Alex Chilltown is the South London based musical project, led by Josh Esaw, who we had the pleasure of putting on at The Victoria earlier this year. Sharing music with the world since back in 2014, Alex Chilltown have slowly been creeping into the conscious of the DIY-scene with a series of releases on bedroom labels and well received live shows. Those creative endeavours have led to today’s announcement of their debut album, Eulogies, out in January, as well as the release of new single, Drown, which we’re premiering here today.
Featuring guest vocals from Poppy Waring, from the wonderful flirting, Drown is a lush and ambitious musical statement, which Josh has described as, “a conscious shift in focus”. The track possesses an urgency that belies its lyrical exploration of anxiety and indecision, as Josh explains, “it has that kind of tightness to it like when your brain is stuck in an anxious thought pattern and you’re crippled with indecision but also can’t stop ruminating on that”. The behind the track was not influenced just by personal experience, but also by more studious inspirations, Josh citing the work of cultural theorist Mark Fisher and Franco Berardi, a Marxist academic, who in Josh’s words, “had lost hope for the future”.
The feelings losing control is apparent throughout Drown, a track that finds its protagonists lost in the prisons of their own minds, and equally dragged down by the world around them. Musically this manifests through the jagged drum beats and claustrophobic bassy pulse, as the propulsive guitar lines and explosions of synth add a rapid intensity. The star of the show is the contrasting vocal lines, Josh’s lower, more distorted lead lines, playing off beautifully with Poppy’s chiming backing.
Eulogies is the culmination of a long gestation, of an artist honing their craft and not rushing to meet anyone else’s timeline. On the evidence of Drown this is time well spent, sounding intriguing, challenging and hugely exciting: Alex Chilltown has truly arrived.
Eulogies is out January 24th via Fear Of Missing Out. Click HERE for more information on Alex Chilltown.