CHAMPS – Down Like Gold

Down Like GoldDown Like Gold is the debut album from CHAMPS, a duo of brothers hailing from the Isle of Wight. Michael and David Champ craft beautiful music, focusing on folk melodies and tear jerking sentiments.

The album confidently begins with “Too Bright to Shine”, a haunting, sombre melody. It’s the work of a ghost-like choir boy; his melancholic soft vocals linger in your ears. “Savannah” gets things into gear with an especially notable piano riff, and is to be released separately on 24th Feb as a single. It’s perhaps not as timeless as Simon and Garfunkel, but in the same ballpark.

The band hail from the Victorian seaside resort of Ventnor, and this sense of sepia photographs and a bygone age comes through in touching love song of “Pretty Much (Since Last November)”. “Only A Bullet Knows Where to Run” has powerful strings, emotive lyrics and a transcendent feel.  “My Spirit Is Broken” has more than a touch of REM, which is no bad thing. This post-breakup track is radio friendly, but does not suffer from any lack of credibility. “St Peters” benefits from affecting lyrics, and would not sound out of place in a cathedral. The eponymous “Down Like Gold” is the definition of wistful; a rolling, romantic and rather serious track, that I imagine the Pope would enjoy. Finally, the album concludes with “White Satellite”, a song rich in layers and atmospheric synth.

Down Like Gold is consistently rueful and rather wonderful. It could have easily sounded like a dreary, emotional vanity project, but the brothers skillfully avoid this territory. CHAMPS will be supporting the Australian four-piece The Jezabels during their 2014 European tour on their UK and Ireland dates, and are well worth a visit.

Release: 10th March 2014, Play it Again Sam

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  1. Interview: Champs » DrunkenWerewolf - 24/02/2014

    […] rueful and rather wonderful”; that’s what we said about Down Like Gold in our recent review of the debut album from Isle of Wight duo Champs. Brothers Michael and David Champ have invoked […]

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