If one were to take a look at “Venus,” the new song by underground Indie Rock Band The Chordaes, from the perspective of an alternative rock fan, they might find it to be abstract and wonderfully original in terms of relating itself to the standard style of the genre. But if we look at it from a more experimental indie angle, it essentially does everything that we expect a band getting in touch with their inner avant-garde to do. The intro to the song is a spine-tingling foray into musical decadence as imagined through the lens of minimalism. Like tiny drops of rain, the notes resonating from the guitar start to accumulate and take on a much greater shape than they would have individually. The drums start to get louder in the mix, as does the bass and keys, and before we know it we’re right in the middle of a torrential downpour that is flooding our ears with velvet soft harmonies. The stomping beat of the track is downplayed against the intimidating size of the string melody being seared into our hearts, but the urgency it implies is impossible for us to avoid acknowledging. The Production by Marc Swersky is really right on the money.
The band swells in volume and intensity throughout “Venus,” rising and receding like the tide on a deserted beach. Singer Leo Sawikin croons of an insatiable loneliness that won’t seem to go away; two hearts have been separated by a force of nature that cannot be thwarted. Like two planets orbiting the same sun, they share the same source of life and love but are incapable of taking action when it comes to joining together. The evocativeness of his words is almost exclusively derived from his sharp prose, which receives an excellent polishing from legendary mixer Mark Needham. There’s a lot of soul in Sawikin’s voice, yet it isn’t restricted by an earthy swing. A kindred chemistry exists between he and guitarist Kevin Foley in this single that is so dominant that there are even a couple of moments where they slightly overshadow the dexterous play of keyboardist Dan Cobert and drummer Ethan Glenn, both of whom deliver the goods with just as much energy as their counterparts do. Nevertheless, I feel like “Venus” was designed to spotlight their shift away from abrasive riffing and towards space rock illustriousness above anything else, and it more than satisfies my desire for stylish grooves as a modern rock fan.
The Chordaes’ new single is relentlessly eccentric, from its lyrics to its incredibly memorable music, and I think that it will likely sit just as well with avant-garde leaning rock fans as it will with the mainstream crowd. When Sawikin howls “Oh, Venus…” in the chorus, there’s a fleeting moment where his voice harmonizes with Cobert’s keys and the two make an organic melody that is just breathtaking and perfectly completes the song. It’s a climax that is repeated twice more, and rather than sounding like a broken record each burst of catharsis feels more stirring than the one that came before it. This is an immaculately produced, thoughtfully composed pop single that represents a stylistic quantum leap for The Chordaes, who pull out all the stops in this track to make it a brightly shining star in their discography.
Photo by Tom Parr
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