Our featured band this month is London via Manchester indie/alt band Chappaqua Wrestling.
Chappaqua Wrestling was formed in Manchester in late 2017 by songwriters Charlie Woods and Jake Mac, since moving back south, they have been joined by Jude Lilley, John-Paul Townsend and Alice SK.
The band, now based in London, had an EP and a string of singles to their name alongside an ever-growing, loyal fanbase. Following the success of their single ‘The Rift’, released in 2020, they got 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.
In May 2022 the band signed to EMI and also released their excellent single “Full Round Table”, which offered a seismic and satisfying introduction to a new era of Chappaqua Wrestling.
Debut album Plus Ultra
As they introduced the world to their debut full length offering Plus Ultra with singles such as ‘Full Round Table’, ‘Wayfinding’, ‘Wide Asleep’ and ‘Need You No More’, a snapshot of the band’s headspace has come into clearer and clearer focus, they’ve lit a match under corrupt politicians, toasted the power of freewheeling revelry, and lambasted social media’s ability to warp minds.
As the band themselves say, “Talking is our generation’s saviour” and Plus Ultra is an album with much to get off its chest. The band repurpose this notion as a challenge from which to launch the album’s central point of focus: exploration. As a result, Plus Ultra has the strength to take its own advice: be brave, ask questions, and don’t fear the unknown.
These are songs that plumb societal lows while also conjuring up a feeling of hope, theirs is a glass-half-full mentality, understanding that to take on the hardest of challenges often requires the optimism that they can be overcome.
Chappaqua Wrestling are:
- Charlie Woods (vocals, guitar)
- Jake Mac (vocals, guitar)
- John-Paul Townsend (drums)
- Coco Varda (keys, percussion)
Debut Album Plus Ultra out now via EMI Records / Universal Music Group.