It’s been ten years since Olympia, Washington-based band Chelan recorded their first album, with one microphone, in a basement. On May 11th the trio will release their 6th album, Dear Miracle, which finds them returning to that raw organic aesthetic while still maintaining the big wall of sound production they’ve been steadily developing over the years. Chelan consists of Jennifer Grady (vocals) and Justin Hosford (guitars, synth, bells) along with Chad Austinson on drums.
Dear Miracle tells an abstract story of a mother with a newborn child in a not-too-far-off dystopian future. The album is at times hopeful, but stays rooted in a stark, realistic examination of the uncertain state of the world that this new life has been brought into. It’s a promise of love and protection through a bleak, desolate outlook of modern society. Chelan set out to make the album sound like a beautiful, unsettling dream, composed of swirling synths, washed out guitars, pianos, cello, mbira, recordings of rain, birds, distant dance clubs and thick drums all tightly wrapped around the warm, haunting vocals of Jennifer Grady.
Today Glide is excited to premiere one of the album’s standout tunes, “Dear Miracle”. Atmospheric and swelling, the title track soars with the powerful, angelic vocals of Jennifer Grady, accompanying her with little more than a piano and synth before blossoming into a heavy groove. The dark pop tune perfectly captures the band’s ability to craft a sense of dramatic emotion in their music, with deep sonic textures that bring to mind diverse artists ranging from Kate Bush to Sigur Ros. What is especially interesting about this song is the way the band also incorporates a faster tempo, synth-pop and electronica as a way to enhance the intensity of Grady’s already strong vocals.
Dear Miracle comes out May 11th on Something in Stereo. For more info check out Chelan on Facebook.
Photo credit: Matt Buscher