With the release of his first two EPs and a string of critically applauded, commercially successful collaborations =- including Aussie hip-hop act Hilltop Hoods‘ certified Gold single “Higher,” Brookyln’s rum.gold, the Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, producer and JOVM mainstay James Chatburn has quickly established himself as an in-demand songwriter and producer and as one of indie soul’s rising talents, developing and honing a sound that features elements of soul, blues, electro pop and neo-soul.
Chatburn’s split his highly-anticipated David Tobias co-produced full-length debut Faible into two parts — with the first part of the album released last week. Faible finds the rising Sydney-born, Berlin-based artist further cementing the warm, soulful sound that has won him international attention — but while pushing his sound towards a subtly psychedelic direction, influenced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, D’Angelo, Donny Hathaway, and Shuggie Otis among others.
Failble’s material finds Chatburn exploring his own vulnerability. “For long as I can remember, before people spoke so openly about it, I had these issues with anxiety,” the Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, producer and JOVM explains in press notes. “I kind of wanted to explore these ‘weaknesses’ that we all susceptible to. I mean, the way I am wired led me to be quite insular and creative especially when I was in my teens. I I now see how much of a strength it can be, it opened up my empathy and creativity and I think we all have these things we gotta talk through, if we talk about it we can band together and be stronger for it.”
Chatburn continues “David Tobias and I produced this album in his house. He is like this mad collector of vintage gear and his this incredible scope of music throughout the decades. I had this vision of soul meeting hip hop and modern psychedelic music I have been listening to. I could not have made it sound old but new without this genius dude backing me.”
Earlier this year I wrote about two of Faible’s singles:
“In My House,” a warm and vibey, two-step inducing bit of soul, centered around introspective, earnest songwriting, reverb-drenched guitars and thumping beats.
“Jewellery and Gold,” one of the album’s more tongue-in-cheek tracks, featuring a narrator looking forward to a future, where he’s flush with cash, and as a result, any of the major issues of his life being settled with that newfound cash — because dollar dollar bill y’all.
Recently, Chatburn performed an atmospheric version of the album’s third single “The Hurt,” which found him accompanying his achingly tender vocals with shimmering, gently picked guitar. At its core the song expresses longing and heartache in a way that reminds me quite a bit of fellow JOVM mainstay Nick Hakim.