The NYC duo Chappo received some recognition last year with “Come Home”, a summertime psych-rock jam with a shimmering quality reminiscent of alt-rock groups like Teenage Fanclub and The New Radicals. The track was an excellent expansion of several genres; jangly guitars provide the power-pop background, while hints of Neil Young-inspired southern-rock lead just prior to the two-minute mark, eventually serving as a bridge to an effervescent burst of psych-rock magic. The last thirty seconds are a jam-packed recollection of the song’s stylistic twists, reminding the listener just how adventurous yet consistently infectious “Come Home” is.

Chappo plan to release their new EP, Plastique Universe II: Pisces Princess, for free on August 15th. Much like how “Come Home” was written about “a pair of bandits who figure out how to shift into a parallel universe and decide to wreak havoc on their doppelgangers”, the new EP has a concept as well. This time, it tells “the story of a far-away ocean love affair between a caped shape shifter and an underwater siren.” Chappo recorded it at their home studio in Brooklyn over a four-day musical frenzy. Keep in mind, this EP is completely separate from their debut full-length, which is finished and will be released later this year. In the meantime, check out the newest from Plastique, the prickly “Bodies Coasting”.

“Bodies coasting, all these baby fish are floating by, the ocean’s glowing,” is how Chappo opens up the track, each successive verse providing a new accompaniment to the surf-rock inspired guitar movements; they tout a glistening eminence akin to groups like The Morning Benders and Surfer Blood, though Chappo’s song structures are more ambitious in their stylistic approach – as evidenced last year with “Come Home”. The second half of “Bodies Coasting” shows this well; the bass line comes out from semi-dormancy to the front of the mix, paving the way for the gorgeous backing vocal harmonies and brilliant trickling guitar work which enhances the track’s depth while maintaining its infectiousness. A hazy synth pad floats the track to its end, closing with an abrupt blur though its memory remains strong with any listener. If this effort is any indication, Chappo’s upcoming full-length will escalate their popularity to extreme levels – even if the inclusion of “Come Home” in a new iPhone 4G commercial was the first precursor to that. Plastique is a more definitive one.

RIYL: Teenage Fanclub, The New Radicals, The Morning Benders, Surfer Blood, Neil Young, Smith Westerns, Local Natives, Real Estate, Wild Nothing, Girls, Fang Island, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Tokyo Police Club, Fleet Foxes, The Dodos

Chappo – Bodies Coasting

Chappo – Come Home

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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  1. This is a great article, although Chappo is a 4-piece band, not a duo, as the picture and third word in the article would suggest.

  2. this band is definitely on the rising. a couple of my friends were talking about them the other day and i was told if i like black keys that i would love this band… and I do! Can’t wait for their new album in two weeks… AHHHH the suspense is killing me

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