Abbey104 Album of the Month:

Date:

Chandler
Wyatt C. Louis
Royal Mountain Records

On my weekly radio show I try to focus primarily on new and underground artists, bringing them to a wider audience and dispelling the myth that “there’s no good music anymore”. As a result, it has been a point of some consternation to me that 2024 has been conspicuously lacking in high quality debut albums. In fact, two of my recent Album Of The Month submissions have featured artists with careers spanning well in excess of 20 years. I was therefore delighted to hear the debut L.P. from Canadian singer-songwriter Wyatt C. Louis.
The album’s title, Chandler, is taken from the C. in the artists name, and reflects the deeply personal nature of this record, produced close to home in Calgary. But what immediately catches the attention is the sure-footedness of both the writing and the arrangements on display here.
While on its surface this is a Canadian take on Americana-Folk, a la Dallas Green (City & Colour) and Spencer Burton (Grey Kingdom), Wyatt never shies away from adding the kinds of flourishes and unexpected musical touchpoints necessary to set their music apart from their contemporaries.
The album opens in a wash of acoustic guitar accompanied by piano and wind instruments before settling into Wild, where beautiful but subtle violin and pedal steel flourishes ebb and flow as Louis implores “Take me as I am, take me”.
The standout track and centrepiece of the album, In Emerald, is where the self-confidence and aplomb of this album really reaches its peak. The mastery of melody and lyrics on show as Louis sings “Rainy day, headed to a guitar shop … didn’t have the money anyway” is a perfect set-up for the tail of the song, where country vies with soul in a vocal style simultaneously fresh and comfortingly familiar in its delivery.
This is a superb, accomplished debut from an artist to watch.

Matthew Ambrose presents Under The Radar on Tuesday evening at 7pm on Abbey104. Broadcasting on 104.7FM and online at abbey104.com.

Matthew Ambrose, DJ at Abbey104

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