As someone who has spent most of their life studying art and art appreciation, I’m always fascinated when people find ways to bring the art world into other aspects of life. Philly-based art-rock band, The Chairman Dances, is a group that has found a way to morph their musical talents into the form of artistic story-telling. Their most recent album entitled Michael and the Prophetess was released back in June. The band’s Facebook describes the inspiration and story behind the album: “Michael and the Prophetess, set in Brooklyn in 1956, is the coming-of-age story of a young man (Michael) who meets and interacts with biblical personalities in the blighted neighborhood of his upbringing. These interactions reveal a fantastic reality where mundane urban locales and everyday people act as signposts for the metaphysical.” Basically, the entire album is told as a fantastical story, painting vivid pictures and somehow implanting the characters’ emotions in your very being.
Not only is the “told-as-story” format of this album unique and interesting, but the actual sound of the album is all their own. With an impressive list of contributing musicians on the album, the band found a way to incorporate everything from electric guitars and drums to organs, violins, cellos, and even flutes and trumpets. Ordinarily, I have a hard time relating to music with such a broad range of sounds and experimentation, but I have to give it to these guys. The melodies are intricate and the story is beautiful. This is a definite must-listen for all Death Cab for Cutie lovers and those who identify with easy-listening, soft rock.
To sum it up, The Chairman Dances’ Michael and the Prophetess is an incredibly unique album which tells a story through truly beautiful music. Lead vocalist, Eric Krewso, has a crystal-clear presentation and incredible vocal control and range. Everyone who played on this album is obviously a very talented musician with a great ear for sound and is not afraid to try something outside the box. Don’t let the first few songs on the album fool you, every song on this album is unique and totally different from the last. To channel my inner Forrest Gump, this album is “like a box of chocolates”. You really don’t know what you’re gonna get until you take a listen.
Make sure you check out this art-rock band from the local Philadelphia area. You can stream their most recent album below or via their website. There you can also find their previous albums and upcoming tour dates.