While fans of Chestnut might feel that their ‘digital 45’ The Winger We Were Vampires Meets the Original Wolf Man is a departure from their usual sound, it is actually much more. Inspired by the spooky novelty songs of the 50s and 60s, the two-track EP brings a hit of nostalgia to the improv and noise duo’s sound. Their attempt at creating tracks that would fit in at the world-famous Kenton Club on Halloween will get you moving to their spooky groove while having the time of your life.
The idea of the EP first came in late 2019 when Daniel Watkins (guitar, vocals, musical saw, piano, synth) and Christina Santa Cruz (bass, vocals, percussion) went to a Halloween dance. With the DJ playing old spooky songs, their creative juices were fired up and this extremely engaging EP is the end result. While different from past work, the duo continues to draw on their unique experimental sound.
The first track of the EP, ‘The Winter We Were Vampires’, opens with a new announcement that gives way to a deep beat. There is a retro vibe to the music that swirls through the spooky vibes and foggy empty streets. The vocals bring a rock edge to the track while making you want to dance around to the movement. There is a fair amount going on in the track that creates a pushing wave of spooky vibes. This is sprinkled with an almost dreamy lo-fi feeling that brings a unique edge to the track. The lyrics are quite catchy as they stick in your brain and may just pop up at random times throughout the day.
The second track is ‘The Original Wolf Man’ which opens with an old-school refrain. The retro tones give way to an ominous vibrating tone that leads you into a dark undergrowth. While Watkins provided the vocals for the first track, Santa Cruz takes over for the creepy vocal performance of this track. Her voice twirls around you and beckons you further into the darkness while wrapping around your heart and threatening to squeeze in fear. The almost Americana wash to the low levels of the track are great as they increase the spooky vibes of the music. While slower than the last tack, this one is as captivating and brings a completely different spooky edge.
Chestnut brings two very different retro spooky vibes to their ‘digital 45’ The Winter We Were Vampires Meets the Original Wolf Man. The two tracks have different spooky vibes but bring the curl of darkness to the soundscape. While retro vibes wash through the tracks, there is something unique to Chestnut woven in.