Home Read Albums Of The Week: Grian Chatten | Chaos For The Fly

Albums Of The Week: Grian Chatten | Chaos For The Fly

The Fontaines D.C. frontman gets personal and digs deep on his debut solo release.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Thirty miles north of Dublin along a windswept promenade you’ll find a tired casino, the sort of place anyone familiar with the rusted seaside glamour of forgotten coastal towns will recognize. A now-shuttered escape where the crack of pool balls and chink of glasses in the lounge bar reverberated within the ever-present whirr and jangle of slot machines. Unremarkable to some, perhaps, but it was where Chaos For The Fly was born.

“I was walking along Stoney Beach at night and it came to me on the waves,” recalls Grian Chatten. “I just stood there and looked at them and I heard the whole fing thing. Every part of it, from the chord progressions to the string arrangements.”

The resulting songs could have been taken, shaped and reimagined with his bandmates in Fontaines D.C., but Chatten decided to treat these differently. “I just thought: I want to do this myself. I know where we as a band are going next and that’s not where I want to go with this. I’ve got a couple of exaggerated aspects of my soul that I wanted to express,” he says. “The rest of the band are all creative and songwriters in their own right, too. I didn’t want to go to them and be like, ‘No, every single thing has to be like this.’ I didn’t want to compromise with these songs in that way.”

Co-produced by Fontaines’ longstanding producer Dan Carey, the album is the most poetic we’ve heard yet from Chatten. Songs such as the fingerpicking kiss-off of opener The Score or Fairlies’ wounded isolation present a heavily distilled vision that is heady in its strength and at times comes with a dark undertow. “A lot of the album was written with just me and a guitar and I really like the idea of it being boiled down to those elements. That feeling of having the song in the palm of your hand, that control of having it with just you and a guitar,” he says. “There’s an intensity as a result of that.”

Over its nine tracks, Chaos For The Fly takes in all of life’s emotions and stories. Yes, some are painful, but in giving shape and form to them and making those voices come alive, Chatten has created something with its own unique beauty. A place you not only want to visit, but will find yourself returning to again and again.”