Chicane (aka Nick Bracegirdle) is a British musician, composer, songwriter and producer who has had a string of hits that have been massive on the Ibiza club scene, including ‘Saltwater’ (featuring vocals by Máire Brennan from Clannad), ‘Offshore’, ‘Don’t Give Up’ (featuring Bryan Adams) and ‘Stoned In Love’ (with vocals by the legendary Tom Jones). Now, 2021 sees the release of his eighth album, Everything We Had To Leave Behind (released through Modena Records and Armada Music); here’s what we have to say about it…
Atmospheric is the only way to describe the opening, title track of the album with its rumbling bass, euphoric synths and haunting vocals from Maltese singer Joseph Aquilina.
In fact, atmospheric is an accurate description for much of the album. Having spent the past year writing and recording the record in his studio, there is a real sense of peaceful reflection, hope and even isolation – something so many people can relate to right now.
With this reflection come some tracks which reminisce of a more youthful Chicane yet still manage to show just how much he has grown over the past twenty years or so too. Such tracks include ‘Never Look Back’ with it’s heavy, Chicane-esque synth line and ‘One Foot In The Past, One Foot In The Future’ – a deep house cut that builds beautifully throughout.
This is an album with no fillers, only epic tracks that each have so much to offer. However, some of the standout songs have to be, ‘Sailing’ featuring vocals from Christopher Cross (Bon Ivor) which is an upbeat house anthem that evolves throughout; ‘Don’t Look Down’, an all-consuming, track of ecstasy that although never fully takes off, has highs and lows in all the right places; ‘Now Or Never’ is a rather commercial offering that begs the listener to get up and dance and ‘An Ocean Apart’ has some seriously soaring vocals that ride atop a juddering synth soundscape.
This is an album of epic proportions that is begging to be played loudly and in it’s entirety.
That’s not to say the rest of the record is not filled with gems; ‘8 (Circle)’ has some moments of pure serenity amid a wonderfully chaotic beat and echoing vocals and ‘Juno’ which is pure Chicane goodness that reminds of a crystal-clear summer’s day.
Possibly one of my favourite tracks on the album is the superbly diverse, closing track, ‘Hello, Goodbye’. It offers space for synths that reverberate through you before kicking into a chest-thumping bass-driven beat. It constantly adapts throughout the 7-and-a-half-minute epic whilst still remaining a euphoric daydream.
There’s a wonderful structure that lies at the heart of Chicane‘s latest album, and that’s that you could be basking in the sun one minute and feeling the call to the dance floor the next.
This is an album of epic proportions that is begging to be played loudly and in it’s entirety. It flows beautifully and wholeheartedly captivates the listener from start to finish.
Another wonderful album by a truly talented producer that leaves the listener fulfilled. It’s definitely one to have on repeat this summer!
‘Everything We Had To Leave Behind’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/everything-we-had-to-leave-behind/1553835994
Everything We Had To Leave Behind on Spotify
Everything We Had To Leave Behind (Official Music Video)
Don’t Look Down (Official Music Video)
Hello, Goodbye (Official Music Video)
We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this producer’s latest album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.