Artist: Alan Chapell
EP: Soul Man
Musicians often don’t take the conventional route in their journey to success, because they often feel like it’s never the right time for them to achieve fame. But New York City-based singer, Alan Chapell is proving yet again that journeying down the traditional career path isn’t always the right route for all musicians. His latest deeply autobiographical and retro-modern rock EP, ‘Soul Man,’ which is scheduled to be released early next year, naturally draws from some of his influences, including Elvis Costello and Flaming Lips. Backed by some intriguing instrument choices, including a cello, organ and horn section, Chapell’s lyrics both praise and denounce his unorthodox professional and personal lives in the Northest, which serves as the backdrop for sincere tunes.
The four-song ‘Soul Man’ begins with its soulful and relatable title track, which is the EP’s best entry. The adult contemporary song continues Chapell’s earnest tradition of addressing loss, transition and growth in his music. Driven by a passionate organ and keyboard, the singer croons about how he’s given up trying to please the woman in his life. He admits that she’s dangerous and has high expectations, which brings out his fears. The most revealing lyrics on the album also acknowledge that she doesn’t really know him, and she’ll be sure to break his heart. He admits that the only way he’ll get relief from her is to break free from the relationship.
The ‘Soul Man’ EP then unfortunately delves into it’s weakest track, ‘My Baby Loves Me Now,’ which features highly repetitive lyrics. Chapell regularly repeats that the woman he’s involved with loves him more than he could ever hope for, and he feels blessed for their bond. Despite the lack of description about the singer’s connection with the woman he’s involved with, the tune still features a captivating electronic instrumentation, which features his signature ’70s pop-folk vibe.
The next entry on Chapell’s upcoming record is ‘Watercolors,’ which intriguingly incorporates the musical sound that he acquired when he moved to Mumbai after he finished college. He felt that no one in America wanted to hear more of his quirky piano-driven songs at the time, as the guitar laden grunge movement that was coming out of Seattle was becoming ever more popular in the early ’90s. Backed by an intriguing Indian and East-West fusion instrumentation, Chapell croons about how he was drawn to eventually return to the U.S., and celebrate life in New York City as he waits for the woman he loves. The soulful song also highlights how she paint his portrait in watercolors, which bonds them over their shared passion for creativity.
The last track on ‘Soul Man’ is ‘She’s On Fire,’ which explores how the woman he loves feels torn between staying in the town where she was raised, and moving to the city that’s calling her name. Chapell notes that she has to be strong in her decision, which is driven by a ’70s pop-folk vibe, and an enthralling drum, guitar and horn instrumentation.
Musicians often don’t take the typical route in their journey to success, because they often feel like it’s never the right time for them to achieve fame. But Chapell is proving yet again that journeying down the traditional career path isn’t always the right route for all musicians. His autobiographical and retro-modern rock EP, ‘Soul Man,’ instinctively draws from some of his influences, including Elvis Costello and Flaming Lips, and is backed by some alluring instrument choices. Chapell’s lyrics also praise and denounce his unorthodox professional and personal lives in the Northest, which serves as the backdrop for profound songs.