Chailo Sim
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Chailo Sim


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"Chailo Sim - Replete"

Chailo Sim – Replete

Haven’t heard of Chailo Sim before? Be prepared to change that answer very soon. This Pembrokeshire 6 piece supported Paul Simon at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park last July and that gives a clue to some of the magic of ‘Replete’; this is a sound that would warm the cockles of the heart sat in a rural pub on the coast yet, equally, could grace and fill some of the largest festival stages in the world.

This isn’t a band or album of musical virtuosos, spiralling recycled folk melodies and lacklustre emotion. It’s an effortlessly melodic showcase of song writing, musical dynamics blending acoustic and electric sounds which sweep up the listener in a style that few bands can attain. From start to end, the album doesn’t disappoint with each track being solid enough for a standalone single (Part of An Elaborate Dream and Older being this reviewers highlights). The mix is raw but the ‘underproduced’ sound melds perfectly with the genre and conjures – favourable – comparison to Damien Rice’s O. If you get the opportunity, go and see them live – just be careful who you take as the honey tongued vocals and smooth bass could well be the siren sweetly singing. - Miniature Music Press

"BBC Interview: Chailo Sim"

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Interview: Chailo Sim
Post categories: Artists, Interviews, Radio
Bethan Elfyn | 11:14 UK time, Monday, 14 February 2011
This Saturday night we've got another special session on the way from west Wales. The relationship between the radio and Chailo Sim is a fairly new one, but they sent their music in and instantly captivated the hearts of the production team.

They're also making fans around the music industry with their gentle folky sound, including labels like Bella Union admitting to being fans. Ahead of the session this weekend, I spoke to the band's frontman Nayfe.

Chailo Sim

Hello Chailo Sim. Who are you, and how many members do you have?

We're five friends who write alt-folk songs for nice people.

How long have you been together?

A few years ago I strolled into a rammed café to find a keyboard player and drummer playing a wildly complex yet calming set of music to a captivated audience. It took less than half a song; Tom Luddington and Matt Badger immediately inspired me to ask if I could collaborate with them. I had spent a decade searching for what seemed to be an unfindable band line up, so after meeting mandolin player Darren Gibbs barefoot at a fire on the beach, we all decided to get together for a musical hello.

We started with a tentative version of our first song Latch being written and evolved in what was then my lounge, complete with cups of tea and an appreciated view of the sea. Andy Holcroft joined soon after with his electric guitar and violin to complete the balance of acoustic reticence and electric prominence. We took over the same cafe for a year or so after it became derelict and created a fantastic writing environment.

A period of experimenting with different instruments led to the embrace of string-work with the material, and this helped to define the fundamental sound of the band. A set's worth of songs later, we galvanised what was a never-ending process of early demo creation into our full length début album Replete which we self-released in November 2010.

How would you describe your sound?

Personal and cinematic at times. Big sky in a small room music.

What are your main musical influences?

Midlake, Sam Beam, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, The Leisure Society, Sufjan Stevens, Wilco, Gomez, The Band, Elbow, South San Gabriel - are all pretty amazing bands. The level of consideration they put into their songwriting is admirable.

What are your songs about? And for that matter the name of the band is rather interesting...

Our songs represent an effort to capture fleeting emotions and perceptions. Like trying to capture the sky by clapping your hands - you can never really manage it, but it still feels good to try.

The name of the band is rather interesting...

Chailo Sim means 'I am replete', and a travelled family life inspired use of the Romany phrase. We applied it to the band when we felt happy to have found a meaningful and collective identity.

What's been the band highlight so far?

We had an launch party in November to celebrate the release of our début album and the culmination of all our previous efforts. The album has since received critical acclaim from some incredible people in the music industry, inspiring conversations with a few of our favourite record labels.

What are the plans for the year ahead?

We're actually still learning terminology like booking agents, promoters and managers, so generally speaking, we are focusing on playing live shows and applying to UK festivals like Green Man and End Of The Road to get out and let people hear us, and to promote our music. We're also using the amazing momentum gained off the back of our album release to write some more songs, and to get together as often as possible.

Chailo Sim on the web:
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"Chailo Sim - Replete"

I took a walk through the park earlier on, enjoying the crisp cold Sunday afternoon, embellished by the first brush of bright sunshine of this year’s spring, starring into the middle distance contemplating relationships and a childhood past. Pembrokeshire alt-folk five piece Chailo Sim’s fine debut album “Replete’ provided the soundtrack to my walk. A gorgeously uncluttered long player, of subtlety strummed tunes garnished by elegant homespun instrumentation, gentle piano, and pared back strings that fits together as snugly and comfortingly as that old sweater that makes your upper body feel just so. While lead songwriter, singer and guitarist Nayfe SJ provides vocals that set this set apart, his healing, crumbled up timbre remind one occasionally of the 70s work of the late great folk legend John Martyn and the next track the at the end of the night soul of Curtis Mayfield.

Opener and one of the obvious highlights ‘Latch’ sets the tone that burnishes this debut long player throughout its nine tracks. Detailing the first flush of finally finding love through the prism of Nayfe’s effortless lovelorn vocals against the backdrop of a delicately swaying composition that rises and fall like turning tides. From a strum that climbs the stares, to piano notes that mark your feet in the sand, to Matt Badger’s cymbal brushes, each note woven into a subtle, ornate pattern.

The even quieter moments are arguable the best from the gentle melancholia of ‘Relief’ a simple yet highly effective guitar arpeggio washes like running water over a when relationship interaction is thrown into sharp focus through a gentle hand on the shoulder (‘every moment I try to share with you/I see a little light.’) The effortless plucking of ‘My Old Friend’ are pleasantly reminiscent of Nick Drake, but take a turn into life affirming in their second two minutes, when bluesy riffs hove into view above yonder red sky.

‘Calm’ is one of my personal highlights, a reflective rumination that arcs on Nayfe’s climbing falscetto that manages to be both self reflective and life affirming at the same time and illuminated by Tom Ludd’s mournful trumpet motif. ‘Calm’ is a beautiful piece of music, vaguely comparable with the intimacy possed by likes of Iron & Wine and Bon Iver, but retains the humble spirit of a friend asking another for an exit route out of a painful situation.

While “Homerun’ is a largely instrumental piece, when the hand of the first minute’s lullaby gradually lets go, it shows off Chilo Sim’s deep love of flexing every instrumental muscle and nudging them into place to create a delicately rendered whole. “Older’ is typical of the other side of ‘Replete’ a shuffling groove given life by Andy Holcroft’s sighing violins, toe tapping bluesy licks and a Darren Gibbs’ hammond organ that remains in the background throughout.

Chailo Sim’s ‘Replete’ is an immense achievement, a subtle awe inspiring record that carves itself a place in your heart, through its sheer sparsity and clarity of vision from the simple straightforward song titles to the warm vocals full of throbbing heart, and gloriously modest instrumentation and proves once again that overproduction or the need for a expensive producer is often over stated. When simple songs like these are brought to life, by the care and attention of the players involved then the quality of the songs on an album like ‘Replete’ are allowed to shine through. - Bill Cummings, Owner, God Is In The TV




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