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Joe Chester - JPop.com
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Joe Chester

Joe Chester

Joe Chester


Having served his apprenticeship with long stints in the Nina Hynes group, Dublin art-rock ensemble Sunbear (signed to The Enclave by the infamous Tom Zutaut, best known for signing Guns & Roses) and later Ten Speed Racer, Joe Chester released his debut solo record, A Murder Of Crows in 2005 to pretty much universal acclaim with Hotpress magazine decribing it as, “The perfect pop record“, and broadcaster Tom Dunne claiming that it was the best record he had ever had sent into his show, Pet Sounds. Read more on Last.fm
Having served his apprenticeship with long stints in the Nina Hynes group, Dublin art-rock ensemble Sunbear (signed to The Enclave by the infamous Tom Zutaut, best known for signing Guns & Roses) and later Ten Speed Racer, Joe Chester released his debut solo record, A Murder Of Crows in 2005 to pretty much universal acclaim with Hotpress magazine decribing it as, “The perfect pop record“, and broadcaster Tom Dunne claiming that it was the best record he had ever had sent into his show, Pet Sounds. The record was nominated for the 2006 Choice music prize and Joe was nominated for Best Irish Male at the Meteor Irish Music Awards. It subsequently went on to be included in the Tony Clayton-Lea book, “101 Irish Records You Must Hear Before You Die.“ The follow up, The Tiny Pieces Left Behind, was three years in the making, finally appearing in 2008. Much more of a band record than its predecessor, it featured contributions from Gemma Hayes, Ann Scott and Binzer.

Reaction was similarly effusive with State Magazine leading the charge with the opinion that, "The Tiny Pieces Left Behind is a delight that should propel Chester towards his rightful spot at the top of our musical food chain.“ However, the making of the album had left Chester burnt out and, with the exception of a launch show featuring his musical collaborators Gemma Hayes and Ann Scott, there would be no tour to support this record. Instead he embarked on a period of touring as a guitarist, beginning with Gemma Hayes, including opening for My Bloody Valentine on the North American leg of their 2008 reunion tour and then straight into several months of pre-production with Mike Scott of The Waterboys to prepare for the world premiere of his An Appointment With Mr. Yeats show which ran for a week at Dublin’s hallowed Abbey Theatre before heading off on the road. By now, Chester had assembled the material for what many believe to be his greatest album yet, 2011’s, She Darks Me. Performed with a stellar band, including Trevor Hutchinson, Binzer, Steve Wickham and Mickey Raphael, and consisting mostly of first takes, Hotpress said, “Themes of jealousy, heartbreak and desire are given a fresh twist, his mature outlook mixed with images of murder, villains and “sistine chapel faces”.

It is stirring stuff. She Darks Me is elegant, measured and all the better for it.“, while the Irish Times said, “Chester is one of those meticulous types for whom compulsion or irrationality is a rarity. Under these terms (which are by no means limitations), Chester triumphs.“ After a return to touring under his own name, including being invited to perform for the newly-elected President Michael D. Higgins and with a loyal fanbase who might reasonably have expected no new material until 2014, Chester took to Twitter in early 2012 to announce the immediate release of his fourth album, Hope Against Hope, a more experimental, electronic record on which he set out possible future creative vistas.

Nonetheless, it contained some of his most powerful songwriting to date, including, “Dark Haired Mistress“ and “Somewhere for the Animals“. Hotpress found that it was, “as intriguing as it is enjoyable,“ and that it, “sonically recalls the atmospheric territory explored in the 1980’s by Talk Talk and The Blue Nile.“ 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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