Chanel Beads Waft Through a Collage of Memory and Sound on Your Day Will Come

Shane Lavers’ debut album for his beloved experimental project is the product of years spent workshopping an avant-garde sound across NYC’s DIY scene.

Music Reviews Chanel Beads
Chanel Beads Waft Through a Collage of Memory and Sound on Your Day Will Come

Spring in New York is sprinkled in pink. Cherry blossoms have begun to sprout, but with just one gust of wind petals are sent flying, scattering themselves along the crooked, often broken pavement. Chanel Beads’ debut LP, Your Day Will Come, is a similar phenomena: pieces of the past are plucked at random, rushing in unwarranted and bespeckling the present. In the midst of it all is frontman Shane Lavers, wafting through a collage of both memories and sound.

But Lavers is hard to make out through the sonic haze. Synthetic sounds, lo-fi mp3 rips, live instrumentation and vocal accompaniment from Zachary Paul and Maya McGrory all symbiotically merge into one, amorphous impression. It’s hard to balance the equation of the mixture—is that a dash of a sample? Or a tablespoon of distorted guitar? You can’t really remove the bricks to figure out how the building was built; you just have to look up and see it as it is. Like the twist of a disposable camera, Lavers has so intricately wound the gears, again, and again, they’ve locked in place. Click: you’re served one still image captured in a blinded flash.

“Dedicated to the World” immediately ushers you into Your Day Will Come’s liminal space, as long synths stretch as if they’re rising from bed, drawing the blinds. Acoustic guitar then picks up the pace and distorted strings jut in, chiming and shimmering as Lavers’ high-pitched vocals roll in a stream of consciousness, as if freestyling a feeling. “Life stretches out and recedes in me / for you / I had that thought again / is memory just acting out, erasing / what did you see?” Immediately, Lavers announces himself as the unreliable narrator, questioning the validity of his own unspecified memories and impulses. The uncertainty continues on “Police Scanner,” as Lavers proselytizes alongside a miscellany of layered strings, hummed synths and poised percussion. “You owe it to yourself / gotta believe in something else,” he mutters, trying to convince himself—and anyone listening.

The album’s often fragmented lyrics might come off a bit lackluster, as the lines are so enjambed they never really seem to start or end. There are no periods in these lyrics; they’re uncemented and metaphysical much like the aural production that accompanies them. Yet, the truncated lines mirror someone trying to figure out a problem in real time. You can sense Lavers stopping, starting, breathing in, breathing out and taking time to process things as they come.

This exercise is most evident on tracks “Urn” and “Embarrassed Dog,” as Lavers tries to work through lifelong grief. The former begins with ticking strings and hi-hat hits to match, creating a sort of looming, hovering feeling. Lavers sings of a loved one’s passing and its hold on the present: “Sometimes I wish that we buried you now / Assigned a location to my grief somehow,” he confesses. The song soon spins out into a hectic melange of frustration as if trying to shake off the lingering feeling. “Embarrassed Dog” proves one step toward healing, or at least some sort of acceptance. The track is carried by a filtered, plunky bass and a trip-hop percussive rhythm as Lavers likens his past self to an obedient dog. A distant scream then transitions into the most explicit “chorus” on the album with Lavers shout-singing, trying to convince himself to let go: “Want to see myself / Unafraid.”

Lavers silently gives himself time to process, too, meandering in the instrumental ambience of “Your Day Will Come” and “Coffee Culture.” Both of these tracks feature a combined recording of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, processed alongside live violin from Zachary Paul. The title-track begins like a straightening of a tie; postured strings puff their chest out and stick their chin up as drums roll in and a quiet synth plays on. But then: A gust of wind causes a rapture as a long bass strum spreads all the sounds out in a deep sigh. The strings soon fade and spectral synth swirls, dancing alongside sighing vocals. The song feels like that moment you’re swimming in the ocean, minding your business, when, all of a sudden, you notice a wave increasing in size and speed, growing taller, taller. But instead of paddling away, you’ve planted your feet. You’re prepared to let the water rain down and take you, wherever it may go. It’s an ominous prophecy: Your Day Will Come. Or, it’s a reassurance; a command to be patient. Whatever the case may actually be, Your Day Will Come promises inevitability.

Here’s another inevitability: Chanel Beads is bound for greatness. For years now, Lavers has been workshopping his avant-garde pop around the greater NYC DIY scene, and Chanel Beads has become one of those Brooklyn bands everyone seems to have seen live either on some guy’s rooftop or in a small, crowded bar—and all that hard work has culminated into a gorgeous, career-long debut. Chanel Beads’ day is finally here, now.

Sam Small is a freelance writer of sorts & shorts based in Brooklyn, NY. She has written for NME, Consequence of Sound, Clash Magazine and Under The Radar.

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