Grian Chatten, vocalist with Irish post punk purveyors Fontaines D.C. has just released his debut solo album ‘Chaos For The Fly` which was informed by time spent at a coastal town north of Dublin.
The album opens with `The Score` which the singer has said is a heavyweight bated breath of lust. The song was written in Madrid and was inspired by sugar and sunset. It has an intricately picked acoustic guitar and gently shared vocals with harmonies joining at the chorus and what sounds like a string arrangement in the background. A drum machine beat added towards the latter half adds a further depth. I thought `Last Time Every Time Forever` which was delivered with the singer`s usual part spoken part sung oration was a slight nod to his full-time band initially. It veers off with the singer`s fiancée Georgie Jesson adding some complementing harmonies on route although this track retained a fairly edgy feel throughout with the underlying texture of a slowish waltz. I read that the singer shared that it is a “weak knee’d 99th lap around a hellscape town of your own making. It’s haunted by seagulls and hoarse-throated slot machines from the 1980s and it breaks its own promise on every listen.”
`Fairlies` is a melodic earworm of a track that moves along with a strummed guitar and piano keys, clapping and a shook tambourine as it evolves. Georgie Jesson again adds some brief harmonies to this deeply reflective musing. We have in `Bob’s Casino` a number that opens with a drum machine beat and brass before the singer shares vocals with Georgie on this light summery composition. The shared vocal styles really complemented each other I thought on this dreamy mesmeric offering.
Grian explains that `All Of The People` is the stiff collar tight-fisted hand to the grindstone written where all is blue and everyone is a liar. It is a line of chalk scratched around the world.” It`s a stripped back number with piano and vocals and is pretty intense with lyrics that are fairly visceral at times. A string arrangement adds a further sense of poignancy towards the end of this powerfully emotive submission. There was a rolling trippy ambience to `East Coast Bed` which appears to be an introspective meditation on somebody who influenced the narrator in difficult formative adolescent years.
`Salt Throwers Off A Truck` has a real folk like sense about it and eludes an almost lust for life shared in a delightfully pictorial narrative style. There was a more reflective texture to `I Am So Far` a rolling slow burn with shared vocals that had a brooding, mournful ambience.
`Season For Pain` sees us out and it`s a further deeply introspective musing on life and love. It begins slowly with vocals and an understated backing before closing out with an odd trippy soundscape.
‘Chaos For The Fly’ is an interesting listen and although there are shades of the singer`s full time band within, this is very much a solo outing or project. We all deal with life`s difficulties in our own way and Grian`s approach appears to lay in his creativity, which seems to be cathartic, healing, liberating and possibly therapeutic.
A really stimulating and thought-provoking listen.
Rating 8.5 /10