Friday 28 September 2012

Champs - St. Peters

Single review by KevW

Well these guys have got us guessing a bit. Not every band chooses to plaster every ounce of information about themselves across the internet, and wisely so. From what we gather, Champs are a trio from the Isle Of Wight and this is their debut single, available on 7" for fans of music in physical rather than bit form. According to Rough Trade, the enigmatic lot include members of The Bees and The Shutes and there's no reason to doubt that. 'St. Peters' sounds like the work of people who know their way around a tune, either that or this track is an astonishing example of beginners luck. Not that 'St. Peters' is a particularly complex song, in fact its greatness is in the simplicity and the way that such basic ingredients (a guitar, some voices and a production desk) can transform this into such a wondrous piece.

With a title like 'St. Peters' we might be entitled to expect something heavenly (although this notion is contradicted if you listen to 'St. Peter' by hard rock band Black Spiders) and something heavenly is what we receive. It's the vocals that really make things shine. Comparisons aren't easy but try thinking of a less contorted Wild Beasts or Antony Hegarty and you're close. It's ethereal alright, and both voice and plucked guitar are filtered through a dreamy layer of reverb that adds a further otherworldly quality. When the other voices join in it almost becomes choral, but not in a gospel way. It's the sort of hazy, soft sounds that characterized Laurel Canyon's more tender exports. Best listened to with everything switched off and you eyes closed. Gorgeous.

Champs' website

Buy the single

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