You cant deny that there is something sorrowful behind the lo-fi dream/psych pop trio Chain Wallet, and you cant hide that their music suits the environment wherein it was created. It may be a clich that it always rains in the bands hometown, but when you play Chain Wallets self-titled debut album, its not too difficult to imagine the mist hanging heavily over their indie dystopian vision of Bergen, Norway.
Even though feelings of nostalgia and melancholy lurk in the Scandinavian shadows, its not difficult to find indie-pop gold in its purest form, glittering below the heavy layers of synth and reverb. Tracks like 'Shade and 'Abroad have an up-tempo urgency to them which calls to mind bands like Motorama, whereas other dreamy psych ballads like 'Muted Colours and 'Stuck In The Fall occupy a rich and hazy middle ground between DIIV and Wild Nothing.
Frode Boris from the band explains the bands ethos and sound: We want to capture the acute distress of an afflicted character; his self-indulgent pity, gradual loss of touch with reality and his forlorn attempts on returning to normal life. The abrupt disintegration unveils interesting tensions between urgency and inertia. The album is about fragmented memories, unfulfilled ambitions and the quiet whisper of a stranger.
Here, the band show their absolute strength, which isnt just writing songs that unavoidably stick in your mind but also erase the divide between sorrow and happiness. You will be left with a feeling of both reflection and pensiveness, while at the same time being quietly elated. Thats the impact good music should have.