2018 was huge for London quartet Chapter And Verse who had played the main stage at 2000 Trees Festival, and went out on the road with Dream State, Courage My Love, and Hellions.
The soulful band are back with their brand new EP, ‘Glow’, which continues the tender yet powerful sound that we have become accustomed to with Chapter And Verse.
We caught up with vocalist Josh Carter for a track-by-track rundown of what to expect from their latest release.
01.) THE CASKET
This is about bottling up feelings. Someone I knew had a habit of causing arguments and never really letting anything go. They’d store up feelings and memories of past altercations to use against you in the inevitable future ones. At first I used to just let it go – I don’t ever make a point of holding grudges. But after a while I found myself doing exactly the same thing as them, as a kind of shield because to be frank, it fucking hurts when a friend treats you like shit and I’m not the kinda person to just take it. At the time I blamed them for all of it, but in hindsight I realised that my giving in to the same behaviour made me just as bad.
The song came from a much longer acoustic song that Jonny and I wrote. We like to write and perform new or re-imagined sections in our live shows to keep it unique and exciting and we had an idea to open the set with an a capella 3-part harmony (which we still do), and the melody from the opening of that acoustic song we’d written managed to work its way in to fulfil that idea. We all loved doing it on tour so much that we just couldn’t not make a full Chapter And Verse song out of it.
After the very near loss of a close friend of mine, I was a whirlwind of emotions. It was coupled with that friend having just given birth to her first child – a miracle that couldn’t properly be celebrated because the poor kid was born under the shadow of his mother’s illness. ‘Magazines’ is a reflection on that time and the people involved – it was a point in my life when people were shown for their true colours. I really think near-death experiences can really do that to people. I’m pleased to tell you that she’s fine now and the kid is just the best.
I’d also just like to add that for me the NHS is the one of the best things we have in the UK and should be open to anyone that needs it whilst they’re over here, resident of this country or not. The staff who give their lives to help others are some of the best people in existence and fuck ANYONE that would use the NHS for profits or for personal benefit.
03.) ELEVEN HOURS IN REAL TIME
My sister is one of the most positive, optimistic people I know. This track is about how vibrant ambitions can wear you down and leave you jaded, leaving you questioning why you got into things in the first place. I’ve experienced this first hand and come out the other side, but recently had to watch her go through a similar thing too and it was really shit to watch her lose some of her optimism. Might be trivial to some people, but when you’re in it, it can be rough.
I came forward with a skeletal-structure of this song and my vocal melodies only a month before we were due to record the EP. We had already decided on what to record, but I had a really strong gut feeling about it, so handed it over the boys who all got on board and elevated it into what it is now.
It’s quite different to what I had originally envisaged, but in SUCH a good way. In an ironic, almost poetic way their inputs to this song about losing faith in yourself generated a huge sense of solidarity in our ’cause’ and filled me with reassurance that there IS a reason we’re doing this crazy thing.
04.) A DEVIL IN BLUE
This one is pretty straight-forward, but feels really important to me. Me and my girlfriend went through a rough patch and I said some things I didn’t mean, which nearly ended our relationship. ‘A Devil In Blue’ is a public apology to her and is me putting my hands up and saying that I was wrong and that I’m sorry.
The vibe of the song is quite different to what we normally do. We don’t often stray into thrashy beats or stay so heavy so consistently within a track, but although it’s a bit of curveball sonically I think we all understood the importance of the message behind it. It’s a message that had to be louder than some of the others – we had to drive it home.
We wrote this quite by accident, but it has become one of my proudest achievements with Chapter And Verse thus far. This is the only song that was borne out of a jam session. We improvised around a bass riff Jonny had come up with and the structure came together in a single session.
I write lyrics all the time, often as a stream of consciousness on a chosen subject – my phone is full of musings and notes. One set of lyrics I knew I had to use at some point just seemed to fall perfectly into place with the improvisation around Jonny’s riff. It came so easily, it felt like it was meant to happen.
The song itself is about how obsessing over self-improvement can sometimes have the opposite effect. I’ve gone through stages where I’m constantly questioning what it is to be truly ‘happy’ and how I can achieve it. In that frame of mind I usually just end up trapped in my own head, making myself miserable. Tim Minchin once did a speech at University and said “Happiness is like an orgasm – if you think about it too much it goes away”. This song is kinda like a case study of Tim’s point, haha!