ALBUMS

Champs
Down Like Gold

Released: 24th February 2014
Label: Play It Again Sam

Champs are brothers Michael and David Champion from the Isle Of Wight whose debut ‘Down Like Gold’ is an early contender for album of the year. ‘Down Like Gold’ is a real pleasure to listen to with each song competing to be the stand out song on the album.

After listening on repeat for the last week there is nothing particularly new about the sound created by Champs, I can hear influences of REM, Neil Young, The National and Goldheart Assembly throughout. That is not to take anything away from the greatness of ‘Down Like Gold’, there are indeed times when the wheel does not need to be reinvented. Champs have clearly found a music that they love and have given us an album full of melancholy and atmosphere, sadness and happiness all at the same time.

To pick a few highlights from the album I find myself being drawn to the opening song ‘Too Bright To Shine’, a haunting, sparse song that will be sure to sweep you off your feet and find you being drawn to the heartfelt lyrics, “I think I lost my favourite friend”. ‘Savannah’ is an uplifting radio-friendly pop song which will be sure to gain the band a number of new fans and the REM influence is very apparent in ‘My Spirit Is Broken’. ‘St. Peters’ is the song that made me fall in love with this band; the gentle melodies, delicate guitar playing and wistful vocals that are full of romance all combine to create a song that will instantly capture your entire body, mind and soul and not let go.

From start to finish ‘Down Like Gold’ is a consistently wonderful album that you will be sure to return to on a regular basis throughout the rest of your life.

Steve Tay

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