Rounding back into the public spotlight for his sophomore release, Chalky doubles down on his particular brand of nu jazz in the Blooe EP. His debut album, Second Beach, saw him meander through various jazz modalities via intuitive instrumentalism and keen composition. The Blooe EP is a refined and tonally conversational next step in the Chalky catalog.
Much like his previous releases, this EP is both instrumentally verbose and compositionally airtight. Every track features organic pauses, refrains, and swells of emotion, like the natural moments spent gathering and debating thoughts within a dialogue. If the music is a conversation, “Bluebird” is the whimsical first “hello”, replete with a steady rhythmic pulse and succinct harmonies across the duration of the track. The composition gradually ramps up into further harmonies and chord progressions while simultaneously maintaining a smooth sonic profile. The everpresent smoothness in Chalky’s growing discography is very much his calling card, with his songwriting and music production skills being firstly responsible for the cohesion and fidelity felt throughout his music.
Most good conversations exude a mutual feeling of finality after exchanging goodbyes and farewells. The Blooe EP makes peace with its ending moments through a latinate serenade of the senses; “Blooe Bossa” is a stereophonic vacation, sultry in the ears and tropical on the palette. The wholesome blend of brass, strings, percussion, and foley alliterate the composition, bringing to life the totality of the EP’s musical strengths. From start to finish, the Blooe EP rides inside the rhythmic pocket, slowly rolling from each track into the next without the slightest dissonance. Chalky’s focus on harmony and instrumental dialogue delivers grander compositions with each successive release, and it should come as no surprise that this EP is a fortuitous step ahead in his career.
The current musical climate in the UK is undergoing a sort of new jazz Renaissance. Acts like Yussef Dayes, Kamaal Williams, Mo Kolours and others have been reinventing the modern jazz wheel, injecting a massive dose of acid flavoring and off-kilter song writing into the genre's blood stream. Chalky maintains his musical intrigue through his aural approachability; for the picky and critically minded, this EP is ripe with compositional nuance and emotive phrasing. For the easy listeners, it is just as laid back and digestible as it is tonally full. Regardless of whatever kind of listener you happen to be, it's in your best interest to power up your nearest sound system, grab a few rolling papers, and prepare to take flight with the ever personable Captain Chalky.