It’s been approximately 96 hours since the invasion of a parasite into my digestive system. Possible suspects: katsu curry, infected champagne flute (actually it was only prosecco) or a chinese. In reality, working out the culprit is irrelevant – the damage is done. So as I lie here childishly moping about how a rudimentary parasite could immobilise me, I realised that I haven’t listened any music under my own will over the past few days. This felt slightly blasphemous so I looked to my vinyl collection flicking through them in my head but the choice was relatively easy in the end.
It’s a wonderfully charming record that opens with the bouncing ‘Breath’. Strung together by soothing guitars, this track builds in density allowing you to feel the full impact of its loose composition and lo-fi production. But as soon as you hear frontman Daniel Gutierrez’s vocals, that’s the pivotal point for most listeners. His quirky voice is reminiscent of Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, it’s candid and infinitely delightful. And when it’s coupled with the self-effacing lyrics of ‘Headphones’, you left in wonderment at the sheer poetic beauty of it all.
“All I ask is that you pretend to find me a little bit attractive/Even when I put on some weight from too much beer drinking practice.”
“Walking through my whole life like I’ve lost my keys/Waiting for you to find them so I can stop pretending to look for them.”
The instrumentation is suitably indie-folky often hinging on the strum of a guitar. There are embellishments but there’s often a quirky charm to it like the sample of a child’s yelp in ‘Race Cars and Chocolate’. The voice of children is actually used often in Chronographic. Again, this brings us back to the honesty of the record. William Blake would have told us, childhood represents the ‘Innocence’ of our lives; our naivety brought about sincerity. But there’s also honesty in a child’s voice (most of the time) which Filbert uses to great effect. I love how the record ends on what sounds like a rendition of ‘Mary had a little lamb’ sung by a young girl.
My favourite track though is ‘Sliced Bread’ which can only be described as a huggably warm pillow that makes my stomach feel much better. It’s just slightly inconvenient that I have to keep getting up to move the needle arm. I just wish the warm sounds could fill my ears for hours on end. With the wind billowing the curtains a little and the sunny rays creeping in, this is a dreamy record that’s wholly tangible – one that you can hold and touch. Surely that’s all we’ve ever wanted from a pleasant dream?
But music, sadly, is not a proven medical cure for food poisoning. Even though Chronographic makes me feel in total equilibrium on the inside, in reality I am not. Next time just remember, don’t be persuaded by the enticing smell of the Katsu Curry from the Wasabi Sushi & Bento stall at Waterloo station like I did. Just say no.
P.S. How many hipster points do I get for being only 1 of 2 people to own this record in the UK?