Broken Chanter is a vehicle for the solo songwriting of Glasgow-based musician, David MacGregor. David first made his name in the acclaimed Scottish Alt-pop band Kid Canaveral who released three albums in a decade long stretch, that saw the band tour, “a fair chunk of the western world”. After the band decided to call it a day, David found himself sat on a lot of thoughts and a few ideas for songs. After recording demos across the many landscapes Scotland has to offer, those became the self-titled debut album by Broken Chanter, released back in 2019. Two years on, David has recorded a new album, Catastrophe Hits, which he made working alongside Paul Savage at the near-legendary Chem 19 studio. Last week saw Broken Chanter share the first taste of the record in the shape of their snappily named single, Extinction Event Souvenir T-Shirt, the video for which they’re sharing here today.
As you might guess from the title, Extinction Event Souvenir T-Shirt is a meditation on our self-inflicted rush towards the apocalypse. As David puts it, “when the world ends there’ll be someone there trying to sell you merch. I’m not entirely pessimistic about our chances as a species, but the damning evidence continues to mount”. Before you file this under the stereotype of a dour Scotsman though, David’s vision isn’t quite so void of hope as it might first appear. There’s always hope in the collective, as he sings, “the sooner we start, the sooner it ends, organise with your friends, organise with your friends”.
Despite the glimmers of hope, this is not a song that lets the world off lightly, whether it’s the, “billionaire rocket men”, who, “got me rooting for the vacuum of space”, or the, “land of the free”, where you’re “draped in bunting and free to die of a treatable disease”, if you’re not working with the planet, you’re working against it. Contrastingly though, musically Extinction Event Souvenir T-Shirt, is a sprightly beast, verging on uplifting as the initial Kraftwerk-like synth line is punctuated by the steady crash of a snare-drum and the low rumbling menace of the bass. While the return of Broken Chanter might not save us from a looming climate disaster, it will make it sound a lot better, and who knows they might even sell a few t-shirts along the way.