Sunday, August 14, 2022

Michelles Impress On ‘Can We Get A Smile’ Off Latest LP

Chicago is a city renowned for its 1920s gangsters, deep-dish pizzas and a river that turns green once a year to celebrate St. Patrick's day. Music, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily synonymous with The Windy City. 

The area is most well-known for its jazz, where early pioneers such as Nat King Cole learnt their trade on the banks of Lake Michigan. 

In recent years Kanye West has become the city's most famous son, although the rapper is just as connected to his birthplace Atlanta as he is with Chicago.  

Despite being one of America’s most famous cities then, it is fair to say Chicago hasn’t always lived up to its name where music is concerned. Michelles, the pet project of prime writer and main instrumentalist Michael Daly, may just be about to change that perception. 

Having released two albums previously, Daly returned in 2022 with his latest full-length LP ‘The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll’ and its lead single ‘Can We Get a Smile’. 

Opening with a simple, strumming acoustic pattern interlaced with ethereal and distance riffs, it’s not long before we get our first introduction to Daly’s distinctive, nasally vocals. “Waking up it’s instant dread / It’s getting harder to relieve the pressure in my head” he swoons, in a melancholic fashion. It’s a line that perfectly encapsulates the themes and spirit of the song, as talk of hardships and difficulties are met with a strange kind of despondent humour. 

The second verse brings a strange tempo change, evolving the song reminiscent of prime acid-era Beatles, whilst the dark and otherworldly guitar solo is akin to Queens of the Stone Age donning their Sergeant Pepper caps.  

The track crescendos in a cacophony of pounding drums and feedback after a nearly 5-minute ride of interesting segue-ways and clever, witty, yet mournful lyrics. 

Michelles have certainly produced an interesting track that is a great introduction to their even more interesting album. 

James Ogden 

Image: 'The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll' Official Album Cover 

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