We’re glad to announce that we’re reviewing this time the single, entitled “Gold” released almost a year ago by the New York, United States-based rock band Chapell.
Chapell is led by enigmatic frontman Alan Chapell, whose storytelling drives the band’s songwriting and their captivating live shows. The band recounts real stories throughout a prolific repertoire of music, which draws from an eclectic range of influences such as pop, rock, new wave soul, Americana, and even Latin music. Between rhythms, riffs, beats, and melodies, the stories unfurl—driven by characters immortalized in the lyrics.
Chapell’s music has been streamed over 1.5 million times, and has received acclaim from such media outlets as Huffington Post, Time Out NY, Grateful Web and On Stage Magazine. Chapell have been invited to play with artists such as Gin Blossoms, Everclear, Lisa Loeb, 38 Special, Bighead Todd, Iron Butterfly, Flock of Seagulls and Jackopearce; and Alan Chapell closed out 2021 with a solo performance on Rob Reinhart’s influential radio program, Acoustic Café.
Alan continues to build on a lifetime devoted to music. Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, he was a musical prodigy, playing piano and trumpet before the age of six, and then playing piano recitals at local CT schools by the time he was in elementary school. By high school, Alan had moved away from classical music towards rock and roll, and was writing his own music. When he was only 15, he was recording an EP at Carriage House studios in CT alongside iconic producer Jimmy Ienner, before spending his twenties in Mumbai, India, fronting the immensely popular east-west band Kalki.
2017 saw Alan introduce the world to his band, Chapell, with The Redhead’s Allegations, which was produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame. Chapell’s next albums, Soul Man and Love in the Summer of Trouble, then followed in 2018—and along the way, the group emerged as a live phenomenon.
Chapell then released their Penultimate album in 2019, with the Cinco album following in 2021 and garnering critical acclaim as being widely inspirational, having transcended the new normal of pandemic isolation. Chapell’s sixth studio album, Two Fishes, is a bit more introspective compared to previous Chapell releases, juxtaposing the experience of raising a child in the aftermath of 911 with that of raising a child during today’s pandemic.
Alan currently lives in Sausalito, California, where he had initially traveled to record an album at a private studio once owned by one of the members of the Cars and then bought by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame. Jerry also produced the first Chapell album, and has been a great friend and mentor to Alan over the past few years. Throughout the pandemic, Alan found Sausalito to be a great place to be in terms of musical creativity, writing several different songs to record. However, since his band was in New York City, they collaborated using a program called AudioMovers, which allowed Alan to hear the band record in near-real time—he’d send in his vocal parts in advance, and the band would rehearse in the Brooklyn studio as Alan was sitting in his houseboat in Sausalito.
At the same time, Alan’s solo acoustic show has been gaining momentum as well throughout the pandemic, and he’s played a half dozen dates supporting the Gin Blossoms over the past few months.
For listeners unacquainted with Chapell’s music, “Gold” (released as a single last September) is a great place to start. As Alan describes the song, “This song is sort of a historical fiction. A what if — what if I’d never gotten my shit together and stayed in Stamford CT as a fall down drunk. And I found out about an ex girlfriend who was well off and living in NYC – and I hitched a ride to surprise her. Awkward….”
“Gold” is also accompanied by an excellent music video, which you can watch here:
“Gold” begins with powerful electric guitar-driven melodies underscored by layered percussion rhythms and a rolling bass groove—bringing a nostalgic vibe reminiscent of ‘90s alternative rock, yet also sounding new and original. Alan’s compelling vocal melodies soon join in with evocative lyrics that add nicely to the track’s wistful atmosphere, while accompanied by echoing, staccato electric guitar chords.
The song’s first verse leads perfectly into “Gold”’s memorable chorus, which channels the track’s infectious energy with sustained distorted chords. A couple of rocking guitar solos during the latter half of the song then resolve the slightly melancholic feel of the song’s earlier verses with their bright pyrotechnics, before the song’s wonderfully catchy chorus returns in conclusion.
“Gold” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, highlighting Chapell’s brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of alternative rock.
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