Margaret Chavez’s new folk-rock opus, Into An Atmosphere, is a headphone masterpiece. From the very first track, it’s clear why Consequence of Sound, Mojo and Uncut have all been extolling the many virtues of project mastermind Marcus William Striplin—the music is undeniably ambitious, mixing latin freak-folk rhythms with a topicality the microgenre has never dared to approach, even in its heyday. But to call this record “folk” or “even folk rock” would be to curtail its progressive ethos, as Striplin weaves reverb-soaked guitars, undulating synths and effervescent acoustic plucks to create what Uncut calls “a mark of excellence in Americana.” The album is due out on July 31st via We Know Better Records.
Striplin’s barbed wit rises to the forefront, riding his gentle croon and lilting sonics past the kind of cliches that often accompany albums of such deep pathos and political awareness. Mixing elements of modern indie rock, psychedelia, mid-2000s alt-country and folk, Striplin croons over layers of chiming acoustics and burbling electronics, building his songs from comforting lullabies into the kind of cathartic anthems upon which Echo & the Bunnymen and The Cure built their careers.
In the studio, helping to nurture Margaret Chavez’s ambition, was Striplin’s longtime recording partner Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, Loretta Lynn, The White Stripes, Phosphorescent), and mastering genius Greg Calbi (John Lennon, Tame Impala, The Strokes, Iggy Pop, David Bowie), as well as Paul Williams and Don Cento—all of whom brought a clarity and ceaseless energy to the recording process.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Honeysuckles,” a poignant narrative in which he assumes his mother’s point-of-view during her most harrowing moments. With its intimate and dreamy acoustic styling, the song is one of the album’s strongest showcases for Striplin’s voice and songwriting as well as his intense focus on sonic detail. While the song begins with stripped down acoustic instrumentation reminiscent of artists like Jeff Tweedy and Bill Callahan, it takes a unexpected turn as a wave of synths gradually buzz and whir, guitars moan, strings yearn, and a minimal yet impressionistic piano all layer on rich, dramatic layers of sound. This is when we get an idea of the talent that Striplin and his fellow musicians conjured in the studio.
Marcus Striplin describes the inspiration behind the song:
“Every detail is true… the pain that MARGARET endured is incomprehensible. She lost multiple children in her life. This song isn’t a tribute, it’s a ‘get up trinity’ moment. Love is the answer and that’s all I know. She is my strength.”
Into An Atmosphere is due out 7/31 via We Know Better Records. For more music and info visit margaretchavezmusic.com.