All together now
Los Angeles four-piece Chief borrows the soaring, idyllic four-part harmonies beloved of West Coast musicians since the time of the Beach Boys (and dusted off in the Aughts with Seattle’s Fleet Foxes, among others). The members of Chief have great pipes and each song on their debut LP Modern Rituals is centered on a soaring explosion of vocal euphony that could melt the heart of even the most jaded music fan. It’s the thing that makes their personalities (and their music) interesting—when they aren’t united, the musicianship is standard guitar/drums/bass twang, and the lyrics are the usual lovelorn ponderings of modern-day folk. However with the power of their harmony and a few well-arranged standout tracks, Chief have managed to assemble a respectable record, and escape being written off as yet another batch of copycat folkies.