Chantel McGregor to release new album titled Lose Control on October 9

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Guitarist and singer-songwriter Chantel McGregor will release her highly anticipated new album, Lose Control, on Friday 9th October 2015 on her independent boutique label Tis Rock Music, The new album is the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2011 debut solo album, Like No Other.

After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs that not only salutes contemporary rock, but shows her gradual transition from conventional Blues to a harder, bigger and bolder rock sound with progressive influences.

“I’ve always been interested in the dark side of Southern Gothic literature, artwork and media,” says Chantel. “I wanted to create an album that reflected the imagery and themes of that genre. I drew inspiration from the TV shows True Detective and True Blood and studied the literary works of Tennessee Williams, Carson Mullers and Mark Twain.”

“I also surrounded myself with imagery from artists and photographers such as Walker Evans and Clarence John Laughlin, all to immerse myself in the sinister, dark world of depravation, magic and voodoo, writing most of the songs from the perspective of the disturbed flawed characters.”

Lose Control, sees Chantel channeling her guitar playing and song-writing into an exciting pantheon of rock crescendos and riffs, that will not only leave her devout blues rock fan base in awe, but will also lead them into a sonic journey that will take them into new musical territory, whilst sticking to her current obsession with all things Southern Gothic.

“My interpretation of Southern Gothic is the loss of control, either spiritually, physically (through other people or substances), or emotionally,” reflects Chantel. “I drew on this theme a lot throughout the album, hence the title Lose Control. I wanted the sound and emotion of the album to reflect the concept, so I juxtaposed heavy, guitar riff-based, dark tracks with haunting, emotive acoustic tracks, whilst tying them together with the lyrical themes of desperation and loss so often seen in Southern Gothic fiction.”

The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Livingstone Brown’s studio in Brixton over the space of 6 months, interspersing studio time with touring. Livingstone Brown, (Ed Sheeran, Bryan Ferry, Robin Trower), played the majority of the bass on the album, with Chantel playing small parts, and her touring drummer Keith McPartling, playing drums for the whole album.

Says Chantel, “I did the vocals, backing vocals, all guitar parts, arrangements and some production. We brought in two amazing string players, Charlie Brown on the violin and Chris Worsey on the cello. I really enjoyed the creativity the studio gave me and loved venturing into the production and arrangement sides of it, which I will definitely be doing more of in the future.”

For the album artwork, Chantel wanted to reflect the darkness of the album whist retaining an eerily traditional feel.  To make this happen, she contacted a friend of hers, Mark Eliades, who created all of the calligraphy by hand, which Chantel transferred into digital format to design the album cover. In addition to designing the cover, Chantel also did all the photography and visual effects.  The imagery is all Chantel – from the voodoo doll, the scratched song lyrics and the gothic old door, all of which tie in into the Southern Gothic theme, reflecting the dark undercurrents and disturbing concepts of the album.

Album Track Listing

Chantel McGregor Lose Control Album Cover

  •        Take The Power
  •        Your Fever
  •        Burn Your Anger
  •        Anaesthetize
  •        Southern Belle
  •        Lose Control
  •        Home
  •        Killing Time
  •        Eternal Dream
  •        Walk On Land
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    Chantel McGregor – Track By Track

    Take The Power

    This stemmed from a track that I wrote a couple of years ago that I was never totally satisfied with, so I revisited it, changed the music slightly and re-wrote all of the lyrics and melody. The lyrical concept of the song is about religious and social cults, the idea of control (or loss of) from a higher power or person, which ties in with the title and theme of the album. Musically, I wanted it to be dark and grungy, emphasising the loss of control. I drew on influences from my youth such as Nirvana, Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots, who evoke the emotion of performing with passion and losing control.

    Your Fever

    This was written on a metaphorical level. The initial idea for it being literally written in the garden on a day when we had a heatwave. It was unbearably hot. That was the literal concept, then I started to be creative with it, drawing on the Southern Gothic ideas, twisting it into a world of stifling desert heat, creating imagery of dust, bones, and the feeling of entrapment. I aimed to continue the heavy rock sound, once again drawing on the grunge influences previously mentioned. It was important for the track to be melodically interesting, especially with the lead guitar part. I wanted to create a haunting soundscape that reflected the concept of isolation in a desert amongst the bones of people past.

    Burn Your Anger

    Continuing the rock sound to the album, this track was very much about creating a chorus that people can sing along to, backed with lyrical themes that people can identify with. I moved away slightly from the Southern Gothic concept as I also wanted to keep the album relevant to modern day life, thus the influence came from reading the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Lyrically, it still touches on the overall theme of the album, centring on desperation and loss, centring on the breakdown of a relationship through infidelity.

    Anaesthetize

    This is one of the more emotive songs on the album. I wanted to take the listener on a journey throughout the album through the heavy rock tracks, interspersed with the sensitive acoustic tracks, meanwhile weaving the concepts and lyrical themes throughout both aspects to tie it all together. With Anaesthetize, I wanted to explore the feelings of loss, guilt and desperation caused by substance abuse. This was incredibly hard for me to understand as I have never personally experienced this, so I had to research and attempt to emotionally connect and empathise with people who had undergone the experience, and try to see the world through their eyes, whilst remaining sensitive to the subject. I also drew on a character from the TV show True Detective who had deep rooted emotional problems, and tried to connect to the character in the song through him.

    Southern Belle

    Following Anaesthetize, I felt that I needed to bring the mood of the album back to a more rock feel. Southern Belle was my interpretation of debauchery and indulgence. I wanted to tie in the Southern Gothic themes of religion and loss of control, and the idea of rebellion seemed the perfect way to do that through this song. Musically, this is the most ‘bluesy’ track on the album, and probably the most ‘American’ sounding track, this being intentional to the overall theme of the album.Lose Control

    The title track of the album, this is intended to really epitomise the concept of loss of control, through possession and being ‘out of your own body’. It can be interpreted on two levels, the literal level, a song about partying and losing yourself to the music, or the spiritual level, being possessed and losing yourself on a metaphorical level. I wanted the music to reflect the excitement of the subject matter, through guitar riffs and distorted vocals, and I feel that it encapsulates the concept.

    Home

    As well as writing songs with a strong theme and concept, I wanted to write a personal song that I could really reflect on my own life with, whilst using imagery connected to the rest of the album. This song was written about spending time on the road away from home, growing and evolving as a person, and looking back on things which I’ve done. It was important for me to perform this song with true emotion, and I used cellos and violins as well as subtle electric guitar to meander in and around the classical guitar and haunting vocal lines, to give tenderness and depth. Whilst working with the string players, I drew on influences from the iconic artist Nick Drake, who used strings to emphasise the emotion of his music.

    Killing Time

    At the time I wrote this track, I was listening to a lot of contemporary rock bands, such as Royal Blood, Band of Skulls, Black Keys, who all use heavy rock riffs to punctuate their songs. The concept of the song is about being a serial killer. It was fitting to make it riff based rock to emphasise the viciousness of the concept.

    Eternal Dream

    The inspiration for this song was an artist who I have loved for years, Jeff Buckley. I’ve always been captivated by his music and his story, and I wanted to put that into a song. I used a lot of techniques evident in his music within the song musically, such as dissonance and falsetto vocals. This is my tribute to him.

    Walk On Land

    I have always had a passion for Progressive music, purely down to the fact that I love the technicality and intricacy of it. I listen to a lot of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree, and both heavily influenced this track. I wanted to create something technically interesting to provide a different angle and texture to the album. Experimenting with different time signatures, interesting instrumentation and backing vocal arrangements has always been a passion of mine, so this song is an important part of the album to me. It was also great fun recording the improvised guitar solo at the end of the track in one take with the drummer, I aimed to capture the excitement and spontaneity of improvisation within the constraints of a very structured song. The theme behind the song is an observation of how live moves on and the world keeps turning, yet somethings in life never evolve or move on. The subject matter reflected the progressive sound of the song.

    Chantel McGregor with GuitarPhoto by Keith Newhouse

    Chantel McGregor UK Tour Dates

    Worthing Pier South Pavilion
    Saturday 15th August 2015
    Box Office: 01903 366017 / Tickets: £16.50
    www.worthingpier.co.uk
    Sea Front, Worthing, BN11 3PX

    Billericay New Crawdaddy Club
    Friday 28th August 2015
    Box Office: 01702 347007 / Tickets: £12.00
    www.newcrawdaddyclub.co.uk
    Billericay Town Football Club, Blunts Wall Road, Billericay, Essex, CM12 9SA.

    Leamington Spa, The Assembly, Zephyr Lounge
    Friday 11th September 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.leamingtonassembly.com
    2a Spencer Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3NE

    Newark Blues Festival
    Saturday 12th September 2015
    Tickets: £15.00
    www.newarkblues.co.uk
    Newark Castle, Castlegate, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1BG

    London, 100 Club
    Thursday 17th September 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £14.00
    www.the100club.co.uk
    100 Oxford Street, London, W1D 1LL

    Hessle, Town Hall
    Saturday 19th September 2015
    Box Office: 07969 457382 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.hessletowncouncil.gov.uk
    South Lane, Hessle, East Yorkshire, HU13 ORR

    Whitby, Pavilion Theatre
    Sunday 20th September 2015
    Box Office:  01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00 / £15.00 door
    www.whitbypavilion.co.uk
    West Cliff, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3EN

    Stockton, The Arc
    Thursday 24th September 2015
    Box Office:  01642 52519 / Tickets: £13.00 adv / £15.00 door
    http://arconline.co.uk
    Stockton Arts Centre, Dovecot Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1LL

    Louth Riverhead Theatre
    Friday 25th September 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £14.00
    www.louthplaygoers.com
    Victoria Road, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 0BX

    Wrexham, Central Station
    Saturday 26th September 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.centralstationvenue.com
    15 – 17 Hill Street, Wrexham, LL11 1SN

    Birmingham, The Institute, The Temple
    Thursday 1st October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.theinstitutebirmingham.com
    78 Digbeth High Street, Birmingham, B5 6DY

    Ruislip, The Tropic
    Friday 2nd October 2015
    Box Office: 020 8707 2256 / Tickets: £14.00 adv / £15.00 door
    www.tropicatruislip.co.uk
    Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6JQ

    Halifax, Playhouse
    Friday 9th October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.halifaxplayhouse.org.uk
    King Cross Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 2SH

    Southport, The Atkinson Blues Festival
    Saturday 10th October 2015
    Box Office: 01704 533333 / Tickets: £15.00
    www.theatkinson.co.uk
    Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB

    Doncaster, The Dome
    Friday 16th October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.the-dome.co.uk
    Doncaster Lakeside, Bawtry Road, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN4 7PD

    Retford, The Elms
    Saturday 17th October 2015
    Box Office: 07737 130534 /Tickets: £12.50 adv / £15.00 Door
    London Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7DX

    Sheffield, Greystones
    Wednesday 21st October 2015
    Box Office: 0114 266 5599 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.mygreystones.co.uk
    Greystones Road, Sheffield, S11 7BS

    Edinburgh, The Caves
    Thursday 22nd October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    8-12 Niddry Street South, Edinburgh, EH1 1NS

    Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
    Friday 23rd October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.nicensleazy.com
    421 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3LG

    Carlisle, The Venue
    Saturday 24th October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.thevenuecarlisle.co.uk
    English Gate Plaza, Carlisle, CA1 1RP

    Salisbury, Arts Centre
    Monday 26th October 2015
    Box Office: 01722 321744 / Tickets: £15.50 adv / £18 door
    www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk
    Bedwin Street, Salisbury, SP1 3UT

    Exeter, Phoenix
    Tuesday 27th October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £14.00
    www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
    Gandy St, Exeter, Devon EX4 3LS

    Bridport Arts Centre
    Wednesday 28th October 2015
    Box Office: 01308 427183 / Tickets: TBA
    www.bridport-arts.com
    South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR

    Brighton, Komedia
    Thursday 29th October 2015
    Box Office: 0845 293 8480 / Tickets: £14.00
    www.komedia.co.uk/brighton
    44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UN

    Lincoln, Engine Shed
    Saturday 31st October 2015
    Box Office: 01472 349222 / Tickets: £13.00
    www.engineshed.co.uk
    University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln LN6 7TS

    Cover photo by Steve Howdle

    Source:  Press Release

     

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