by Red Cell
True Bypass – “Love We Are” from their Debut Self Titled Album
True Bypass – “For This Life” from their Debut Self Titled Album
First meeting on an airplane bound for Glasgow, Chantal Acda (Sleepingdog, Chacda) and Craig Ward (The Love Substitutes, iH8 Camera, dEUS) performed together onstage later that same evening, showing just how spontaneous and intuitive this duo can be. They have since formed a new, collaborative project and named it True Bypass. Their debut album is out on Sept. 15th on the Jezus Factory label. They currently reside in Antwerp, Belgium.
There is a fragile honesty to True Bypass. While mainly simple-structured acoustic songs, the vocals and the other sparse instrumentation have a hyper-real, manipulated feeling, giving the album much more than your normal singer-songwriter vibe. Think of the simple, but highly produced sound of This Mortal Coil crossed with the integrity of Vincent Gallo’s album “When.” The album was mastered by Uwe Teichert, who’s work with bands like Placebo and dEUS (as well as Public Enemy!) would explain the open but intimate sound the album maintains. Chantal Acda’s vocals wander dangerously close to precious at times, but she never becomes sappy or sugary, and in the end leaves the listener with the sense of a close friend singing them softly to sleep. Nina Nastasia and the Innocence Mission would be good points of reference for this, both in tone and sound. When Craig Ward offers his quiet harmony, it seems natural and immediate. This is a delicate and personal album that I am glad to have had the chance to share with these musicians. And it feels just like that. Like I am sharing these songs with the duo that wrote them, possibly just for me.
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