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Essex Chanel - JPop.com
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Essex Chanel

Essex Chanel

Essex Chanel


Essex Chanel is multi-instrumentalist Travis Lee Wiggins’s solo music project, started in Chicago in 2005. For the first several years it was mostly a recording project, with Wiggins performing live under the Essex Chanel name rarely, and these early years let him build his self-run Beware of Dog Studios and let him hone his songwriting and recording skills. Essex Chanel’s live performances have become much more frequent since that period, and Read more on Last.fm
Essex Chanel is multi-instrumentalist Travis Lee Wiggins’s solo music project, started in Chicago in 2005. For the first several years it was mostly a recording project, with Wiggins performing live under the Essex Chanel name rarely, and these early years let him build his self-run Beware of Dog Studios and let him hone his songwriting and recording skills. Essex Chanel’s live performances have become much more frequent since that period, and with the catalog of music that Wiggins has amassed—the setlist can be very different every performance. A self-described Record-A-Holic, Wiggins records incessantly, to the point that friends would call his guitar his “wife.” While the majority of Essex Chanel’s music & albums are recorded solely by him, the live show varies from Wiggins playing solo to a stageful of musicians cultivated from other bands.

Wiggins himself is part of several other musical bands and projects, most notably The Summer Salts, Dolphins Swimming, & Fetla, but in Essex Chanel he is the primary creative force, having control of every aspect of writing, recording, or the designing the packaging and website. Before 2004, Wiggins’s creative output was spent primarily on visual, conceptual, and performance art (see www.travisleewiggins.com). Wiggins received his undergraduate degree in painting and graphic design, and this artistic influence has a major influence on his musical work & performance. Essex Chanel was his first foray into recording his own music.

Without the purposeful influence of a band or other musicians, he was able to leave his creative forces up to experimentation, and his solo music is most notable for the genre jumping from album to album, or from song to song, whether it is rock, indie, alternative, classical, folk, dance, or any other genre he feels like working in. Starting as a guitar player and singer, which can be heard on Essex Chanel’s early albums, Wiggins has developed into a full blown multi-instrumentalist, and even has begun composing and arranging music for other musicians, as well as starting the Chicago indie lable Sweet Goodness (www.sweetgoodnessmusic.com). Wiggins is known for his tremendous work ethic and for his seemingly limitless creativity and experimentation. He has maintained that childlike quality of play that many creative people lose as they develop.

The thread that runs through most Essex Chanel music is the concentration on unique songwriting and melody, as well as the aformentioned experimentation. He is known to release work that he think has partially failed, in order to present the idea that “not everything you make is great.” The releases of Essex Chanel go beyond “standard” LP or EPs—such as the January 2007 project where he wrote and recorded a song for every day of the month, posting it online as he would finish every day. In late 2009 Love is Proximity, a 42 collection of songs about love was released and showed the most sophisticated recordings be Essex Chanel yet. Most Essex Chanel albums have been released for free on the Essex Chanel website (www.essexchanel.com), and albums very in the depth of how rooted they are in the traditional music structure of albums and singles.

Physical CDs and other items are available through www.essexchanel.com, and many digital releases are available through online retailers such as iTunes and Amazon.com. Love is Proximity is being released by Sweet Goodness. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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