WRITTEN BY: BRITTANY RIZZO
When recommending a band to others, it’s helpful to draw a comparison between that band and a band with a similar sound. After listening to “HOMEY,” CHON’s sophomore release, it is apparent that CHON has a sound entirely its own, making it ever impossible to draw a comparison. CHON sounds like CHON and while words like instrumental, experimental, and progressive are thrown around to describe its music, the adjectives only scratch the surface of what CHON’s carefully calculated, yet effortlessly cultivated second album proves to be.
“HOMEY” is straight forward and to the point. The album is an adventure for the listener — a winding road that weaves into itself, leaving you satisfied and understanding of the musical journey the album provides.
The transition from one song to the next is reminiscent of “Grow,” the band’s first full-length. “HOMEY’s” instrumentation sets the stage for an easy listen, taking the album from point A to point B in a nonconventional, yet well executed way. The album is unique in its ability to rely on a foundation of ambient sounds coupled with the modernization of production.
“Sleepy Tea” is the first track and sets the stage for the offbeat, melodic, experiment of “HOMEY.” With a quick tempo, and crisp production, “Sleepy Tea” indulges in the best progressive rock has to offer. Following the first track is a batch of songs that emit mystical, bluesy intricacies coupled with undertones of funk. This combination supports the musical journey the album creates, one that alludes the “homey” feeling conjured up by the juxtaposition of classic jam band nods to modern experimental.
The album has a few feature tracks that amplify the twist and turns of the cultivated sound. Experimental meets modern funk, bordering on r&b with track 6, “NAYHOO.” The song features vocals from Masego and production from Lophile. It works to signify a shift in the album’s production. While by no means an interlude, the song breaks up the monotony of instrumentation with its energy, picking up the pace and setting the album up for a solid second half.
When the song is over, the following track resumes the instrumental element of the album with the track “Here and There.” It is classic CHON and continues the adventure listeners signed up for. The remainder of the album is rooted in mystical, melodic composition, with funky features and experimentation with songs like “Feel This Way,” featuring Giraffage. Concluding the winding road that is “HOMEY,” “Wave Bound” is a fruitful ending to an album that is short and sweet. The brevity of the album is combated by the various elements that make each song notable in their own way. “HOMEY” is a step up for CHON and an open door to a world of endless experimental possibilities.
“HOMEY” is out now.