Born and raised in the Alberta Prairies, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer-songwriter Chic Chameleon sends us off into a sonic daydream with his debut 4-track EP, 'Doomed.'
Chic Chameleon is best known for his lush alternative, shoegaze, dream pop sound that uses ethereal reverbs, repeating delays, and thick choruses to reach that familiar melancholy aesthetic. Bringing this to life is Chic Chameleon's new self-made EP, 'Doomed,' helping us understand the extent of the Edmonton-based artist's creative capabilities.
Jumping into the new EP, the experience kicks off with the sweet-sounding intro track, "Santree," which greets the ears with stunningly reverbed electric guitars and the softest synths you could imagine. As Chic Chameleon moves his way through the song with filtered vocals to create a sense of depth and space, he sings of leaving his comfort zone and wondering why life faces us with such challenges and strife. It's interesting how Chic Chameleon sings rather emotional, poetic lyrics while his instrumentals glitter and gleam with such radiance and tranquility.
Moving into track number two, "Dreaming of Heaven," Chic Chameleon takes things down a notch with this warm, tender, and melancholy alternative/psychedelic instrumentals. Listening to his soothing vocal stylings, Chameleon begins expanding on a bittersweet theme of dreaming of heaven amongst the chaos on this plane. This song does a perfect job of tugging on each and every heartstring, and the overall cohesive experience feeds the soul and captures us in a state of awe and reverence. If there's any song of Chic Chameleon's to chill you to the bone, it'd be this one.
Diving into the album's third track, "Noble Lies," the tune blissfully opens on this deeply emotional note through the most tender and delicate reverbed electric guitar melodies alongside Chic Chameleon's honest and passionate words that hit us with incredibly relatable yet personal themes. The song's shimmering yet emotional instrumentals offer this melancholy blend of Wallows meets Tame Impala, but Chic Chameleon has such a distinctive performance style that truly sets him apart from the rest. This song perfectly represents loving someone endlessly but feeling confused about why they treat us as a punching bag.
Landing on the EP's outro and title track, "Doomed," the song softly opens with a crescendoing alternative instrumental that offers an incredibly dreamy and lush listening experience right off the bat. Listening to Chic Chameleon's warm and harmonious vocals, he carefully and thoughtfully expands on inevitable doom and how life wait's for no one. The entire instrumental slowly kicks in and washes us over with a profound sense of reflection while Chic Chameleon leads us to the chilling outro and closes the song on this bittersweet note of time's perpetual rate.
If ever there were a listening experience to provide listeners with equal amounts of bliss and introspection, it would be this. Find your solace in Chic Chameleon's debut 4-track EP, 'Doomed,' now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Chic Chameleon. We truly loved every second of your debut 4-track EP, 'Doomed.' Where did you find the inspiration to create this profoundly introspective project?
Doomed EP was conceived during a time when my mother was diagnosed with throat cancer. It was 2020, and the health care system was incredibly overrun. It took a very long time for the procedures to begin and the months leading up to her finally being admitted to surgery were horrible. I felt doomed. I felt as though my family was bound to lose my mom. My thoughts turned to my mortality. The harsh reality is that we all have to face death one day. The cover art concept came to me while I was at work. The bed is a visual metaphor representing the idea that everyone will face the same eventuality - we are doomed to sleep forever. The face in the bed alludes to the notion that death resides in every individual's subconscious in one way or another, and we live with its harsh reality all the time. The EP also works as an important symbol because it is the closest thing to death that a living person can experience during life. The visual of the bed is important to the overall concept because it is generally considered a very safe and comforting place for many people. There is also a strange comfort in knowing that your life story will end when you are laid to rest. I wanted to play into the contrast between sleep and death and how sleep is considered comforting and relaxing. In contrast, death is considered jarring and uncomfortable even though both share so many similarities.
Your creative process was like for 'Doomed,' considering you wrote, mixed, and mastered the project entirely solo?
The process was slow. I felt a certain obligation to do it all myself. I tried to be self-reliant and wanted to prove that I could realize a whole project from start to finish. I relearned how to tune the drums and started experimenting with muting the snare and toms to find a good indie tone. Recording drums proved to be very difficult, and I must have recorded 50 takes on "Dreaming of Heaven" before I was generally happy with the sound/feel. I bought a new interface and was learning how t record multi-track drums on it and to create presets for each instrument so that the sound would generally be consistent throughout the ep. My efforts in creating the presets also helped streamline the rest of the tracking process. I didn't have any professional sound baffles, so I used two air mattresses with blankets to isolate the mics. Pretty professional, right? I recorded my jazz-master guitar through a bunch of pedals; the empress reverb, DD7 delay, and Keeley compressor, to name a few, and finally through my Fender 65' deluxe reverb amp. Bass guitar was DI'd, and synth patches came from the Korg Monologue XD. The rest of the ep was recorded over the remainder of 2021 over a several-month period as I experimented with the guitar tone, mic placement, pedals, automation on vocal tracks, and trying not to lose my mind re-listening to each song over and over. I mixed each song as I recorded it, comparing it to some reference tracks from Slowdive, Japanese Breakfast, and Mac DeMarco. Lastly, I researched quite a bit about mastering and tried my best to get a cohesive sound between each track in the final mix. I'm happy with the final product, and I hope that my listeners will enjoy it too. Overall, Doomed was a very lengthy process. For the full-length album that I'm currently writing, I'm going to hire a producer to bring in a fresh set of ears. I'm confident that it's going to take my compositions to the next level.
Which song from 'Doomed' was the most emotional and personal to you? Why is that so?
The song 'Doomed' is the most personal and emotional for me. Everything about it has to do with my mother fighting cancer. Each of the tracks relates to traumatic experiences felt throughout 2020, but Doomed is the heaviest track of the four.
Were there any thoughts or realizations you wanted to evoke in listeners when experiencing 'Doomed'?
The content is focused on existential thoughts regarding death, loss of relationships, and coping during a terrible time of my life. If anything, I want to evoke introspection, melancholy, mourning, and hope in people. My goal is that this EP would be there to comfort people who are going through similar experiences that I went through and feel understood.
How does the debut EP, 'Doomed,' represent you and your sound? Would you say this project reflects your musical approach and style?
Doomed has been a long journey of my artistic self-expression. I think each song's inspiration comes from a different sub-genre of Indie and was influenced by what I was listening to over the past two years. I'm fairly confident that my songs sound accurate to the vision that I see for them. Classic Indie, Dream Pop, Bedroom Pop, Post Rock, and Shoegaze were all very prominent influences over this period. Chic Chameleon will continue on its exploration and experimentation in Indie music. Often the initial idea compared to the finished product will be noticeably different from each other, but I think that that's a widespread process for artists. I'm happy with the stylistic choices I've blended into this EP.