Melbourne’s Blackchords return with the widescreen melancholy of ‘Through The Windows’ a reflective ode to Pandemic life.
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Blackchords – Through The Windows
‘Through The Windows’ is the first glimpse of new material from Blackchords since 2013 and it’s like reconnecting with a lost family member. The good news is there is more to come, with subsequent releases laddering up to a new EP in 2023.
‘Through The Windows’ is a gentle reintroduction, it doesn’t shout or demand attention, it slowly wins you over with its thoughtful lyrics and wonderfully rich sonic palette.
The track starts with a storm of crashing cymbals before Milwright’s honeyed vocals take over, they are immediately entrancing. Flickers of electronica, dance-around synths and a glorious bass line. There is a sadness to the vocals yet despite this ‘Through The Windows’ still manages to sound mildly euphoric as the track slowly swells to a gentle crescendo. There is so much to admire here, and you discover something new with every listen. Listen out for the female backing vocals – a new addition for Blackchords.
Nick Milwright explains the story behind Through The Windows…
“As the pandemic was rocking the world, everything was thrown into disarray. Disconnected, Lost, Stressed, and Chaotic. No one knew what was going on or what was going to happen. It brought to the surface many cracks that were always there but somehow we ignored them. The song is the juxtaposition between the world that we once knew and the relationships we had falling apart. We could only watch from inside our apartments or through the windows of our smartphones. But it was too late… We took things for granted and we thought we could take advantage for far too long. Somehow we have another chance, I hope we have learned.”
Blackchords first burst onto the scene in 2009 with their debut self-titled album. The album and its singles ‘Broken Bones’ and ‘At World’s End’ thrust them onto the world stage, they toured Europe, played SXSW and even supported legendary Australian band ‘Powder Finger’ for their final ever show. Their effortless blend of incisive jagged indie rock and thoughtful introspection led to easy if lazy comparisons with Coldplay and Radiohead.
This was a band that had real artistry, every music video, album cover or gig poster was beautiful, Blackchords were and remain a band that is easy to love.
The first album took a lot from singer Nick Milwright, the pressure to deliver a follow-up album became all-consuming and ultimately led to drummer Nick Cheek leaving the band.
Blackchords – A Thin Line
But when the sophomore album ‘A Thin Line’ finally arrived a lot of the problems were forgotten. The David Odlum-produced release purred, with new recruit Tristan Courtney bringing a new electronic edge to further enhance their already wide-screen sound. The album further propelled them into the limelight when Into The Unknown was used in Netflix smash Orange Is The New Black.
This was an album made by a band that had hit their stride and landed on their own sound. While ‘Dance Dance Dance’ was clearly the commercial single, real fans found joy in Into The Unknown, The Day I Die, and As Night Falls.
But after the big release, it all went quiet. With the stresses and realities of life, money and relationships taking their toll on the band. But when you have music in your soul as lead singer Nick Milwright does you realise music isn’t a choice it’s a necessity!
It’s great having Blackchords back.
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Words Mark Knight