New kids on the block, Scandinavian psych pop trio Chain Wallet have just burst into the psychedelic scene with the release of their eponymously-titled debut album. The entirety of their first album is an extremely promising salute to psychedelic dream pop predecessors like DIIV and The Horrors with consistently strong melodies and synth solos aplenty.
The whole album has an incredible sense of familiarity – but this is far from a criticism. It has the air of a band who love listening to music as much as they love making it, and are entirely absorbed and fascinated by the genre surrounding them. Tracks like ‘Shade’ and ‘Faded Fight’ have a few glimpses of The National with their lingering vocals and chord progressions while the synth in ‘Remnants of a Night’ could easily have been lifted straight from Tame Impala’s latest album – and, similar to ‘Stuck in the Fall’, it features just a few of the wonderfully touching lyrics comprising Chain Wallet such as ‘you don’t know me now, you don’t know me now’ and ‘echoes in my head from time to time.’ The entire aura of the album is a beautiful and haunting reflection on the confusion of growing up, and is bound to be the soundtrack to many a disenchanted youth.
If any single track upgrades Chain Wallet from ‘band you’d be impressed by if you saw them play your local’ to ‘headlining psychedelic festivals one day’, it’s their first single release ‘Faded Fight’. The trio aren’t beating around the bush regarding the album’s message at all, which is evident in their existential musings, particularly in the lines ‘can’t you see, we’re not making any sense at all?’
Chain Wallet serve a real purpose; they speak to a generation of disillusioned music fans out there now and the disenchanted youth to come with the kind of raw honesty that ensured the success of bands like the Smiths many years ago. Kids will always be dreaming, wondering and questioning and will always need bands to do it with and – if they play their cards right from here on out – Chain Wallet may be just the guys for the job.