Chay Snowdon is a guy (the one who sings) and band of four from Plymouth & Bristol. They have the fairly unique USP of making bottom-heavy pub rock with a singer who sounds, for all the world, like Paul Janeway of St. Paul & The Broken Bones fame. Think Bill Withers fronts the The Cribs and you’re there.
Their latest is a double-header – two very different singles that show their breadth. ‘Mon Cheri’ is something of a straightforward, four-on-the-floor rocker. Just that in this case it hits harder, and swings faster, and each couplet pops like a perfect soundbite.
It’s about that friend who hits the runway and flies off to find themselves, spending the next three years in harem pants and Instagraming everything in sight with a growing paragraph of related hash-tags. And you kind of wish you were there. And you’re happy for them. And a bit annoyed.
Better yet is ‘Sha La La’, which soundtracks the worst date in history. Or is it the best date in history? The lyrics swing for the latter – “I’m impressed by everything that you do.” Yet the dragging beat and weary guitars vividly sketch the crammed bar, the overpriced drinks, and the girl getting white-girl wasted in states of déshabillé.
Usually this is the subject of raunchy honky-tonk but ‘Sha La La’ lights it up like a spotlight illuminating a slab in the morgue. It’s like the hangover the morning after, where all you’re left with is bad breath and stale cologne. It’s the most interesting song this band have written – precisely because of this duality in sound.
Chay Snowdon are an indie rock band at heart (and a damn good one) but through the voice of Chay, which clearly takes influences from classic rock & roll and R&B, they have serious crossover appeal. ‘Mon Cheri’ & ‘Sha La La’ show range, style, energy and class.
Keep it coming.
Follow Chay Snowdon here.