Jan 2023 31

Album CoverRohn – Lederman
Album: Apollo Chariot
Category: Electro-pop / Experimental
Label: COP International
Release Date: 2022-05-27
Author: Stitch Mayo (StitchM)


“Open Up the Salsa Bar (and Make Me a Mean Mojito)” starts Apollo Chariot off with the rhythm section walking the listener away from the harder, somewhat more predictable sounds and structures of the counterpart album, Venus Chariot, of which this record is a total reimagining. Indeed, if one doesn’t know about the ties to that album, one would assume that this is a separate body of work in a different genre… or 20. There’s almost an audible visit to Louisiana in “Never Give Up,” with a Cajun accordion riffing over a banjo and fiddle, while “Can’t Keep Up with All the Changes” goes heavier with the vocals layered in what seems to be a nod to bands like Fever Ray. “We Can’t Escape” is an almighty juxtaposition that teases a dancefloor hit, weaving between dance and classical, and then vaults surprisingly close to disco in the final minute. “You Go to My Head” is jazz disguised as pop, while “My Headphones” is an upbeat radio-friendly bop that one might expect to appear in a trailer for a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

There is absolutely nothing predictable on Apollo Chariot. As an experience, it’s as though you’re listening to the telepathic thoughts of Emileigh Rohn and Jean-Marc Lederman while they play an intense and fast-paced chess game, ideas meeting and colliding with musical and intellectual grace, with thoughtful calmer pauses scattered throughout. Ultimately, Rohn’s vocal timbres that err on haunting fragility are the anchor point of the album; as on Venus Chariot, they’re still kept simple and unburdened with effects, which allows the stellar production to provide an intimate sense that the duo is seated on either side of you, soundtracking the many different emotions and events that can occur in a day.

The meeting of the minds and talents of Lederman and Rohn produces a glorious reimagination of an already impressive album that refused to commit to any style. Apollo Chariot is a lovingly crafted fever dream of gloriously meshed elements, exploring new depths in the canvas, dancing on and deconstructing both the familiar and foreign. To sum up the album (and arguably the project too), unexpected but utterly delightful.
Track list:

  1. Open Up the Salsa Bar (and Make Me a Mean Mojito)
  2. Would We Be Here Today?
  3. Never Give Up!
  4. I’m Not Sure I Know What’s Right
  5. I’m Not Here to Complain
  6. We Can’t Escape
  7. Can’t Keep Up with All the Changes
  8. Heartbreak
  9. The Cold Embrace
  10. Crashing Fire
  11. Watch Out! [Remix by Krischan Jan-Eric Wesenberg, Finalized by JM]
  12. You Go to My Head
  13. My Headphones
  14. I’ve Got Glitters On My Hands
  15. It’s All So Strange
  16. Cry

Rohn – Lederman
Facebook, Bandcamp
Emileigh Rohn/Chiasm
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram
Jean-Marc Lederman
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram
COP International
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram

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