“The Tallest Peak” is Chronographs melancholy new offering
Keeping to a strict schedule like the one British five-piece Chronographs are – releasing one new song every month for an entire year – is no mean feat. Almost like clockwork, we’ve received a new track every thirty days or so since March, and as August drew to a close, they hit the mid-way point with sixth single “The Tallest Peak” late on Friday. I know this was finished only a few days earlier, which isn’t surprising considering it’s summer and two of the members are currently travelling around America – but keeping promises is important and slips often beget more slips, so I applaud them for keeping on track. Anyway, here it is:
It’s worth noting that frontman Jon Sinfield said he considers this to be his most accomplished vocal writing and performance to date, and you can see why; it’s the shortest of the tracks so far, but it’s packed with melancholy and the rise and fall of various emotions. Jon’s phrasing is concise yet expressive, and his choice of melodies is joyful. Some lines start just half a beat sooner than you might expect, whilst others extend beyond the meter set by the lyrics at their beginning.
Knowing more than a little bit about where Jon lives, it’s nice to find extra meaning in these words, too. Malvern is a beautiful place - “There are worse places to watch the sun set” (likely referencing Malvern’s Worcestershire Beacon, the titular tallest peak) – but it’s also a difficult place for young people to grow up, and whilst it’s by no means the only place on earth where this happens, the conflict between these two elements – of geographical elegance and small, retirement-town mentality – is something to which I can relate, and I’m sure many others can too.
The music is so lush and warm and it just adds to the wistful feeling. The sonic pallette screams Jeniferever to me; that bass-rich, twinkly guitared haze feels delicate and nostalgic in a very tangible sense. The four instrumental members have gelled so well as a unit in the past couple of years, and this track in particular feels effortless in its composition. No-one is particularly flashy or seeks to outdo his bandmates, and from that you get a real depth and maturity.
At this point it’s becoming difficult to talk about each new track without sounding like I’m blowing smoke up their ass. Some are stronger than others, indeed, but each one has its own character and strengths, and this experiment is definitely one of my favourite things about 2014 so far; I look forward to the end of each month now, just to hear what’s next.
You can pick up all of the singles from Chronographs’ website, where they also occasionally blog about various interesting things. Make sure to keep up with that.