Look at the cover. I see a horse, face turned away from me on a patch of land with nothing but fog behind it. Clear, yet full of mystery or better the unknown. Anything could be behind that horse, including danger or just plain nothing. Who can tell?
It's a bit the same with the music of Chantal Acda on Bounce Back. Several songs have this kind of mystery surrounding them. Not all is clear on the album.
I wrote this part before reading the bio accompanying Bounce Back. Chantal Acda tells about the disassociation that comes with social media. Do people really connect any more or just tell about their (too) pretty side on Facebook? She wanted to go personal and left the large venues to play living room shows and connected with the people there. From the stories she heard there, this album slowly grew.
|Promo photo: Hanneke Wetzer|
So expect guitars with a lot of reverb and echo, drums that play rhythms that do not necessarily seem a part of the song structure, but something added as an extra instrument, while a piece of percussion keeps the rhythm on track. Chantal Acda singing slowly, with deliberate words that can only be in that place at that point. The kind of music that befits a living room. Soft, modest, but commanding people to listen to the point of being able to hear a pin drop. If her aim is to do more living rooms shows she has the right music for that here. In large venues it will demand more attention than most people are able to summon these days. A live show is the new pub it seems sometimes.
|Promo photo by: Hanneke Wetzer|
Acda, the guitar and the drums are the horse, all going on in the background is the fog. I realise that the drums remind me of the role of the drums on Bowie's 'Black Star', almost set free and omnipresent.
Variation is a word that is not in abundant supply on Bounce Back. To find it one has to work hard, pay attention and leave outside impulses behind. Anyone not able to do so will not find the cello in 'Our Memories', the intricate guitar playing, the horn section that comes in near the end. Probably only that the mood changes during the outro of the song. The fun of Bounce Back is in the small details. Each song offers some, making Bounce Back an album to truly enjoy in solitude. An album for two: you and the album, preferably on a headset. It seems like Chantal Acda has succeeded in her quest for disassociation.
You can listen to 'Fight Back' here: