Brighton’s Chappaqua Wrestling share new single 'The Rift'.
For Brighton’s Chappaqua Wrestling, the arrival of recent single "Football" signaled a sea change in how the band were approaching their song writing - one that saw them embracing change, and leaning into the fact that they were likely to be holed-up in studios for the foreseeable future. It was supported at BBC Radio 1 by Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders, played across Radio X, featured on the A-List at Amazing Radio, and heralded as a joyous leap from their comfort zones, a gleeful side-step away from some of the nostalgic sounds of their acclaimed earlier work.
Their new single “The Rift” sees the band further explore this path of world-weary anthemia, casting them into bruising, instantly-thrilling new territory.
Where "Football" studied themes of social displacement, "The Rift" squares off against disputes and disaffection. Jack Saunders' featured in his "Midnight Drop" slot on BBC Radio 1 saying:
"It's heavy, it's grungy and it's a big step forward for this band."
Vocalist and guitarist Charlie Woods explains further:
"The Rift’ is a track about conflict, acknowledging the increasing divisions within society, and calling out those that turn the blind eye.
Events from the last year have got to a global boiling point and creatively this has taken us to the same
It’s the most powerful track we’ve released so far, and
it amplifies our perception on how the last year or so has felt.
Lyrically it’s influence comes from the poem written shortly after the Peterloo massacre in Manchester;
‘The Masque of Anarchy’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
It’s an old talisman for suppressed voices in this country, and some of its verses still clearly
For the band’s principal songwriters Charlie Woods and Jake Mac, a way of life in which they are pushed and pulled in all directions has generally suited them. Having chased the footsteps of their musical heroes through South London to the North West of England, and now happily finding their feet in Brighton, their somewhat nomadic existence has meant they’ve never long found time to settle, both geographically and musically. Perhaps their willingness to explore where their sound can go is down to their upbringing – they were born into families of opera singers and jazz musicians – or the fact they’ve never chased acceptance into a scene, or that they firmly attest that “no one listens to one style of music.”
There have always been multiple sides to the band, so whatever the origins of their keenness not to be pigeonholed, it is fair to say that if Chappaqua Wrestling operate on a coin-toss, then "Plant Trees" and "Early" represented heads, and latest singles "Football" and “The Rift” land squarely on a more weighty, sprawling tails.
Adopting a show-don’t-tell approach to songwriting gleaned from their love of literature and painting – abstract short stories by Peter Wild and the likes of Kandinsky and Mattisse are cited as influences – Chappaqua Wrestling are also very much students of fine art and photography, which brings with it a real appreciation and awareness of how best to use space within their music. Brought up on the sounds of Creation Records and The Beach Boys, all of this combines to conjure an era-spanning sound that erupts into blissfully distorted euphoria.