Jape aka Richie Egan has just released his fifth album to much well merited applause. “This Chemical Sea” is electro-pop at its best.
Layers of synth have been built up giving it a deeply textured feel which has been bolstered by electric bassline bridges and strong percussive lines.
Egan has been quoted as saying he wanted this album to be coherent – and it is. Following a definite electronic concept, with a consistent theme of “pollution” of mind, body, the Earth, he has produced an album of sonic and lyrical substance.
Collaborators include Glenn Keating, Conor J O’Brien, and, producer David “Caribou” Wrench, who mixed the album.
Kicking off with the very 80s uber poppy “Séance of Life”, the album is mainly upbeat in sound. However, it can be somewhat melancholic in nature, which is of no great surprise given that Egan suffered a close personal bereavement during the recording. This sense of sadness and loss is at its most apparent on “Breath of Life” (which ends with the most lovely piano melody) of which Egan said,
*“This is probably my most personal track on the album. I wrote it just after my Mother fell ill and it makes me feel more connected to her – it’s a musical love poem to her. The piano line at the end is one of my favourite pieces I’ve played. I remember I just sat at the keyboard and let the melody come. Now, whenever I hear it, I think of her.”
There isn’t any track on this album that is weak, or a let-down. From the meditation inspired sonically rich “The Heart’s Desire” with its little drummer boy rat a tat beat and swaying electronics melding with a medley of vocals, through the thrashing “Absolutely Animals” ending with the evocative title track Riche Egan is telling us a musical story about “the place we all live, somewhere between shallowness and depth.”
“This Chemical Sea” was released on iTunes on 23rd January 2015.
*Quote courtesy of QMagazine