'Shell Suit' From Short Sharp Scratch
Talented songwriter and guitarist Jak Chantler has taken a drastic change of direction in his music, having previously played axe-man for alt-grunge outfit Kingskin, but now he has slowed down the tempo and increased the vibes under his new funk/soul guise of Short Sharp Scratch.
A Nile Rodgers-esque rhythm guitar provides a memorable base throughout along with the clean piano tones that don't try to be anything more than they are- and this one of Chantler's most admirable traits in his new style; the sound is nothing revolutionary, but he's resurrected a retro-funk sound that Stevie Wonder would have been proud of.
Izzy Warner's beautiful wandering vocals run around all over the track, particularly on the live recording video (recorded at Abbey Road) and it's just as well because she has quite the range to be showing off with.
As you'd expect from the soul-funk genre, the bass is deep and heavy, sitting in contrast to Warner's forays into the high notes and the lyrics come easily as well, quickly imprinting themselves in your head before the first listen is even over.
If you had to choose just one word to describe 'Shell Suit' then there's no doubt that it would be 'groove'. Everything about it: the staccato guitar line that dabbles subtly underneath towards the rear-end of the track, the vocals, the rhythm- it all just works perfectly for what it's trying to do.
Chantler has clearly done his homework and figured out the recipe to a quality soul track. Fans of Chic, Chaka Khan and of course, Stevie Wonder should make sure they check this one out!
Shell Suit is out September 15th.