Stumbled across this just-released-today album from Santa Cruz’ Henry Chadwick on Apple’s new rock album feed and it is freakin’ fantastic! Marlin Fisher is the new full length follow up to Chadwick’s 2016 EP Guest at Home, which was also pretty special. Why is Henry Chadwick my new instant fave artist? Because the tunes on this album fall into this blog’s sweet spot: melodic, swinging, loaded with hooks, with just the right dash of rock and roll indie edge.
Opening track “Cupid” sets the stage for everything that is to come on this album with its carefully balanced sonic variety, rich without being mannered. I love the shift in this tune between its slightly discordant verses and harmonically rich hooky chorus. Next up, “Bag of Chips” is more languid and wistful in a breezy, autumnal ‘thinking about the world and my place in it’ sort of way, with great imagery of wolves and sheep and Seinfeld. Then “Change” rocks things up with echoes of Ben Kweller, particularly on the vocals, but also musically. Definitely hit single material. I could go on. That’s because Marlin Fisher is a total album experience – there’s no filler here. Other highlights for me include “Peace and Quiet” with its lovely dream-like quality and Sam Roberts vibe, “Wrong Way” with its catchy chorus and vocals like a new wave John Lennon, the 1965 Merseyside-sounding “Darkness,” and my personal fave, “I Can Stick Around,” featuring a circa 1966 Beatlesque hooky lead line opener and muted Byrdsian vocals.
Marlin Fisher is available now and would make a great surprise, no-real-reason-for-it-but-here-it-is present for some dear poprock friend. Or acquaintance. Check out Henry Chadwick’s website and Facebook pages to make it happen.