on 24 March 2014
Put simply, this album is beautiful. I bought this after hearing Too Bright To Shine on BBC 6Music and kept my fingers crossed that the rest of the album was as good (YouTube had videos for Savannah and My Spirit Is Broken and I liked these too).
This album is delicate in the right places, stomping where it needs to be and melancholic throughout without being slimy or gushing.
The album lilts down then up and down and back up again - this is great as I've found many albums follow section themes quick then slow; this album is more slow-quick-quick-slow.
Well done Champs, Down Like Gold is pure gold.
on 10 March 2014
Where has this come from? Well the Isle of Wight actually! If you read the professional critic reviews you will have this album compared to The Beach Boys, REM, The Beatles, Blue Oyster Cult, Fleet Foxes and The Flaming Lips! You have to laugh, especially when you consider these guys presumably get paid for such nonsense. Where just about everyone is agreed is that this is a fine album. I will go further than that by saying it is a wonderful album full of melody and hooks. No, it isn't particularly challenging in the sense it doesn't try to be the next big thing. However anyone with even the slightest interest in music will appreciate one of the finest releases this year. Buy it if you want to smile from ear to ear and I promise you will play it to death. Excellent.
on 21 September 2014
Down Like Gold is the debut album from CHAMPS, a duo of brothers hailing from the Isle of Wight. Michael and David Champ craft beautiful music, focusing on folk melodies and tear jerking sentiments.
The album confidently begins with “Too Bright to Shine”, a haunting, sombre melody. It’s the work of a ghost-like choir boy; his melancholic soft vocals linger in your ears. “Savannah” gets things into gear with an especially notable piano riff, and is to be released separately on 24th Feb as a single. It’s perhaps not as timeless as Simon and Garfunkel, but in the same ballpark.
The band hail from the Victorian seaside resort of Ventnor, and this sense of sepia photographs and a bygone age comes through in touching love song of “Pretty Much (Since Last November)”. “Only A Bullet Knows Where to Run” has powerful strings, emotive lyrics and a transcendent feel. “My Spirit Is Broken” has more than a touch of REM, which is no bad thing. This post-breakup track is radio friendly, but does not suffer from any lack of credibility. “St Peters” benefits from affecting lyrics, and would not sound out of place in a cathedral. The eponymous “Down Like Gold” is the definition of wistful; a rolling, romantic and rather serious track, that I imagine the Pope would enjoy. Finally, the album concludes with “White Satellite”, a song rich in layers and atmospheric synth.
Read the rest of the review here: http://www.drunkenwerewolf.com/reviews/champs-like-gold/
on 15 March 2014
I very rarely buy an album when it's just coming out but having heard some of this stuff with a friend, I decided to give it a try and I am very pleased I did. It is a beautiful, beautiful record. The songs are all lovely: beautiful lyrics, beautiful sounds and there is also a touch of something melancholic and unusual in here. A great record, and one I will listen to again and again in good times and more difficult times