What Chairs proves to me is that pop music doesn’t have to mean music has to be soulless. On The Droning of an Insect Wing, the second full-length album from Montreal-based musician Ian Jarvis, time stands still, or at least slows to an insects’ crawl for a couple years as he assembled this seemingly rag-tag bag of tracks in between stints with Ghostkeeper, Expwy, and You, Yourself and I. The record flows from rumbling rock rhythms to delicate pop melodies with ease, as if these nine tracks were all laid down on one of those long spring weekends when the grass starts breathing of it’s own accord and the flowers are awakening from their coma.
Mind you, there’s an ominous tone that hovers over this record, like a storm brewing somewhere off in the distance (most notably on “Future”), but Jarvis isn’t wallowing in the gallows. Imagine Timber Timbre without all the spookiness and you’ll get an approximation of what you’re in for. “Chain Reaction” has a chugging bass line that could have come from an early Joy Division demo, too, demonstrating just how diverse Charis’ influences can be. You might think after a couple of tracks that you’ll have Chairs pegged, but keep listening, and you’ll realize each track changes your perception of the music, changes what you think you know about what you’re hearing. Repeated listens will bear much fruit for your hungry ears.
The Droning of an Insect Wing is available as a download from Chairs’ Bandcamp page now.