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Chris Chitsey Releases “Last Time I Saw You”

Chris Chitsey has a lot to get off of his chest from one verse to the next in the new single “Last Time I Saw You.” Driven by a lush harmony between Chitsey’s vocals and the gust of guitar strings that sits in his shadow, “Last Time I Saw You” is a track that doesn’t ask much of its audience in exchange for a sonic treat as pleasurable to hardcore country fans as it is the casual consumer. While not the only indie release you should be listening to right now, this single is definitely among the best bucolic pieces I’ve listened to recently.  

Chris Chitsey’s execution is half the reason why “Last Time I Saw You” feels as relaxed yet firm as it does. The other half comes from the foundation of the melodies, which lend quite a bit of moxie to the big picture in this performance. Their combination creates quite a few chills between the start and finish of this song, and my gut tells me that it’s what gives the music the mature feel it’s sporting. When the right elements work together, you get double the thrills inside of a single composition, and that isn’t something most fans would turn down.   The bassline creates a tuneful buffer between the vocals and the guitar that I think was necessary to prevent muddiness in the master mix, but it’s never so pronounced in the mix as to become audible at lower volumes. That sort of pseudo-surrealism has been quite popular among rock and hip-hop artists lately, but it’s nice to see that it isn’t spilling over into the country crowd yet. Chitsey is doing fine with this blueprint – if I were him, I wouldn’t alter a thing about the way he’s currently making music.

It would be cool to witness the audience’s response to “Last Time I Saw You” sometime, mostly because I think it has the potential to become one of Chitsey’s stage favorites. This track has all the right bones to be a live staple, and depending on the material that it’s matched up with in any given setlist, I can picture it leading the audience into the start of a performance just as easily as it could conclude a long night of jamming. Flexibility isn’t easy to come by nowadays, but this is one artist dishing it out like popcorn at the movies.  

Those who live for premium songcraft of the Americana variety really can’t go wrong with what Chris Chitsey has created for the world at large in “Last Time I Saw You” right now. Though some artists are more than content to practice the same techniques their contemporaries would just as soon build careers around, Chris Chitsey isn’t taking as easy a route to stardom with his career. He’s spent plenty of time in the background in his career to date, and in 2023, he’s making a case for why he should be recognized for his solo talents above all else. As for me, he’s got my support.  

Mindy McCall      



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