Hopefully, you are wide “Awake” for some more music from Santa Cruz, California-based band Henry Chadwick. We previously introduced you to the group with the premiere of their Marlin Fisher album, as well as a free song download of the song “Wrong Way.”
Although they have continued to be active through 2018 and into this year, Henry Chadwick (also the name of the band’s lead singer) is back with brand new music in the form of the five-song EP, The President of Make Believe, due for a September 20th release through Brooklyn indie label, Swoon City Music. Recorded partially in the group’s hometown, the EP serves as a worthy follow-up to the momentum they started with Marlin Fisher’s release last year. For a taste of what you can hear on The President of Make Believe, check out the brand new track “Awake” below.
With this new EP, Henry Chadwick brings you more of the eclectic sounds, taken from their many influences, both past and present. With such a diversity of musical inspirations we thought, who better to do a Stereo Six with us? For our latest instalment in the series, Henry Chadwick details six records that helped shape the band’s songwriting, writing and recording of their new EP, The President of Make Believe.
First, listen to Henry’s new rocker, “Awake.”
01. Harry Nilsson – Son of Schmilsson (1972, RCA)
– I went between this one and Nilsson Schmilsson since the piano on one of my songs, “Never Say No” is a definite nod to “Gotta Get Up,” but the truth of the matter is, Son of Schmilsson was the album of choice at the time of the EP creation. I bought it on vinyl and had it on repeat for a good chunk of time. “Lottery Song” in particular was a big one for me especially thinking about production and feel on the last song on my EP, “Feel Better.” Nilsson had an incredible voice and danced between sincerity and off-the-cuff strangeness and nonchalantness better than most.
02. David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971, RCA)
– This album is an all-timer. The songwriting and production on it is just so good. I remember pulling up “Oh You Pretty Thing” in the studio, mostly just to listen to for fun, but also the production in the chorus is just perfect. The understated claps along with the snare make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
03. Cage The Elephant – Melophobia (2003, RCA)
– This is a great album. I love that it feels natural and nostalgic, while also futuristic and unique all at the same time. Really interesting stuff going on with the glitched-out, messy psychedelic instrumentation and production. “Spiderhead,” “Halo” and “Hypocrite” are all standouts for me.
Have a gander at the slick cover artwork for the six albums Henry Chadwick outlined:
04. The Beach Boys – Smiley Smile (1967, Capital Records)
– I was torn between this and Pet Sounds, but I picked Smiley Smile because I hadn’t listened to much of it until a few years ago and I got pretty obsessed with it. It’s a strange album that they recorded at Brian Wilson’s house after shelving the studio album, Smile, which included versions of a lot of the same songs. It sounds unhinged and slightly insane at times, but the brilliance and mastery of melody, harmony, and arrangement are ever-present.
There is something really unique about the sound of it, maybe since it was recorded at a home studio, unlike a lot of the big studio recordings of the time. Reading about the unconventional recording techniques they used, like lying down in his empty swimming pool to capture a unique reverb were really inspiring. Aside from the unbelievably great “Good Vibrations,” “Gettin’ Hungry,” “Wonderful” and “Heroes and Villains” are all great tracks, as well as the strange and awesome “She’s Goin’ Bald” and “Vegetables.”
05. The Kinks – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (Bonus Edition) (1968, Pye, Reprise Records)
– This album is one of my favorite Kinks albums. They really started to have fun and their evolving sound hit a sweet spot here. There’s a playfulness to the album, while at the same time a feeling of melancholy and longing for simplicity. Those themes definitely resonated with where I was at while writing my new EP. The music on the album sounds happy and almost circus-like at times, but underneath there sounds to me, to be a sadness. “Do You Remember Walter” is such an A+ song. I picked the bonus edition because some of the bonus songs are as good as any song on the actual album.
“Change” that damn television station and check out this music video instead!
06. [Curveball Answer] Phantom Planet – Raise The Dead (2008, Fueled By Ramen)
– I picked this as a curveball because it may have flown under the radar for a lot of people which I believe is a crime. I got this album when it came out in 2008, and I still think that it is one of the most underrated albums of that time period. The songwriting and production are stellar and the wide infusion of influences and styles puts it in its own zone. The album goes to a lot of creative and adventurous places. There are three different octaves layering the vocals in the verses on “Dropped” which sounds awesome and blew my mind when I first heard it. The album closer, “I Don’t Mind” is a masterpiece. Check it out, if you haven’t and check it out again if you already have!
Upcoming Show Dates:
08/08 – Conor Byrne – Seattle, WA
08/09 – Strum – Portland, OR
08/10 – Sam Bond’s Garage – Eugene, OR
Have a look at the artwork for the new single “Awake.”