Press

“In My Blood’ is a superb, stunning track. A one to blast from the rooftops. The song is a lot more than a track, it’s a myriad of proud, special vocals to make this song one to remember.”

Born Music (UK)

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The River,” the latest single from from CHNNLL. The moniker and band for NYC-based multi-instrumentalist Chris Davidson, CHNNLL is a passionate exhale of thought-provoking music. “The River” is CHNNLL’s first release in a year, following the powerfully electronic beat-driven “Out of Nowhere” and the impassioned “W A V E S.” On his return, CHNNLL lets the rhythm take control. Like the rushing of water flowing endlessly downstream, “The River” feels forever in motion – pushed by onward by an invisible force.

CHNNLL © 2017

CHNNLL © 2017

That ceaseless momentum feels appropriate considering the context; what drives us in life? What are our conscious motivators? We are constantly moving, but why?

Oh you know
That you can’t go
That you can’t go back to the start
Oh the river runs
With or with out, with or with out you

You can’t go back to the start,” sings CHNNLL, anchored to the moment in the song’s chorus. Life is much like a river, its heavy current throwing us every which way, but always in the forward direction. CHNNLL’s clever comparison implores us to consider our place in the universe of things: What do we value most? Do we act in line with our values? Are we who we think we are?

“My house was right on a river growing up and further upstream, in the woods, there was a waterfall and a rope swing where me and my friends and many generations before us would go hang out,” recalls CHNNLL. “Jumping off the waterfall and using the rope swing and zip line that we built was awesome. We were always there. Skipping school to hang out at the river wasn’t uncommon. We would drink beer, smoke weed, hang out with girls there, girls who were actually willing to hang out with us… We grew up around there and it’s just such a great childhood memory. When writing this, I was thinking of where we all were in our lives then and where we are now, and how time doesn’t wait for you. You should look back on memories of the past fondly, but it is important to create new ones that are just as good because life goes on, with or without you.”

Will you run?
As fast and as far as the current carries on
Remember when it took you past the sun?
Are you weak?
Are you strong?
Do you feel like you no longer belong?
Oh how did you stray so far from, the river?
It’s where we were born it’s where we belong
We scraped, we scrounged, we won’t go down
We swam right to the top.

Life goes on, with or without you. What a mantra. There’s a deep undercurrent of unavoidable truth lying at the heart of CHNNLL’s latest single: Time ticks against us from our birth, and though we do not choose to be born, we do have control over what we do with much of our lives. “The River” invites us to step out of that chaos for just a second, to ponder our existence and reflect on the things that make us who we are. As hypnotizing as it is provocative, CHNNLL’s new song will push you to the edge of introspective contemplation.

Few artists dare dive as deep as “The River,” but CHNNLL is not most artists. Connect through social media below, and share your own meditations on memory and our relationship with the past. Time is one of those universal concepts that we nakedly accept, but it might benefit us to discuss it a bit more.

Atwood Magazine

We had the pleasure of giving a listen CHNNLL’s debut track, W A V E S. Now, we’re sharing it with you for the first time. As it’s moniker might suggest, W A V E S ebbs and flows in intensity as it marches toward a gentle resolution. Building percussion tracks accompany warm guitars, the low buzz of underlying synth tones, and Davidson’s melancholic lyrics. At times soothing, and at other time dissonant, this song is the first what will hopefully be many enchanting releases by CHNNLL.

-Impose Magazine

“Chnnll’s first single, W A V E S, has such a wonderfully laidback vibe, CHNNLL’s soulful lyrics somehow working well over the gentle synth. I’m left with the immediate desire to witness this live – I think it would make for a great atmosphere, something you’d want to close your eyes and sway to.”

Pop Wrapped

“If Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism had been an electro-pop album, it would have sounded like this relaxed, careful, yet passionate tune”.

Independent Clauses

“Brooklyn-based multi instrumentalist/singer/composer/producer, CHNNLL recently released his debut single “Waves” to some acclaim. Surviving the Golden Age is excited to bring you, its follow up single “Out of Nowhere.” A mixture of buzzing bass, shimmering synths, a strong live drum sound and crooning vocals, the track is as reminiscent of bands like M83 as it is of Nine Inch Nails. It finds the perfect space between menacing and beautiful.”

Surviving the Golden Age

 

Interview with M Pire Magazine:

Q: Tell us about your newly released single, “Waves.”

A: “Waves” is the first single that I have released under my new project as Chnnll and is the song that really got this project moving. “Waves” stemmed from a relationship that I was in at the time. We were on again off again and when things started going right something would always eventually go wrong. Some lyrics that outline that in the song are: “With you it will always be the same, and I knew a sunny days gonna bring the rain on down.” There are also lyrics in “Waves” that refer to insecurities that hold you back in life and prevent you from doing the things that you want to do like, “You’re way too scared of nothing, I know I can see you shed your skin.” My insecurity at the time was really about if I was good enough to completely switch gears in my music career from a jazz drummer to a front man. I was feeling stuck in the situation I was in and I needed to reinvent myself and that is how I found Chnnll. I don’t feel insecure about it at all anymore.

I also feel like the “waves” are also just waves of emotions that everyone gets, especially if you are going through a hard time with something in your life. The “waves” are bad feelings, insecurities etc… and they always seem to go away and then come back again in waves.

I had one fan reach out to me about the song. His father had just passed and his world was just crushed. He told me that the emotions and grief came in waves and that every time he felt this way he would listen to my song and that it helped him to get those emotions out. He recently wrote back and is doing much better now and told me that he hasn’t had to listen to my song in a while!

I was just so taken back that my song had helped someone so much. My main goal with writing music is to inspire and help people through a difficult time, or to elevate them during times of happiness, like so much music has done for me. But I never imagined I would get a response like that. It was very touching.

Q: What inspired you to get into drums as a child?

A: Honestly, I kind of just fell into it. I remember I was in elementary school and I had this friend, Jamie who played guitar. I told him that I played piano, although I had never touched a piano in my life…

We eventually hung out at his house to play in his garage. He was from a musical family, his dad and brother both played in bands, so they had a bunch of instruments in the house. When it finally came time for us to play I was at the piano and he had his guitar and to say the least, it didn’t work out very well. It was pretty obvious that I couldn’t play piano at all. His brother did have a drum set though and Jamie suggested I try that because he was more into punk rock anyway and piano isn’t very punk rock. So, I messed around a little on the set while he played guitar and then we went upstairs to the tv where his brother had a bunch of instructional videos. We popped one in and I was able to learn a basic drum beat and we just played all afternoon on that groove!

I took to the drums very naturally and started bands in middle school and in high school. I was in two bands between middle school and high school and for the most part we would write our own music, but we would also play covers by bands like Green

Day and Metallica.

Looking back, it’s funny that I told my friend I played piano because I think I have always had an interest in playing both piano and guitar, but drums were just first and I was naturally good at them and I love playing drums. I did eventually find my way back to learning piano and guitar in college. I really believe that I learned both piano and guitar so fast because of the drums. All the rhythm was there, I really just needed to learn the chords and scales and from learning how to practice through drums, that whole process of learning a new instrument was a lot easier and things came a lot quicker to me because of the drums.

Q: Can you give us the story behind the name, “CHNNLL”?

A: I wanted something that was clean, one word that I could live with for a while and one that didn’t sound too genre specific.

I was looking around at family names and remembered that my father’s middle name is Channell. It’s a French name that can be used for both boys and girls. One of the meanings of the name is: “A Means of communication or expression: as a path along which information (as data or music) in the form of an electrical signal passes.” The other meaning has to do with water, or something…

I thought that was a perfect name because as a musician, a channel is what I am and it is what I do.

Then a friend of mine suggested that I take out the vowels for a better look AND it was much easier to search as Chnnll. With this spelling, It also doesn’t make the name look like I’m selling perfume… I really like the name and it feels right.

As a musician, I have taken all the inspiration that has been given to me in life from other musicians, experiences, family, friends and it makes me who I am and that all comes out in my music. So I am the channel in which all of that information passes through.

Q: Do you have any upcoming shows that you want our readers to know about?

A: Me and my band have a show coming up on the 25th of this month at Basement Bar in Bushwick. We will be going up at 8:00 and are opening for a band called TGX (total girlfriend experience), Which, I will be playing drums for. It is actually my first gig as Chnnll. I have been playing a bunch of gigs with another project of mine and as a sideman, but all the stuff with Chnnll has been in the studio until now and I am so excited to share it on stage! Now that all the music is together, I will be performing live a lot more.

Q: If you had one piece of advice for aspiring artists looking to make a career out of their music, what would it be?

A: There is really so much advice to give here, but I would tell them to take their time and hone their craft. It’s easy to become caught up with technology, music business, image and so on, which are all things that you have to learn and work at of course, but the first thing is to really hone your craft as a musician and as a songwriter, so you have the ability to be flexible with your music and so that you have enough musical knowledge to work yourself out of an artistic rut. Practice your instrument and never stop learning. You have to take care of the music and the music will take care of you. It also takes a long time to find your own voice, so be patient. A lot of times life as a musician can be uncertain and overwhelming and I believe that you should just go into it blind to all of those insecurities as much as you can, so you don’t give those insecurities the chance to hold you back. Just work hard, have a game plan and the rest will come.

I would also say that you should take everyone’s advice and opinion about your music with a grain of salt. Ultimately, it is your music and your voice. People are not always going to see things the way that you do, so don’t get swept up in their opinion. When music is your profession and you are an artist, sometimes you really have to fight for your passion and your art and stand by it. Do not get caught up in what other people think.

M Pire Magazine

 

Vent’s Magazine Interview :

Hi Chris, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey, Thanks for having me! Everything has been very good, thanks! Music has been keeping me very busy lately.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Waves”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Waves is the first single that I have released under my new project as Chnnll and is the song that really got this project moving. Waves really stemmed from a relationship that I was in at the time. We were on again off again and when things started going right something would always eventually go wrong. Some lyrics that outline that in the song are: “With you it will always be the same, and I knew a sunny days gonna bring the rain on down.” There are also lyrics in Waves that refer to insecurities that hold you back in life and prevent you from doing the things that you want to do like, “You’re way too scared of nothing, I know I can see you shed your skin”. My insecurity at the time was really about if I was good enough to completely switch gears in my music career from a jazz drummer to a front man. I was feeling stuck in the situation I was in and I needed to reinvent myself and that is how I found Chnnll. I don’t feel insecure about it at all anymore.

I also feel like the “waves” are also just waves of emotions that everyone gets, especially if you are going through a hard time with something in your life, the waves are bad feelings, insecurities etc… and they always seem to go away and then come back again in waves.

I had one fan reach out to me about the song. His father had just passed and his world was just crushed. He told me that the emotions and grief came in waves and that every time he felt this way he would listen to my song and that it helped him to get those emotions out. He recently wrote back and is doing much better now and told me that he hasn’t had to listen to my song in a while!

I was just so taken back that my song had helped someone so much. My main goal with writing music is to inspire and help people through a difficult time, or to elevate them during times of happiness, like so much music has done for me. But I never imagined I would get a response like that. It was very touching.

How was the recording and writing process?

When I wrote this song, I went out to get a coffee one Sunday morning and on the way home I had a bass line in my head. Once I was home I immediately went to the piano and started playing the bass line. I then started writing down the lyrics. Some of the lyrics I already had written down weeks before I had the idea for the bass line and they didn’t have a home yet, but most of them were completely new lyrics for that bass line and I just kind of Frankenstein-ed the new and old one’s together. I worked on touching them up after that day, but for the most part all of the lyrics were written then and there. I think you especially have to get the lyrics and melody out fast, or you forget the original intention that lead you to write that song and it becomes flat.

After I wrote the melody and lyrics I spent some time practicing phrasing them over the bass line. Once that was good I added a pulse in my left foot, started slapping a 6/8 rhythm on my right leg and played the bass line with my left hand, so that I could perform it live on my own.

When I finally went into the studio to record the song I was thinking of going in that direction, a more acoustic version with the 6/8 rhythm that would be played by the bass, drums and percussion. Emulating the foot tapping and knee slapping that was going on when I was performing it solo. But then, after weeks of performing that song in it’s original version, I turned away from that whole feel and recorded the drums more simple and made the whole tune more electronic and dark by using a heavy Moog bass, which I immediately loved, along with some other darker elements.

I discovered this new instrumental direction after recording the song with my original, more acoustic instrumentation, but something didn’t feel right, so I took everything out of the track except the vocals. I then played the vocal track on it’s own and started writing a different bass rhythm underneath and that’s how I got the Waves you know today.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

A video for Waves is in the works, but there is no premiere date as of yet. Stay tuned!

Why releasing a series of tracks instead of an album?

I am in the studio now writing music for an album and I am hoping to release it sometime this year, but in the meantime, before it’s finished I am releasing singles because I am very eager to get people to start listening. I want to get them engaged before the album is released. Some of the singles that I am releasing will make the album and some will not, but I do not want to wait until my album is done to release music because, who the fuck am I? Nobody really knows of my music yet, so waiting to release music to the public in an album doesn’t make much sense at the moment. I have a bunch of music recorded and I want to share it.

Would be taking different approach on both the music and songs or would they be following a theme or pattern in particular?

I wouldn’t say that every single that I release in the meantime will be worlds apart from one another. They are all fallowing the same voice, but they might not necessarily fit on an album together.

The singles that I am releasing before the album are all from the earliest stages of finding my voice as Chnnll. This project is only a year old by the way. I like the songs and hopefully I find an audience and those singles are all leading up to an album, which will have a whole concept. I think that it will be cool for my audience to see that evolution. I want to keep them guessing just a little too, so they will just have to wait until the next single to see where I am taking it.

Any plans to hit the road?

I would love to hit the road, but as of now nothing is planned. Hopefully sometime in the near future.

What else is happening next in CHNNLL’s world?

All my world is right now is writing music and performing live. The shows will mostly be in New York, but there will be some out of state stuff happening too. As we discussed, I am planning to release a video for Waves, so be on the look out for that. Stay tuned!

Vents Magazine

COMING SOON