Swiss Illness by This Is Chase is like a mirage, like a technicolor daydream, materializing from thin air and transporting you to a world of forests and sunsets and grayscale rainbows.
This Is Chase is the solo project of Chase Ceglie, a student at Boston's Berklee School Of Music. Thankfully, he doesn't let his chops and virtuosity get in the way of a good tune and a personal vision, as Swiss Illness is a tapestry of folk guitars, detuned vocals and weird, psychedelic effects, like the slurring tape of Sadderday, eventually crumbling into oblivion, or the weird dayglo ambiance of album opener "This One About The Pink House".
This Is Chase bears an uncanny resemblance to Washington's finest purveyors of mutant folk, Mount Eerie, which is not a bad thing, as Chase similarly skews the lines of lo-fi, homespun acoustic music with avant garde electronics and other subcultural signifiers, although Chase leans more towards the paisley and neon, as compared to Elverum's earth tones and monochrome, culminating in the sound collage of the title track, all slamming doors and beeping alarms.
It isn't at all what most people think of as folk music, which just goes to show most people's limited conceptions of what that means, as Swiss Illness shares the same sound collector's impulse to share sonic stories with the wide world, a small glimpse into a life.
The moral of Swiss Ilness is "what's the point, if you're not doing something you like, just because you like it. This is a good anthem for every musician and creative type, living and working in 2015. Stop trying to fit into pre-shaped molds to win friends and shift units. It won't work. We're entirely savvy towards marketing, no matter how canny.
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