Chartreuse – ‘Keep Checking Up On Me’ | EP Review

chartreuse band birmingham

Chartreuse’s third EP proves their brilliance over five tracks

Earlier in the year Chartreuse announced they were planning to release their third EP Keep Checking Up On Me. Personally I couldn’t wait, after their triumphant debut EP release Even Free Money Doesn’t Get Me Out Of Bed, which proved to be my most listened to EP of 2019, and instrumental EP entitled Relaxtion Tape For Nobodies, which manages to relax me every time I hit play.

Prior to this EP however they treated us with two tracks entitled ‘Tall Grass and ‘Enemy’s Belly, both received glowing feedback from us at WFM. With my palate primed after these first two tracks, I was ready to listen to the complete EP as soon as it was released.

Opening the EP was the two previosuly released tracks. Although I’ve listened to them countless times before, they still had a freshness surrounding them. I find that these two tracks set the pace and tone of the EP, and make complete sense kicking the EP off. Both of them having an strong atmospheric sound, with engaging drums and vocals to match.

The title track ‘Keep Checking Up On Me’ chimes in off the back of a beautiful ending on ‘Enemy’s Belly’. We’re introduced with these keys which have a sense of frailty attached to them, combined with the opening line; “I’ve got two greyhounds/they don’t really go out and work much”, which I guess is what inspired the artwork. Throughout the track we’re treated to some great lines, but the highlight has to be; “I’ve got a crushing sense of awareness and the overwhelming urge to be kind / And it hits me more more and more than I mind“, and this serves to be the best lyric I’ve heard in 2020. Towards the end of the track Chartreuse manage to swing from a frantic pace to total calm, making it the most enthralling track on the EP.

Blue State’ is the first time we hear solo vocals from Harriet Wilson, which is always a pleasure – just check out ‘Woman I’m Crazy’. This low key could be the highlight of the EP, the pace it’s delivered with minimal instrumentals, it’s amazing how the band get so much out of so little as the words; “I’m drowning with my feet firmly placed” stay with me. The band then wrap it up with ‘Hope You’re Not Holy’ which is a simplistic 2 minute track and ends the EP off so well, with a sense of calm.

The EP surpassed my expectations. Most follow up projects the phrase “They’ve matured” gets thrown around, however it wouldn’t be accurate with Chartreuse, as they were already mature musically, and their sound already refined. This EP, for me at least, was about pushing the boundaries slightly and delivering something consistently brilliant as their two previous EP’s. They’ve done this with ease it seems, and I cannot wait to hear the songs performed live.

Easily one of the most underrated acts, as everyone should have a bit of Chartreuse in their life. Personally, I would love to hear an album from the band, but they have plenty of time to deliver on that and I’m certain they won’t be short on ideas.

Listen to the brand new EP from Chartreuse below on Spotify.

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