Like many of my favorite bands, Chief has the ability to create soaring 3 and 4 piece harmonies that transport you to a time a long ago. The quartet grew up in CA, but all met at NYU. Now back in Cali, the band’s debut album Modern Rituals best resembles their upbringing with a Laurel Canyon-feel as it takes you on a mellow ride with each listen.
Like another debut this year, Local Natives’ Gorilla Manor, Chief’s drawing card are the aforementioned harmonies. Unlike Local Natives, the accompanying music is not as propulsive and varied. Chief opts for tasty guitar licks with a steady backbeat (which remind me of The Strokes & The Walkmen) that rarely veer off course. Whereas Gorilla Manor is so immediately striking and appealing, Modern Rituals is better appreciated over multiple listens as it lazily sucks you in to the beauty Chief’s music. Two different approaches and two great debuts. A couple of my favorite tracks include “Stealing,” “Nothing’s Wrong” and “Irish Song.”
Modern Rituals is best consumed in its entirety while lying outside or on a long countryside drive. Let it wash over you and feel your mood take a turn for the brighter side. All in all, Modern Rituals is a fine debut by a very talented band. Chief show a tremendous amount of promise and I am sure you will be hearing plenty from them moving forward.
From their EP:
Live Video: Chief – Night And Day (Watch, Listen and Tell Session in London)
Official Video: Chief – Night and Day