A swaggering, dazzling mix of classic rock and modern hues, the brand-new track Midnight Skies from Gold Coast quartet Chavez Cartel will light up the night sky and drive into your soul. Moody, edgy, yet ever-so-charming, Midnight Skies also marks a polished glimpse into Chavez Cartel’s upcoming new EP Man’s Best Friend, officially set to release on Friday May 5.
Opening with swirling textures, affable beats and crisp guitars, Midnight Skies evolves into a pulsing cinematic rock dream, like a vintage Camaro tearing through a dark and dusky desert. And while the tones may be coated in smoky modernity, Midnight Skies would equally be at home soundtracking HBO’s Peaky Blinders, showcasing the Gold Coast group’s glamorous grit and reflecting the band’s eclectic yet complementary influences; a fact that carries throughout the broader upcoming EP, as drummer Tom Isaacs explains, “We all have different inspirations and different artists we draw our inspiration from. For me, All Them Witches have a huge influence on my drumming and my thought process for writing music/structure/songs. I know Ben [Simpson, vocals] draws a lot of inspiration from artists such as Velvet Underground, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Oasis. Jack [Kelly, guitar] is more old school, he loves AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Josh [Kemp, bass] is a good mixture of all of us put together!”
Tracing the journey to their forthcoming new release Man’s Best Friend all the way back to 2021, the road to conjuring and shaping the end product was also firmly linked by a key inspiration: the hard-driving and rebellious spirit underpinning the aforementioned HBO series Peaky Blinders, including the series’ iconic opening credits featuring Nick Cave’s explosively moody Red Right Hand. Teaming up with ARIA Award-winning producer, musician and recording engineer Govinda Doyle, as well as Callan Holstein and Froggie Evans from Studio One16, to bring their striking new EP to life, the end result is a unique, dark and ambitious joyride on its sonic surface, while also deeply targeting themes of trauma, pain, strength and positivity. “It feels like it’s about damn time we released this EP,” shares Tom. “We recorded the EP back in May 2021, and we’ve been aching to release it. But we’ve been so busy since, we haven’t had the chance! It feels great though, we’re all ecstatic and can’t wait to share these songs”. “Lyrically the EP is about the life cycle of emotional traumas,” adds Ben of the EP’s thematic framework. “From pain and darkness to strength and light.”
Opening with acoustic haze that builds into a swooning rock fever dream via title track Man’s Best Friend, Chavez Cartel firmly thread their trademark prowl with emphatic vocals and scathing fuzz before morphing into their latest single Midnight Skies; a jangly, moody cocktail of toe-tapping proportions. Flitting between thunderous anthems (Coming Around) to sparse and gleeful menace (Writer’s Block), Chavez Cartel flex and unfurl every inch of their arsenal before the EP’s penultimate track, gifting a smouldering cover of Arctic Monkeys’ Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair and an unforgettable closing track in the form of previous single Dead Weekend, hypnotising with blues-infused alt-rock and a heart-pounding conclusion.
Following the release of the group’s previous EPs, 2019’s Lucky Lucy and Confidence Is All I’m Taking Home, Chavez Cartel harnessed the forced time away from touring during the pandemic years to instead focus and sharpen on their sound and songwriting, ultimately emerging with the six-track cinematic delight that is Man’s Best Friend. With early live recordings of some of the EP’s songs turning heads, including radio play on BBC’s Music Introducing, Chavez Cartel were recently able to bridge the UK connection down under, supporting English indie rockers The Reytons on their recent Australian tour. But there’s still plenty more across the pond action in store for the band, with a UK tour set for May, including a show repping Aus at The Great Escape. And ahead of the release of Man’s Best Friend, it seems the best is still yet to come for the group who embrace the loose acronym with their moniker: “Can Have it All Very EaZily”. “We’ve been at it hard and we can’t wait to showcase all that we’ve been working on,” concludes Tom. “Not only do we also have some new sexy merch but we’ve been experimenting with new sounds that add so much depth to the songs and it’s all ready for our fans.”
Midnight Skies is out today, Friday April 14.
Man’s Best Friend is due out Friday May 5.
CHAVEZ CARTEL – UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
WED 3 MAY | THE WASHINGTON, SHEFFIELD, UK
FRI 5 MAY | IMPERIAL, MEXBOROUGH, UK
TUE 9 MAY | THE GOOD MIXER, CAMDEN, UK
THU 11 MAY | GRAND CENTRAL | THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL, BRIGHTON
FRI 12 MAY | INN ON THE SQAURE | THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL, BRIGHTON
SAT 13 MAY | THE FOLKLORE ROOMS| THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL, BRIGHTON
FRIDAY 19 MAY | THE GARRISON, BARNSLEY, UK
SATURDAY 3 JUNE | MANSFIELD TAVERN | MOONDOLL FESTIVAL, BRISBANE | TICKET LINE – https://bit.ly/3Y1V2UB