For their debut album, Chappaqua Wrestling knew that they wanted to step above the noise of the concrete everyday. To match their songs about political despondency and social change, Jake Mac and Charlie Woods wanted to create surrealist artwork, teetering on the brink of despair and release.
“We wanted to kind of render ourselves in, jumping off this roof with a beautiful landscape behind it, falling gracefully, but also potentially not making this crazy fall”, Jake.
“It’s a record about exploring,” adds Charlie “we just wanted to get something that has us thrusting ourselves into this new place, but get this weird eye-trickery thing going on. You want to start a conversation, like is this real? Maybe that’s for us to know…”
The success of their single ‘The Rift’, released in 2020, gave the band the confidence to dig deeper with their newfound activist voice. Bolstered by the relentless lyrical inspiration of world events, they decamped to Wales to record three tracks with Damon Minchella and Tom Manning (Ocean Colour Scene, Richard Ashcroft, The Goa Express). 12 working days later, they had a full record, all agreeing that it was too strong to release independently.
Our manager actually texted with an EMI guy, like do you want this?. They heard it, had a board meeting the following Monday, and then just made it happen. They knew exactly what we were about from the beginning rather than having to develop us. EMI are an absolute monster of a label, but they like our tastes and they trust us, which puts us in a really positive position.
It’s no surprise that Plus Ultra piqued such major label interest. Capturing a wide array of political issues, it manages to plumb social lows while also conjuring up a feeling of hope, mirroring the open-faced bravery of its titular inspiration.
“Talking is our generation’s saviour,” nods Charlie. “Yeah we can’t get a mortgage anymore and we can’t have XYZ that our parents had, but we can still sit down with
each other and have a good time. Amidst it all, those good moments can still really
‘Full Round Table’, ‘Wayfinding’, ‘Kulture’, ‘Wide Asleep’, ‘Need You No More’, ‘Not in Love’, ‘My Fall’…
‘Plus Ultra‘ is out now via EMi. Buy your copy here.
Chappaqua Wrestling are:
Charlie Woods – Vocals, guitar
Jake Mac – Vocals, guitar
John-Paul Townsend – Drums
Coco Varda – Keys, percussion