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Maps - We Can Create

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 8 / 6 / 2007

Maps - We Can Create
Label: Mute Records
Format: CD


Gorgeous-sounding electronica on debut album from Maps, the project of solo artist James Chapman

James Chapman has been writing and releasing music as Maps for about a year now. He first told me last September or October about recording his debut album, 'We Can Create', in Iceland. It has definitely been worth the wait since then for it to come out. 'We Can Create' kicks off with 'So Low, So High' which has lush arrangements over electronic backing and recalls the Pale Saints and Mazzy Star. 'You Don't Know Her' is very futuristic in its tone and it sounds like it came from the soundtrack to 'A Clockwork Orange' or something similar. It is quite trippy and has distorted vocals with some added female backing harmonies and elegant piano which give it a Trembling Blue Stars feel. 'Elouise' is deeper and darker, almost Gothic, until James' vocal eventually just melts into the track. 'It Will Find You', Maps' fourth single, is more trancey and a great track that grows on me the more I hear it. 'Glory Verse' is unlike anything else on the album. It is softer and more wordy in a Nick Drake kind way, and is backed by piano chords. 'Liquid Sky' meanwhile is soft and lush and recalls Slowdive. 'To the Sky' was Maps first ever 10 inch single, and sounds younger then the rest of the material here and fresh in a Mojave 3 type of way. 'Back and Forth' sounds like a lo fi Happy Mondays. Both 'Lost My Soul' and 'Don't Fear', the second and third singles, appear next. They have been re-recorded fashion and sound sharper and slicker. The album closes with 'When You Leave' which is much more mellow and quite twee.

Track Listing:-
1 So Low, So High
2 You Don't Know Her Name
3 Elouise
4 It Will Find You
5 Glory Verse
6 Liquid Sugar
7 To The Sky
8 Back and Forth
9 Lost My Soul
10 Don't Fear
11 When You Leave

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