Some people choose the pages of a diary to spill their innermost feelings and recount their trials and tribulations. Instead, Chayse Porter has a palace. “It’s this metaphorical place where I can go to express myself and feel safe,” he explains. “Like the Beach Boys ‘In My Room’, it’s this place where you can get all your secrets out in the open and feel at home.” But rather than luxuriate in his regal mental abode, Porter’s latest for Earth Libraries (due 3/1/22) takes listeners on a grand tour, revealing the nooks and crannies of his heart and mind.
Stretching from shades of gray to technicolor, Chay’s Palace traces the arc of Porter’s last few years, never flinching from the complex reality. After the opening track “Purpling Dawn” whirs into life, Porter finds himself in the dank basement of the palace: “Arrested in this dungeon cell/ Confusing, ethereal/ It’s all that I can do/ To keep from laughing at myself.” Rubbery bass stitches together haunted carnival organ riffs and taut electric guitar waves, part new wave, part surf rock, part surreal vision. Check out the whimsicality of the new single “Penny,” where Porter creates a blast of lacker soft rock combed with a mix of psych flourishes that would make anyone do a Mar Demarco double take.
‘Penny’ is one of the few straightforward ‘pop rock’ songs on the album,” said Chayse. “It’s a sweet song with an upbeat feel. It’s not about the feeling I wanted from someone; it’s the feeling I got just seeing them out in public – and that being enough.”
“Ever had a crush on someone? Ever wait too long and have that door close?,” he asks.