Fredericton psych rockers Chillteens bury The Dead to find their Wings on latest single, Short King.
I have been watching Chillteens from a distance for some time now. I’ve listened to both their previous releases, Sweet Songs and Green Tea, more than a few times and I have recently been following updates on Instagram as they work to complete a new album at Shiftwork Recording. Through it all, one thing has remained consistent. Chillteens have existed in a constant state of evolution, adding and subtracting members while continuously refining a sound that blends bits and pieces of jam band noodling with lounge inspired psychedelia all while holding the pace of a lazy summer stroll.
I have to give credit to Chillteens’ founder Oscar Tecu for holding on to his vision for what Chillteens is, or will become, or however that may best be phrased. Because it’s not like he wrote Sweet Songs and thought, maybe that was a little too mellow. I should pick it up a bit on the next go. In some ways he actually doubled down on the chill vibes that (I’m assuming) inspired the band’s name. But, and this is the part I love the most, he was able to highlight some of the elements that gave Sweet Songs its own character and expand on them to not only shape the sound of the next release but also that of the entire band. To me, the omnipresent keyboard dissonance on Green Tea is a nod to the cloudy Dead-like haze that defined its predecessor. With the addition of Aidan Bullock and Paul Hayes on guitar and Iris Wolfe on bass, Tecu was also able to further elevate the core elements of Chillteens’ sound and chase broader arrangements, thus achieving Peak Chill. (Or landing pretty damn close.)
All this gives way to the band’s latest release. Short King landed on streaming services this morning and in keeping with the above mentioned trajectory, Tecu and company have continued to broaden their brand of chill with this new single. Short King has it all. Catchy keyboard hooks, guitar solos (even a fucking bass solo!), and so much space for all these contributing factors to co-exist and move as one. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say Short King is the best arranged Chillteens song so far as well as being their strongest recorded performance.
PS: I’m not sure which is more important to me. The fact that Chillteens have just released an excellent new single, or that the band has finally chosen to spell its name with a capital C. Two midweek gifts I accept with open arms. Life just got a little easier.
October 20-21 | Moncton, NB | MusicNB Week
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November 4 | Saint John, NB | TBA