Chase Potter is firmly in the driver’s seat on his accomplished and ambitious new album Hitchhike To Oblivion — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The debut full-length from the Brooklyn singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Hitchhike To Oblivion is a scenic nine-song journey through a vibrant landscape of impeccably rendered roots-pop and indie-rock. Fuelled by Potter’s poetic lyrics — which encompass everything from the political to the personal — and the soaring power of his distinctive vocals, these timeless tracks balance earthy earnestness and musical nostalgia against stylish craftsmanship and understated beauty.
Look no further than the title cut. Built from an intoxicating cocktail of ’70s-inspired piano-pop and glam-rock, its bouncy beat, ringing keyboards and richly layered vocals belie the sharply worded lyrical barbs Potter uses to paint a lyrical portrait of a destructive leader who shall remain anonymous (yet totally obvious): “You’ll never be a general but I’ll generalize you yet,” he says. “Put your plague upon the masses as you lose another bet.”
Potter’s winning streak, on the other hand, is just beginning. Born Again offers a heartfelt confession wrapped in warm piano chords, thumping drums and twangy guitars reminiscent of Elton John circa Tumbleweed Connection. Don’t Roll Over‘s pulsing electric guitars and effects-drenched vocals cruise slowly through a bluesy desert en route to a psychedelic sunset. Toothless breezes in with lightly strummed folk chords before opening wide into biting folk-rock. Foot On The Dash slowly but surey puts the hammer down, gradually building into a head-nodding southern hippie-rocker reminiscent of vintage Black Crowes. By the time we get to the soulful closing ballad Flood Gates, you’ll be glad you came along for the ride. And you’ll be ready to do it all over again from the top.
Speaking of beginnings: Potter started his music career just shy of five years old on the violin. After just a year of study, he began performing publicly, and it wasn’t long before he picked up other instruments. The drums came first, then guitar, then saxophones. He took up bass in his teenage years, followed by mandolin. While violin remained his sharpest tool, he showed an exceptional ability to assimilate any instrument. As a high school student in Ohio, Potter’s musical prowess allowed him to tour internationally with the prestigious Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra. Going on to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Potter worked with Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lalah Hathaway and Scottish indie-rock band Belle & Sebastian. Since relocating to New York City in 2016, Potter has been a featured violin soloist with Wynton Marsalis, performed on The Tonight Show with Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello on their hit Bad Things, and appeared as a guitar player on HBO’s The Deuce.
In tandem with his sterling resume as a sideman, Potter has created original music for the majority of his career. Performing as a solo act or with a full band, his own work encompasses a progressive musicality within accessible songs that resonate with fans of power-pop, indie rock, Americana and experimental music. Throughout it all, his mission has always remained simple and steadfast: Be true and vigilant through the power of music.