We have a new favourite for quirkiness here at the Send Me Your Ears Studio. Nastee Chapel’s release, The Bucket.
The Bucket is an awe inspiring jaunt into the minds of two artists who bonded over a mutual love of progressive rock metal and then decided to cement that bond by creating unbelievably catchy unique and characterful Bluegrass style music! Intrigued? We sure were.
The Bucket is a song led with female vocals, backed up occasionally with some sumptuous 1930s style male backing vocals. Its essentially banjo and double bass led with some minimal percussion (cajon we think), together with guitar and mandolin added in for good measure.
Natalie on vocals is very clearly a trained vocalist who has just one day decided to say “to hell with it” and come into her own style completely. Her technique is magnificent and, whilst reminiscent of 1930s bluegrass harmony singers there is so much more character in her voice. It’s positively delightful.
The flute solo in The Bucket is a thrilling ride. Anyone inspired by 70s prog rock who plays the flute would obviously be chuffed to be likened to Jethro Tull, but there’s more to it than that here – Natalie’s playing sits well in the track and doesn’t try to dominate or take centre stage – she takes her solo and goes back to singing. The solo is, however, stunning, and the way it lines up with the banjo and bass towards the end of it gives you a good indication of just how tight this duo are.
There’s a klezmer feeling section around 2m30s which makes you realise that you have absolutely no idea where the song is going. We’re breaking so many rules here and why the hell not?! Every so often, one of us in the studio would shout “OH that’s cool!!” We were almost laughing at the sped up section towards the end. The creativity of Nastee Chapel is mind blowing.
We were reminded at times of a band by the name of Perkelt. British/mainland Europe based and vocally similar in places although Perkelt’s vocals are just a touch more nasal. Nastee Chapel would do well to seek out shows on the UK folk scene, especially the festival circuit. Perhaps take a look at 3 Daft Monkeys tour dates for some ideas, although not for a support slot – Nastee Chapel would be a hard act to follow for anyone.
From a production point of view there’s just about no stereo in the track at all, making it a candidate for sounding a little off if they’re to receive any AM radio air play. We’d also suggest just a little cut in the 700-88Hz range to counter the natural acoustic peaks of the banjo, and suggest a shelf boost of the top 2 octaves with a cut around 9kHz (to avoid any excessive sibilance) in order to bring some brightness into the overall sound.
The Bucket ticks all the boxes for us. Its so much fun. Great catchy lyrics, superbly tight musicianship and a quirkiness that puts them head and shoulders above most of the music coming out of the UK folk scene right now. We expect to hear Nastee Chapel’s name mentioned on the BBC Folk Awards before too long.