Fontaines D.C. frontman Grian Chatten releases debut album 'Chaos For The Fly'!
It’s safe to say that when Grain Chatten first announced he would be embarking on a solo venture, every Fontaines D.C. fan and BBC 6 Music enthusiast had their eyes widened with excitement and expected nothing less than brilliance from the Dublin frontman. Well, his 9-track debut album ‘Chaos For The Fly' has certainly delivered, yet perhaps in different ways than anticipated.
Photo Credit: Eimear Lynch
The first single and opening track of the album 'The Score' has a more intimate feel than a lot of Grian’s Fontaines D.C. output which is to be expected from any Rock songwriter who is turning to a solo project. It also dabbles with more electronic production than we’ve seen Grian work with in the past and this popping electronic percussion, combined with his smooth, deep vocal style creates an eerie opening for the record. Yet, it centers focus on his rich acoustics, lyrical notions and songwriting that consistently hints at its Irish Folk origins, declaring that this album will be a true representation of Grian’s personal and creative identity as well as his love for exploring Irish heritage in his music with tracks like ‘Salt Throwers off a Truck’ following in the same vain.
Out of every track on the album ‘Last Time Every Time Forever’ would feel the most at home on a Fontaines D.C. record, especially vocally. However, even this track contains elements that are part of Grian’s newfound sonic exploration. The strings add a beautiful, cinematic quality to the sound while the abstract electronic notes, that are reminiscent of those on Blossoms’ first album, add a spaced out atmosphere. The melody on this track has a jaunting feel-good vibe to it that contrasts beautifully with the off-kilter rhythm and more melancholic riff. Similarly, the female vocal hook that feels straight out of a Baxter Dury album, provides a lovely brightness and balance to Grian’s deeper tones.
The album’s standout moment has to be the single ‘Fairlies’ which offers the record's most memorable chorus as well as Grian’s most impressive lyrical expressions. The track uses a more acoustic band sound, combining eclectic instrumental elements that build an energetic Folk swing and radiate hints of traditional Irish sounds with the violins sharp atmospherics. A fantastic acoustic singalong with a deep and poignant sentiment that unfolds with every line. This song is a fantastic testament to Grian songwriting abilities and musical arrangement and its big finale will surely go down a treat in a live setting.
The standout of the five previously unreleased tracks is ‘East Coast Bed’ which develops a hypnotic, velvety sonic texture that is immersive and truly engrossing with Grian’s haunting vocals leading you into a dream-state before the funky drum rhythm and brass patterns drag you back out.
However, the track that really highlights Grian’s talent is ‘All Of The People’, a gut-wrenching piano ballad about the intricacies of human connection. Grian’s vocals are majestic, his lyrics filled with a true storytelling poignancy. The piano line is warm and enriching while the string section is both romantic and melancholic, evoking such deep emotions in such a short time.
A brilliant debut that cements Grian Chatten as one of Europe’s most talented new songwriters.