CHUCK is an eclectic songwriter originally from Massachusetts but now based out of New York. He has teamed up with Old Money Records, a new imprint of Audio Antihero records, to release My Band Is A Computer, a compilation of the best bits of his prodigious self-released output.
As you’d perhaps expect with compiling the culmination of a number of years work, My Band Is A Computer, is a record that showcases the versatile nature of CHUCK’s output. It takes in maudlin anti-folk, lo-fi bedroom experimentation, and a deft line in glistening indie-pop; but whilst in a lesser songwriters hands that could sound incoherent, CHUCK’s output is all delightfully, well, CHUCK. He’s a songwriter who imprints himself onto his music; whether it’s via his cracked, distinct vocal, honest lyricism, or a seemingly unerring knack for concocting a heartbreaking melody. He is one of life’s great narrators; he invites us to join him in a world of doomed high school romances, ageing friendships and awkward bedroom encounters, he almost seems to exist on the periphery of his own lyrics, but with his quiet dissection of the stories he presents, CHUCK is always the star of his own show.
My Band Is A Computer marks CHUCK out as part of a natural lineage of lo-fi experimenters, you can trace his songwriting through Daniel Johnston, Young Marble Giants, Galaxie 500, even at times Jonathan Richman. However on stand out moments like the stunning casio-disco sway of Joanie or the breezy Flaming Lips like indie-pop of Bushwick Girl; CHUCK has managed to craft something entirely his own.
With the spirit of a fellow virtual crate digger, CHUCK has today been kind enough to share with us the 10 most recent tracks he’s liked on Spotify. With the same refreshing honesty present in his music, discussing the decision CHUCK says, “This may be a lazy set-up, but I think this is a pretty good way to actually share what I’m listening to without me trying to curate a list just to make me look cool or something.”
1. Alex G – Waiting For You
“Alex G is my favorite songwriter / band, so it make sense something from him would fit in here. This was a bonus track off his breakthrough record DSU. Sorta reminds me of the Me You and Everyone We Know soundtrack. I heard Alex for the first time via a Fader article in 2014, and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with his music. My friends all make fun of me because I’ve seen him live 10+ times. He’s younger than me – but we both grew up in Pennsylvania, made a lot of music on GarageBand, went to the same college and I assume grew up listening to the same music. I feel an unspeakable bond with him and his music. If you’ve never heard anything by him, I suggest starting with the song “Sarah” or “Hollow” or “Icehead”. The production is so so cool.”
2. Suicide – Dream Baby Dream
“Alan Vega was in this band Suicide that is very legendary, especially in NYC. I heard of them at some point in High School when I was getting into My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain – but I never really got into Suicide. Then Alan Vega passed away this summer and I read all of this stuff about him and figured I should give his music another chance. I understand its appeal and importance more now. It’s kinda unbelievable that first record came out in 1977. Very ahead of his time. Someone on Facebook posted a video of Bruce Springsteen doing a live version of “Dream Baby Dream” (it is stunning) that brought me to this song from their second record. It sounds like a Magnetic Fields track or something, and it’s very tight.”
3. Andrew Jackson Jihad – Goodbye Oh Goodbye
“I think Andrew Jackson Jihad is becoming one of my favorite bands. I love their style and the lyrics are some of the best in the game. Really brings me back to being a teenager in the suburbs. This is a new song by them that has an amazing video that was coincidentally made by an old college chum of mine. The video is super funny and creative and holds your attention in a way that many videos can’t anymore. The song is reminiscent of early Arcade Fire, before all the wigs and eye make up. I’ve been meaning to dive into their full catalogue, I should do that this fall.”
4. Shelf-Life – Avril
“The guy in this band is the drummer for Alex G. I heard his music through Alex G’s Facebook page. It’s got a similar vibe with the strumming style, drop-D tuning (I think) and production on this track. Heard this on a train ride to upstate New York along the Hudson River. EPIC.”
5. Beverly – Crooked Cop
“A little Beverly never hurt anyone. This band has found their sound, and mastered it. I’ve seen them live a few times. Very hardworking group that you should check out. Throw it on at a party or in a convertible and people will think you are chill.”
6. NV – Kata
“I think this came from a Discover Weekly playlist. I really like that feature on Spotify, although it’s turning me off from listening to full albums which might be bad. Now I’m more a playlist person, as I’m sure everyone is. This song makes me feel like I’m in Japan or in a Bret Easton Ellis book in the 80’s.”
7. Ovlov – Where’s My Dini?
“Another Discovery Weekly hit. I don’t know anything about this band, but it wouldn’t shock anyone to hear that I like this track. Sounds like most of the bands I’m into. Just googled them, they are from Connecticut. East coast stand up.”
8. Dumbo Gets Mad – Thank You Neil
“This is some funky ass stuff here. This was from the same Discover Weekly playlist as the last two. I think I had been listening to a lot of TOPS in the weeks before, so Spotify must have used their algorithm to find me more 70’s esque sexy time music. I like this song, but I don’t love it. Maybe I should un-favorite it. OMG.”
9. Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me
“Look up the video for this song immediately. It’s so awesome. She’s got real charisma. I like how her vocals are really hot in the mix. The bridge is the part that really sold me. The backing vocals are very cool. It almost has a science fiction vibe or something if that makes any sense. I don’t know that much about Angel, but she obviously rules.”
10. Mitski – Once More To See You
“I’ve felt very conflicted about Mitski. I didn’t really care for the Bury Me at Makeout Creek record. And it seemed like people worshiped it, and that made me even more turned off. I think I was just being a hater cause she’s very talented and successful and I’m very doubtful of my own musical talents. Her new album has been revered by everyone on the planet. I queued it up recently, and I was very ready to dislike it. But, of course, it’s pretty great. I really like the sound she got on Puberty 2. Seems like a really analog production. “Once More to See You” in particular really blew me away. I think her vocal performance on this song is subtle and incredible. It’s just dripping with feeling and emotion. Also, for some reason, it reminds me of Twin Peaks.”
My Band Is A Computer is out September 9th via Audio Antihero/Old Money Records. Click HERE for more information and to pre-order.