“Bitter Blood is a knock-you-off-your-feet debut. It is, in execution and clearness of vision, the descendent of The Band’s Music from Big Pink, and is just as refreshing and inspiring in its creativity as Big Pink was in 1968.” PERFORMER MAGAZINE
“Formed in the tiny town of Goshen, Vermont, Chamberlin plays a kind of wistful late-night Americana that could only come from a place where you can see the stars at night, clear as day.” TIME OUT CHICAGO
L I S T E N N O W
On September 4th one of Vermont’s most celebrated bands, Chamberlin, will be releasing their second E.P, Look What I’ve Become (Audiotree Records), with pre-orders available July 31st. The five song collection is the follow up to last fall’s Cabin Covers EP, which had Chamberlin covering bands such as Foster the People, Passion Pit, Cults, and more, with all proceeds going towards Vermont Flood Relief. In support of the new EP Chamberlin will be on tour this summer and fall (dates below), as well as an appearance on VPR’s “Vermont Edition” this Wednesday, July 18that
12:40 PM EST (live) and again at 7:40 PM EST. While on VPR the band will unveil three songs from the E.P. in addition to discussing the forthcoming project. We invite you to stream it live, via: http://www.vpr.net/listen/stream.
With EP number two, the young band is in a much different place than they were last fall, as singer/guitarist Mark Daly tells it, “Back in January, before Ethan and I left for Nashville to record Look What I’ve Become, we sat down with the rest of the band. With no amount of small shame, we explained that they wouldn’t be playing on it. Chuck, our bassist, finished his beer and walked out of the bar without saying a word. A few days later, Eric, who played keys told us he was quitting. Jamie, our drummer wasn’t sure if he would stay. Ethan and I weren’t sure if Chamberlin would exist when we returned.”
Daly and West kicked off 2012 having hardly spoken to them e rest of the band since the tour ended. With just a small window to record before heading on the road again in February, the two began working with Luke Reynolds, an accomplished performer and producer (fronted Blue Merle, Pictures and Sound, and now plays in Guster). The three arranged five new songs, and plans were made to track later that month in Nashville with Brad Bivens (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones). “Suddenly,” says Daly, “we found ourselves all set to record these new songs that the other guys hadn’t been a part of at all. Personal tension aside, we hadn’t rehearsed together in over six months and having worked out most of the arrangements already with Luke on bass and keys, we were very worried that the music would suffer if we tried to force everyone in at the last minute.” Weighing all of this, West and Daly agreed when Reynolds suggested he recruit Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) to play drums. West and Daly headed south on their own.
Surrounded and challenged by a seasoned, professional team, Daly and West enjoyed their days in the studio. At night they retreated to their room at the Red Roof Inn and tried not to think about the future or the rest of the band. West says, “simply put, this EP is about jealousy, despair and resentment. While recording the vocals, it really hit us that we had inflicted those same feelings on our band mates—or rather, our best friends. As Mark sang the chorus of “Jealousy,” we avoided eye contact and waited for the moment to pass…kind of like two awkward unfamiliar teens walking by each other in a high school hallway. He was singing the lyric, ‘Look what I’ve become.’”
Daly and West returned to Vermont acutely aware of the steps needed to make amends with their original band members. Although Eric was intent about leaving to work on other projects, he ultimately finished on a positive note, agreeing to tour until the others could find a new keyboard player. Chuck and Jamie agreed to stay on, with the understanding that the band would rehearse together incessantly to close the gaps that had come between them. As an assurance, the guys even moved back into the mountainside cabin where Chamberlin had formed before their initial 2011 whirlwind year. Presently, all of the members are there working on a new full-length record to be released in early 2013.
The irony of a band writing an EP about jealousy and cheating, only to cheat on each other to make it does not go unnoticed in the group of close friends. “We can all joke about it now,” says West, “and even though Mark and I still feel bad for hurting feelings along the way, we’re also very proud and excited about how Look What I’ve Become turned out musically. It also gave us an opportunity to address some major structural issues before moving forward together. It is often impossible to recover from an affair, but every once in a while people bounce back stronger.”
Look What I’ve Become hits stores September 4th, via Audiotree Records.