speaks of introspection and self-preservation. Considered music from the soul, heading straight to your heart.
The Keep Checking Up On Me EP is released 9th October 2020 through Communion Records.