Their names alone spark curiosity: Later Fortune is the Philly-based duo of Chet Delcampo and Heyward Howkins.
Both are busy musicians and songwriters working at the front, back, and on stage, as well as appearing on each other’s recordings. This makes their upcoming two-song “Lateral To The Devil” single (out Feb. 11th ) a rare thing. The previous Later Fortune release dropped three years ago, but patience pays.
Even at a mere two tracks and even with one being a cover (David Bowie’s Young Americans album cut “Win,” which Bowie biographer David Buckley called “one of the most gorgeous melodies Bowie has ever written”), it’s enough to underscore the taste and talent that results from decades of adulting in music.
Delcampo has two earlier album releases to his name, as well as another pair as Hong Kong Stingray, and in real life, he’s called Chris Madl. His list of current and former collaborators is long, including Kid Congo Powers, Joel RL Phelps, Dave Lovering of The Pixies, and Karl Blau (who contributes the cover art for this release). Maybe Delcampo’s affinity for an alias is an extra wrinkle to the choice of a Bowie deep cut.
Chet Delcampo (aka Chris Madl) is currently in the final stages of wrapping up a new album as Hong Kong Stingray. Heyward Howkins is in the final stages of recording a new solo EP.
Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the duo’s take on Bowie’s “Win,” coming just in time for the late icon’s 75th birthday. Though they stay surprisingly faithful to the original version, which is among Bowie’s most soulful and moody offerings, the duo opts for a more stripped down, synthy approach. The instrumental minimalism let the vocals shine a bit while also giving the song a stranger, dreamier vibe than the dramatic build of the original. Vocally and instrumentally, this take brings to mind the Bowie covers performed by acts like Ween, but Later Fortune takes their own path in stretching out to deliver a truly stirring rendition that would make Bowie smile.
Chet Delcampo reflects on the inspiration behind the song:
“I remember hearing ‘Win’ as a kid lying on the bedroom floor with headphones, Christmas lights flickering. It’s just one of those youth-related feelings that invokes a warm recall. When we were considering doing a cover, I thought we could do something interesting with it. I couldn’t find many versions of it so hopefully it’s a fresh take. Heyward wasn’t initially aware of the song, so it was a real kick when I heard him carving a space for his voice to reside in and owning it.”
Heyward Howkins adds his own thoughts:
“I had never heard ‘Win’ but Chet had it in mind and thought we could really make it bold. He constructed the entire song and played every note. All that I had to do was sing! That is a first for me, but it was a fun experience. The melody in the song is really weird and not a melody I would ever sing, so it was a challenge. I think I honored the original and I’m psyched with how moody and dark it is.”
Photo credit: Mark Schreiber