Often music comes across my desk from bands I’ve never heard of before and am unlikely to hear of again, but occasionally, just occasionally, you hear something new that puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step.
That’s exactly what happened with Ode to Scarlet – the second album by West Midlands trio Chord.
Everything about this record reeks of good taste, from the beautifully designed cover art, to the lovingly crafted music within.
Singer/lyricist Anthony La Pusata‘s voice is an instrument in itself, crystal clear and pristine and he receives fine support from Darren Barnard (keyboards/guitar/electronics) and Girish Patel on drums and bass.
Songs such as album opener Yesterday’s Storm, with its thundery effects and clever use of double-tracked vocals, show they know their way around the studio.
But they’re not afraid to let a song breathe as on the immense title track and the piano-led Fight.
They can be shamelessly poppy as on To Have And To Hold and the romantic Ugly Like Knives, but always avoid being bombastic or trite.
There’s a seamless blending of the acoustic and the electronic and even when they come over a bit Gary Numan on Science it sounds authentic.
The epic, sweeping Someone in which La Pusata’s vocals float across a wash of feedback guitar is a highlight along with Life Support Machine, which has echoes of the mighty Kraftwerk in its closing keyboard refrain.
For a relatively new band, Chord sound like they’ve been around forever, with a sound vaguely reminiscent of Mark Hollis’ post-rock pioneers Talk Talk.
Ode to Scarlet is a very well made record deserving of a wider audience. Here’s hoping it gets one.
Find out more about Chord on their official website.