The pitter patter of an electro-punk inspired groove ushers us into the glowing pot of harmonies that’s simmering just below the surface in “Venus,” the new single by acclaimed alternative rock group The Chordaes. The melodic, sunlit whisper of lyrics penetrates the groove, leaving behind it a streaking tail of colorful vibrato dripping through the speakers. The guitar glimmers and catches the light that the vocals are emanating, and starts to come alive from the pressure the rest of the band is churning out note by note. We’re cascading through the opening stanza at the pace of raging whitewater rapids, but the band is unfazed by the brisk tone they’re creating. The chorus descends upon us and spreads out over everything in sight, and any notion that “Venus” is another cut and dry indie pop song is destroyed on the spot by a single shuttering of the drums. The Chordaes dig into the guttural harmonies of their most psychedelic composition yet with a wistfulness that is somewhat somber at first glance and violently cutting upon closer inspection, and fans who were hoping for an expanded version of a sound suggested in their last single “Something New (Remix)” will be quite pleased at what they find here.
A bass-heavy mix of “Venus” would have ruined the rebelliously shrewd demeanor of the song’s structure, but under the command of soundboard mastermind Mark Needham (The Killers, The Revivalists, Imagine Dragons) the hollow-point echo of the track is far more provocative than it would have been if compressed differently.Producer Marc Swersky captures the identity of the band’s musicality excellently here, and though this song is a little spacey its creative lines are consistently defined – a very attractive and difficult combination to balance. Never do any of the players sound like they’re competing for our attention; instead, they’re playing off of each other with exquisite synchronicity.
As dreamy and psychedelic-leaning as “Venus” is, The Chordaes didn’t let their new single go over the top in grandiosity. What makes this song so distinctive from its similarly stylized counterparts is steeped in its wry application of lyrics to the blissfully cluttered arrangement of the instrumentation. The resulting sound is something that skirts the boundaries of ambient pop and experimentalism but remains faithful to the blustery riff rock of the band’s previous releases. There’s no question that The Chordaes are playing with immense passion in this song, and their virtue is demonstrated in both the concise production value delivered by Swersky and the spot-on play of the band members themselves. “Venus” is a snapshot of The Chordaes at their most creatively vulnerable and uncorrupted, and listeners who can appreciate the immaculate allure of improvised rock n’ roll complexity that doesn’t sacrifice melody to play by the rules will absolutely enjoy what they encounter in this track.