Maps: We Can Create (EMI)

 |   |  <1 min read

Maps: So Low, So High
Maps: We Can Create (EMI)

Some may find the constantly applied stage-whisper vocals here a little samey over the long haul, but for me it fits perfectly with the ambient, atmospheric-rock of Maps which swells to panoramic dimensions in places, or rides the most simple but effective of piano chords down to levels of utter intimacy.

Maps is in fact James Chapman from somewhere in the Midlands whose twilight-framed home recordings were drip-fed over the past couple of years on EPs which sold out before most people got to hear of him.

The Guardian said Chapman wrote "some of the sweetest, darkest, most heart-meltingly beautiful melodies you will ever hear" -- and most other reviewers agreed.

This is the Chapman/Maps debut album -- with Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bjork, Bonnie Prince Billie) -- and the expansive electronica (with guitars, strings and piano) on display is utterly embracing.

References might be along these lines: imagine Stones Roses at their most cinematic being teamed up with Brian Eno who takes them on an astral journey; or Explosions in the Sky at their most constrained; or Sigur Ros and Spiritualised writing for a documentary about intergalactic travel . . .

Climb aboard and take the trip. The view is superb.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Handsome Family: Honey Moon (UN SPK)

The Handsome Family: Honey Moon (UN SPK)

Because we're more used to hearing this husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks in a dourly poetic and dark mood, this album's prevailing sentiments of optimism (as epitomised by its... > Read more

Triumphs: Beekeeper/Bastardknocker (Monkey Killer)

Triumphs: Beekeeper/Bastardknocker (Monkey Killer)

This Dunedin duo of John Bollen and Mat Anderson (guitars and drums respectively) here aim for a big subject, an instrumental concept album which "pays tribute to New Zealand's forgotten... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Easy Star All-Stars: Thrillah (Easy Star)

Easy Star All-Stars: Thrillah (Easy Star)

And of all the tributes to Michael Jackson, this might be the most expected. Easy Star All-Stars make a habit of taking classic rock and giving it the reggae/dub treatment (Beatles, Radiohead,... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Benjii Jackson of Muzai Records

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Benjii Jackson of Muzai Records

You gotta love the motto of Benjii Jackson's Muzai Records: "independent Fighting Spirit". And they been going their independent way since 2009 wqith some of Elsewhere's favourite... > Read more