Chance Brown walks you through the darkness with his soothing and sorrowful album This World’s On Fire — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
A Victoria singer-songwriter with a troubled soul, Brown applies gentle dulcet tones to tales of love, loss and hardship on his debut album, crafting a compelling mix of alt-country, folk blues, and ultra-raw storytelling. His drawling vocals have harmonic hints of Ray LaMontagne, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini, though his main two influences are Gord Downie and Justin Townes Earle.
This World’s On Fire and its single Helium came about with the end of a heartbreaking relationship. “About a week after it ended, I listened back to the last practice. What I found in that thrashy improv was Helium, It was all there, word for word. I knew I had something good. So, from there, I began to write fervently.”
The album was recorded at NBS Studios in Victoria with Josh Carlsen at the helm. As well as vocals and guitar, Chance handles mandolin, harmonica, Rhodes piano and percussion duties, with Josh laying down some bass and Chris Banks working drums. Produced in collaboration with Chance and Josh, the album features 10 strong alt-country-infused songs, each telling a different story. “There’s a few breakup songs, there’s songs inspired by a family member’s apparent attempt at suicide, my own close calls in substance-induced auto wrecks as well as just plain global pyromania,” says Brown.
Standout tracks include Helium, a melodic gentle passion plea to his failed relationship. It floats along with ease and although it has dark undertones, there is a line of hope that runs right through the song:
“Every time I try to argue,
Nothing ever works out right.
Maybe if I learned to listen
I’d be beside you tonight.”
On the flip side you have Colour, which shows the versatility of Chance’s songwriting. The alt-country rocker drives like a train, with influences of blues rock, long-drawn electric guitars and destructive lyrics:
“Where will you go now that you’re so cold and alone,
Your fear has overcome you babe, it’s soaked you through the bone.
You don’t have to speak, though there’s nothing you could say,
And there’s no one left to listen to your bullshit anyway.
Oh you gave it all away, now you’ve got nothing left on your dying day.”
Clearly, there’s no filter with Chance, he doesn’t pull any punches and lays everything down bare on this album. It’s an ode to life, his life. It’s therapy. “All of the songs are tragic as my worldview at the time of writing,” he says. “They spark from friction born of their inherent calamity and together they form a distinct image: This world’s on fire. So, let’s sit back enjoy some sweet music and watch it burn.”
Listen to This World’s On Fire below and visit Chance Brown at his website and Instagram.