There’s no easy way to describe the glorious ride that is Chain Wallet’s debut. Where I lack in words, I always like to believe that I made up for it with my (excessive) appreciation for the scope of throwback genres over yonder; specifically, post-punk and New Wave. Thus, let us go for a shimmering, unforgettable, and intimate drive through ‘Chain Wallet’.
Perhaps it’s not a surprise that a majority of my music is reminiscent of previous bands, older musicians- because Chain Wallet is surely a love letter to post-punk and New Wave, laced with wishes and lyrics of dreams and color. “I’ve lost my focus now,” does Stian Iversen sing over soaring guitars in Running In Dreams; for a moment, I recalled The Chameleons’ Less Than Human and the similar fleeting, scintillation of guitar chords while Mark Burgess took over- if he was less angsty. What separated Chain Wallet from other acts stems from this atmosphere; less melancholic and more brilliant, and a uniquely dynamic energy throughout each song.
Synth and guitar meet in Pale Memories as Iversen’s vocals echo within the chorus, transitioning into Shade’s soulful harmony between synth and voice that reverberates an intimacy not easily found in music. Finally, one cannot forget Driving- my personal favorite, as well as a true example of driving music: every time I give it a listen, it’s like being swept into a dream of (quite literally) driving through roads at night, at sunset- “moments rejected by now/take me to another road/somewhere divine” is perhaps one of my favorite lyrics within this entire album (at least, from what I could discern).
And, as always, I still stand by the aesthetic this song brings to mind: sitting on the balcony of a home along the coast of Santorini, sipping strawberry-lime water or three flutes of Aviation with a sunhat and reading Audre Lorde nude.
Verdict: All I truly have are three words- I love it. An imperfectly perfect debut, filled with equal parts emotion and effervescence.
Favorite tunes: Driving // Muted Colours// Stuck in the Fall // Shade // Pale Memories