CHAPPO plays an electric blend of psychedelic pop that carries a natural warmth and carefree youthful reminiscence. Their nostalgic sounds tend to transport you to a parallel universe, much like the theme from many of their songs. The four-member band (Alex Chappo, Zac Colwell, Dave Feddock, and Chris Olson) functions somewhat like their own artist collective. Living in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn, three of them in the same house they’ve used as a recording studio, they’re playing music with the common goal, “we want our music to release the moon shaman within, for ourselves and the listener,” says Chris (keys, vox). On stage for their live shows, the levels raise, the band appear in feathered headdresses (designed by Rawan Rihani), bare feet change pedals, sequins adorn keys, glitter and confetti fly, and an energetic vibration runs like a live current through the room.
CHAPPO recorded their first EP, Plastique Universe, in their living room in 2010. Like any unsigned band, they acted as their own press and booking agents, pitching their concept EP about time-traveling space bandits who wreck havoc on their doppelgangers. Their emails landed in the right hands and “Come Home” the lead song off Plastique Universe was reviewed by Pitchfork and then featured in an iPod Touch international multi-media ad campaign. When they first received an email from Apple’s ad agency, Alex (vox, guitar, lyrics) forwarded it to his dad, who responded, “Well, it might just be SPAM, they’re probably just trying to sell you something.” They confirmed it was the real deal and Alex and Zac (drums, vox, production) remember when they got the call from Apple, yelling to Chris, “Hey man, get out the shower, the dude from Apple is on the phone!”
In the summer of 2011, CHAPPO took to their living room again for Plastique Universe Part II: Pisces Princess, a follow-up EP recorded and mixed (Steve Wall) on a Tascam 388 tape machine. Describing the recording process and how it felt going analog, Dave (guitar, vox) says, "We tried to conceive the songs and our parts in terms of what we could pull off live...like they did in the old days. If there's only one track for guitar, better make it count." Pisces Princess is another concept album about a parallel world. Amidst jangly, crunchy guitars and dreamy lyrics flows the narrative of a far away ocean love affair between a caped shape-shifter and an underwater siren. As Alex explains the first two EPs, "Plastique Universe is an epic saga; a story within a story, within a story, and it is never-ending….”
CHAPPO is releasing their first full-length album May 15, 2012, on Majordomo Records in partnership with CHAPPO’s own label Rouse Records. To record the 11-song LP, the four escaped New York for Sunhouse Studios in the serene landscape of Vermont. The band worked with longtime friend Everett DiNapoli to produce the album artwork, with additional images from live shows taken by photographer friends and even drawings and handwritten lyrics from their own notebooks. Moonwater was mixed by Hector Castillo (Beck, Bjork) and Steve Wall, and produced by Zac. “We wanted to capture a certain energy and vibe, striping down the gear, going really minimal to focus on the performance and obtain that freedom in the sound,” he says. More than an extension of their Plastique Universe EPs, the infectious and upbeat songs of Moonwater express a youthful angst. Perhaps an anthem for rabble-rousers, “WHAT ARE YOU KIDS ON?” tells the fragmented story of a fun-filled night of recklessness. In a style CHAPPO calls swamp-krautrock, “5-0” bangs out the tale of a young skateboarder taunting the cops with his underage smoking, fireworks and mischievous antics. Re-released on Moonwater, “Come Home,” dubbed “an excellently overstuffed garage-psych sound,” finds a childlike innocence and desire to take everything away as proof of rejecting one’s loneliness. Where CHAPPO’s first two EPs bend our own dimension against its parallel, Moonwater embraces our collective delusions of grandeur with its evocative and catchy sounds.