Champs

Down Like Gold

Image of Champs - Down Like Gold
Record Label
Pias

About this item

Champs are Michael and David Champion, two brothers in their early 20s from the Isle Of Wight who make the most extraordinarily beautiful music. Champs write the sort of songs you’ll want to hold close and songs you’ll want to share, songs that draw on a love of upstanding folk broadsides and bristly alt-rock gems. Above it all, there are these two voices that bruise and blend and soar ever upward, like twists of wood smoke on a sunlit winter afternoon.

‘Down Like Gold’ was recorded at Studio Humbug, an old water tower inside the walls of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s retreat on the north of the island. What Champs came out of the tower with is a collection of songs that shiver and sway, strung out there between the sheer uplifting melancholic bite of ‘Too Bright To Shine’ and the gorgeously melodic twists and turns of ‘My Spirit Is Broken’.

‘Savannah’ isn’t actually about their friend Savannah even though she’s convinced it is, while the Velvets-like ‘Pretty Much’ is a classic break-up song, marking that moment when you see that certain someone again six months down the line and they’re out and looking happy and you’re still a complete, broken-hearted mess. Then there’s ‘Down Like Gold’, a stunningly beautiful, utterly careworn frozen-landscape lament.

Hailing from the tiny village of Niton, just outside Ventnor, Michael and David were originally in different bands but once they began to write together they developed a unique and striking depth to their vocal harmonies. Working with a pair of tape machines, they worked out how to multitrack by listening to Sleepy Jackson, Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire and ‘Revolver’-period Beatles. Other Champs influences include Fleet Foxes and early REM, especially ‘Murmur’.

“Their songs touch on the great moments of The Beach Boys, REM and The Flaming Lips” - Q Magazine (****)

“This dazzling folk-pop crush appears out of nowhere” - Mojo (****)

TRACK LISTING

Too Bright To Shine
Savannah
Pretty Much (Since Last November)
Only A Bullet Knows Where To Run
My Spirit Is Broken
St Peter’s
8MM Desire
Down Like Gold
I C Sky
White Satellite

Back to top