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CHROMATICS

Portland's masters of cinematic synth, the inimitable Chromatics are back with their fifth studio LP, "Closer To Grey". The band's first album since 2012, "Closer To Grey" continues the outfit's exploration of neon lit diners, freezing city streets and 80s noir, kicking off with a stripped back and atmospheric interpretation of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence". The tempo rises for "You're No Good", "Closer To Grey" and twist the knife, which alternate between vintage Italians Do It Better disco and propulsive new wave, before "Light As A Feather" pairs Chromatics' trademark sound with the fresh addition of a breakbeat. The first disc ends on a note of romance with the prom-friendly "Move A Mountain", a reminder that vocalist Ruth Radelet can kill with a whisper. As we head to the C-side "Touch Red" leads us through a little lounge-styled melancholy while "Whispers In The Hall" finds the middle ground between trap-bass tones and Carpenter's Halloween soundtrack. A synth and scuzz cover of Jesus And Mary Chain's "On The Wall" reminds us of the group's DIY origins, a wonderful contrast to the luxurious textures of "Love Theme..." and dreamy closer "Wishing Well". 

And just like that, Chromatics pull off that most difficult of tasks, creating something which is the same, but different. All the emotion, feeling and mood remain, but bolstered with a few new musical flavours which compliment rather than detract. 

TRACK LISTING

1. The Sound Of Silence
2. You’re No Good
3. Closer To Grey
4. Twist The Knife
5. Light As A Feather
6. Move A Mountain
7. Touch Red
8. Through The Looking Glass
9. Whispers In The Hall
10. On The Wall
11. Love Theme From Closer To Grey
12. Wishing Well

When songwriter and producer Sam Genders last donned his Diagrams hat, captive listeners found themselves truly stunned by the Streatham Hill artist’s imaginative and inventive arrangements that made up 2012's debut album Black Light. Having now upped sticks from his London lodgings and settled in Sheffield with a new lease of life and wife, fresh pastures and friendships are what form the heart of Diagrams’ brand new album Chromatics.

“Relationships are a constant thread. In all their frustrating, exciting, mundane, beautiful, wonderful, sexy, scary glory,” reveals Genders of the album’s themes." Whilst Black Light fizzed with electronic effects, synth-bass, programmed beats and low-key funk grooves that brought about comparisons to the leftfield pop of Arthur Russell, Metronomy, Steve Mason and Hot Chip, it’s without doubt that Genders’ next offering falls closer to home comforts and marks the next step in Genders’ renaissance. Take lead track ‘Phantom Power’; it’s the track which truly sums up what it’s like to find yourself forever reassessing. “It's about feeling like you're losing a grip on your sanity at one moment, then feeling inspired and up for anything the next. Or frustration with yourself yet believing that it's possible to sort yourself out,” explains Genders.

TRACK LISTING

Vinyl / CD Disc 1 
1: Phantom Power
2: Gentle Morning Song
3: Desolation
4: Chromatics
5: You Can Talk To Me
6: Shapes
7: Dirty Broken Bliss
8: Serpent
9: The Light And The Noise
10: Brain
11: Just A Hair's Breadth

Disc 2 (CD Only)
1: Phantom Power (Instrumental)
2: Gentle Morning Song (Instrumental)
3: Desolation (Instrumental)
4: Chromatics (Instrumental)
5: You Can Talk To Me (Instrumental)
6: Shapes (Instrumental)
7: Dirty Broken Bliss (Instrumental)
8: Serpent (Instrumental)
9: The Light And The Noise (Instrumental)
10: Brain (Instrumental)
11: Just A Hair's Breadth (Instrumental)


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