Title - 'Hiya'
Artist - Chuck Charles
For those not in the know, Hiya is the brand new solo album from Chuck Charles, aka Charlie of The Bigfellas and half of Leaders In The Clubhouse, and it explores everything from TV and shopping, to love, death and the existential meaning of life (and roughly in that order!).
Inclusive of 15 new songs (14 originals and a cover of The Killers), and recorded with lots of musicians who've already played with Charlie in The Bigfellas and Leaders In The Clubhouse musical family, you can expect plenty of the usual piano and horn moments, now with 33% more guitars added in!
Fans of Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Fountains Of Wayne, Chuck Prophet, Modest Mouse or The Decemberists will simply adore this new album, and welcome it into their hearts and listening spaces.
Oh, and there are also some rather unabashed George Harrison and Bob Dylan tributes that appear in the middle of the album, for all those playing along at home.
1. 'My TV Friends'
2. 'All Those Pretty Colors'
3. 'Key To A Door'
4. 'Deja Vu'
5. 'Like A Maggie's Positively Leopard-Skin Homesick Blues'
6. 'Independence Day'
7. 'Ugly Butterfly'
8. 'The Lobby'
9. 'Lebanese Prison'
11. 'The Naked Truth'
12. 'Read My Mind'
13. 'Were You Close'
14. 'Oh My'
15. 'So Long'
This quite bright, breezy, and wondrously imaginative album opens with the mid-tempo, jaunty one-two AOR of 'My TV Friends,' and backs that up with the '70s-esque, fun pop-rock hipsway of 'All Those Pretty Colors,' before quieting things down for the lush ballads 'Key To A Door' and Deja Vu.'
Next up is the funky guitar rock, harmonica-driven brilliance of 'Like A Maggie's Positively Leopard-Skin Homesick Blues,' which is followed by the Beatles-esque 'Independence Day,' the lo-fi, waning piano ambiance of 'Ugly Butterfly,' and then the, at times, gently frenetic, at others softly peaceful and calming orchestrations of the short instrumental 'The Lobby.'
We then get the '70s psych revolutions of the half-speed enbibed 'Lebanese Prison,' which is backed by the mid-tempo, making amends storytelling of 'Lift,' the slow, late night, smoky underground piano bar groove of 'The Naked Truth,' and then comes the stout, precise and clear piano work of the early Billy Joel-esque 'Read My Mind.'
The album then rounds out with the free flowing, low tempo majesty of 'Were You Close,' coming to a close on the passively reflecting 'Oh My,' and then we get the beautiful ornate, euphorically passionate, and complete with a searing guitar solo, piano ballad, 'So Long.'
Previous records have been praised by the likes of Bruce Hornsby, Van Dyke Parks and Robert Christgau. Some descriptive reviews highlights have said, "Words that I would kill to hear on primetime radio", "Zevonesque", "Trust me, allowing these guys to be the soundtrack to my valuable drinking time is no minor praise", and "Should you expect to see them accepting a Grammy next year? Probably not, but don't hold that against them, hold it against the Grammys!"
Hiya was released September 29th, 2020 and available on most streaming formats such as iTunes, Amazon Music and Spotify as well as on The Bigfellas site and merch store.
You can order Hiya now at www.bigfellas.net.
BigFellas @ Facebook