While My Band is a Computer, the previous album from Brooklyn-based CHUCK (AKA Charles Griffin Gibson), might have been an acquired taste, there was certainly no doubting its ability to capture a side of New York that doesn’t show up in the more romantic portrayals of the city. In our review we described it as “playing like a collaboration between Owen Ashworth and Bret Easton Ellis,” and “observant and at times cringe-inducingly honest indie pop,” which seems to hold up as an apt description.
The good news is that Gibson is back with a new CHUCK record, Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store, which appears to continue this trend. The bad news is that it looks all but certain to be his last. “I’ve been making DIY music since I was in High School,” he says. “If you haven’t done it, I can’t explain how fun it is to build songs by yourself. It’s a magical thing.” However, true to the CHUCK aesthetic, such magic is not enough to fully trump the banalities of making music in the twenty-first century. “I know my path is leading elsewhere, and I’m not made for the music biz. I’m 30. I’m married. I have a full-time job. I just don’t have it in me anymore. So without further adieu, please enjoy the final CHUCK record. It’s got songs about diet, exercise, work, love, T.V. and animals.”
Free singles ‘New Yorker‘ and ‘Cherry Tree‘ suggest that the record promises to offer everything that Gibson does so well, embodying the lovable yet slightly disturbing thing that is living in a big city. So how better to celebrate ‘Life’ getting in the way of an artistic dream than fifteen songs concerning the occupational hamster wheel and surprisingly persistent post-college blues, all drowned out by the veritable cacophony of NYC?We’re delighted to share ‘Hudson’, an instrumental track that comes roughly halfway through the record and offers something of a variation on the style and themes of its neighbouring songs. As Gibson explains: “This song makes me think of the Fourth of July or something. It feels very American. I would like to a shotgun a beer on a deck to this song. I would like to drive by a farm to this song. I would like to dance in a Honky Tonk to this song. Unlike a lot of my other tracks, this is not a city song. It’s a breath of fresh air from somewhere far away where you have a second to enjoy yourself outsides the social pressures of NYC.”
Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store is to be released on the 18th August on Audio Antihero and can be pre-ordered from Bandcamp (along with the two free singles and B-sides). And while on a CHUCK kick, why not have a listen to the Mini Mystery Mix that Gibson made for us back in September?