Essex Chanel
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Essex Chanel

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"Essex Chanel Love is Proximity CD Release Show"

Not many bands can pull off a song about skinny-dipping and have it sound charming instead of creepy, but Essex Chanel is schooled in all kinds of charm, filtered through frontman Travis Lee Wiggins’ vision. In the studio, EC exists as Wiggins grabbing whatever stray instruments seem to be laying around: Casio keyboards abound on “LA Law” and slide guitar prominently anchors “Wasitloveorjustplainfucking,” but live, he leads a backing band through bluegrass-tinged or flat-out rocking versions of his compositions, like the aforementioned “Skinny Dippin’.” As such, it’s hard to pin Essex Chanel down, but there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of unpredictability. - AV Chicago - The Onion

"Essex Chanel release show: 10/1 at Subterranean"

Essex Chanel (Photo by Christopher Hiltz)

Early this year we ran a Q&A with Fetla, one of the many projects of Chicago-based artist extraordinaire Travis Lee Wiggins. Wiggins delves into pretty much every art form imaginable, from design to film to writing to - of course - music, and is gearing up to play a show at Subterranean on Thursday, October 1 to celebrate the new LP from one of his three bands, Essex Chanel.

The record is titled Love Is Proximity and marks the eighth (yes, eighth) full-length Essex Chanel release since 2005. Over the course of 10 love songs it furthers the project's eclectic pop sound, this time aiming to sound like something that, according to Wiggins, "could be played at Starbuck's and sold at the front counter." Just listen to the single "Skinny Dippin'" (free download below) - a happy, snappy celebration of, well, skinny dippin' - to get a sense of the album's lighthearted approach. The rest of the LP takes a similarly sweet, melodic approach, sometimes simple and straightforward ("Already in Heaven," "For Granted"), sometimes lush and full of instrumentation ("I Know You Didn't Think About," "So Long to Wait").

Download mp3: Essex Chanel - "Skinny Dippin'"

Download mp3: Essex Chanel - "I Know You Didn't Think About"

The band actually recorded a total of 42 songs over two years during the Love Is Proximity sessions. Ten are included on the record, while the rest will see the light of day during the coming months via a series of additional discs.

To hear more before the show, you can already get a digital copy of the full album on Amazon mp3 and iTunes.

Essex Chanel - Love Is Proximity CD release show
Thursday October 1st, 2009
The Subterranean
2011 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647-5413
(773) 278-6799
w/ Ami Saraiya & 1 T.B.A.
8pm, 17+, $8 (buy tickets)

Essex Chanel will also play Chicago on Saturday, October 24 with a special string-only show at Uncommon Ground featuring guitar, violin and cello arrangements. - Windy City Rock - Chicago Music News

"Band of the Week: Essex Chanel"

The word accessible can mean different things to different listeners, but the goal to reach a larger portion of the population really can't be faulted. In fact, I would hope that it would be a pretty common goal. You want to express what is within, you want share your experience, so isn't it a natural goal to want that expression to felt by as many people as possible? Chicago's Travis Lee Wiggins of Essex Chanel has been a prolific member of the local independent music scene for years, but for his latest project he felt compelled to set out to create an album that could be "played in Starbucks". What is unique is that he turned to a very universal emotion for inspiration and theme as he sat down and crafted a rather large collection of love songs.

Love is Proximity will be released by Sweet Goodness Records on September 29th, and as Essex Chanel prepares for a Fall tour, Travis was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

Orange Alert (OA): I think now is the perfect time for an album filled with love songs, but what prompted you to start down this romantic road?
Travis Lee Wiggins (TLW): For the most part, I’m pissed about how music is dominated by songs about romantic love. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense. There is so much to life, and to have every song about how someone left you, or broke your heart, or how you see someone you want to have sex with? It’s pretty silly. Especially how many of these songs always only focus on the infatuation stage of love, which is just one small part of it. Sometimes when I listen to the radio I can’t keep myself from LOL with some of the rhymes they’re coming up with. It’s like how visual arts are dominated by the naked female body.

BUT, at the same time, love IS one (of many) theme (s) of life. In my own creativity, themes are pretty diverse—from songs about losing your cell phone to Skinny Dippin’ to time to Count Chocula being my only friend—but I also can’t deny myself the freedom to write about this major theme. Each project I try to do something different, and for this one, I wanted to make an accessible mainstream album that could be played in Starbuck’s. I thought a love theme fitted perfectly with that, because everyone can relate to some version of love. It was designed for a large audience, and I had to restrict myself at times not to use weird little keyboard sounds and stuff not to make it wacky. Whereas my previous album Dancing At Weddings was more about making new sonic textures, this one was me showing that I can make and arrange something that fits in the canon of good taste. It was just as difficult—I arranged melodies with instruments I had never used before, and mixing this album—some songs had like 13 or more instruments, and I didn’t want to take any of them out, and they were all stepping on each other frequency-wise. Mixing this album, to get everything in there, and have everything be heard distinctly—it was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done.

OA: How difficult was it to trim the collection down from 42 to 10? What was that process like?
TLW: The Original list had 37 songs (You can see the actual sheets here and here).

I had them in order of how good I thought they were. I wanted a lot of material to choose from. Sometimes you can’t tell what’s going to be good or bad until you get those final recordings, so I wanted to over record a lot and have a lot to choose from. I’ve seen some average songs become really special because of a great arrangement. Since the skope of the project took years, as I started to get into it, I felt I had become a better songwriter and better musician. I added 5 songs to the project because I felt I needed a little more material, and since they were newer
songs, I felt they were stronger (4 out of the 5 new ones made it onto the album coincidentally).

It was pretty easy for me to narrow it down to about 20 songs. The last 10 were hard. I wanted something that was undeniably good. I keep talking about that—having an undeniably good album. There is a lot of bright spots on this album, but I feel it’s not quite there yet. I need a couple more albums and I feel I can get to that point. After narrowing it down to the 20 songs, I took out any song off the album that had parts that bothered me. I had my friends and musicians who worked on the album listen to it, and I had them write down which ones where their favorite,
and it really helped me get some perspective on which tracks were good. In the end, there are a lot of songs on the 3 Love is Proximity: Sessions collections that will release each 2 months after Love is Proximity that could easily swap out with some of the final songs. I tried to make the whole project more paletable by releasing them 10 or 11 at a time. 42 songs is just too much. There are so many albums I really enjoy, but they are just too long, and then you kind of wish they were shorter, and I tried to avoid that as much as possible but still at the same time give
the opportunity for someone who really likes the sound and style of this project to listen to more.

OA: How is the video for "Skinny Dipping" coming along?
TLW: The video is coming along spectacular! I’ve brought together a group of people that have put their blood, sweat, and tears into the project and really made it great. Sometimes as we’ve shot scenes for the video I look at everyone working their asses off and can’t believe I’m so lucky to have these people. I’ve tried to make it something that everyone can be proud of. Travis Abels has done a great job directing and storyboarding. Alejandro Marin has been behind the camera making everything look like art, and he’s also directed many of the scenes himself because Abels lives in L.A. DJ Reed’s costumes and props have been amazing--he’s going places. Shannon Bracken has been the glue in a lot of cases, helping mold ideas, scene location, & casting. Everyone really has been a Producer, sitting down and putting their ideas into it, and stepping in when needed with anything that needs to be done. There’s been a couple people and places like Johnny Evans who let us use his pool for a whole day and Friar Tuck’s
who let us use their bar to shoot at. A lot of great friends have shown up and been crew, acted, and been extras. I’m hoping to have it edited before the CD officially releases on September 29th or sometime after. There are a lot of production shots and stills on the Essex Chanel Facebook page.

OA: Sweet Goodness is your own label. How did you decide to start a label, and do you plan to release music from other bands?
TLW: For me, what a label is, and what it will be in the future, is taking care of the business & logistical side of music. I’m pretty much doing everything a record label would do and more, so I decided to create my own label, and kind of give these things a home. For Essex Chanel, besides doing everything creatively, I book tours and shows, send out thousands of emails and CDs for promotion, updating and bulding websites, putting together music videos--you name it. Nobody is going to hear your music if they can’t hear it or see it, so someone has to get it out into the world. And there’s nobody better to do it than yourself. I have complete control with everything I want to do, with the only limitation being money & time (which are always limitations) Behind every band is someone, a lot of time a lot of people doing these things. There’s a lot of education involved, and it’s intimidating. You have to learn how things work, and be
persistent as hell. A lot of musicians are turned off by it, because it’s a lot of work, and they believe a magic musical fairy is going to come down and wave her magic wand and then they will be stars.

An aspect of music that I really want to explore with Sweet Goodness are those bands or people who make fantastic music and who don’t tour or play shows. In the first days of Essex Chanel, I would spend all my time making music in my studio (Beware of Dog) and the rate I was able to advance musically was exponential because I wasn’t doing any shows or sending my stuff out to anyone (which takes loads of time). When you think of your
favorite songs, you hear the recordings of those songs, and with the advent of the internet, I don’t see a reason why someone can’t make great music in the studio without touring. It’s like, can you imagine asking a painter to create paintings right in front of you, or a writer to read his novel right in front of you? I’d love to fight for that musician who’s greatest talent is writing and making recordings. There’s no reason to take them out of the studio and put them in front of people when if they
were in the studio they would make something much more beautiful. I think with the internet there are avenues to discover those musicians. The avenues are going to become larger in the future.

OA: What are your thoughts on Chicago music in general?
TLW: Chicago is a great city with a huge music scene. I feel like there is opportunity here for anyone who wants to take the initiative. There are lots of great venues. At the same time it’s also a tough. You’re a small fish in a big sea with lots of other huge fishes that come through town. It’s not like in a small town, where all the musicians eventually know each other, and it’s tightly knit. You have to compete for slots at venues with huge touring bands, which is sometimes intimidating. But pretty much you can get a show, and you can get some press if you’re good enough and
persistent enough, and you aren’t stuck in a poe dunk town where all they listen to is bands covering CCR and Skynard. I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.

OA: What's next for Essex Channel?
TLW: This fall/winter, I’ll be releasing albums by 3 of my other bands— The
Salts, Dolphins Swimming, and Personal Effects. The Salts album is done, and I have the music written for the other 2 projects. I’ll start working on a new Essex Chanel album this fall. Once again, I will try to write & record that undeniably great album. I have some ideas but it wouldn’t be easy to put into writing.

At some point in the next couple years, I’d like to record a Best Of album. After Love is Proximity is released, that’ll be 249 songs I’ve released with Essex Chanel. Some of those first albums had some bright spots, but I just wasn’t the musician or producer/mixer that I am now, and I’d like to record some of those songs better. So it’d be like a best of previously written and recorded songs but with new, better recordings.

Bonus Questions:
OA: If you could sit down to coffee with anyone (alive or dead) who would
it be?
TLW: I’d sit down with myself 30 years older. I’d hope that my older self
would say “don’t change a thing” but he’d probably end up saying something like “thanks for screwing everything up, jackass.”

OA: What was the last great book you have read?
TLW: I used to be an avid reader, but at some point along the way I started taking in less and making more. Instead of reading, I’d rather write a book (which I’ve written two, Bowling Alley Politics and Straight, No
Chaser – found at my website) I think all that reading, watching movies, listening to music, and looking at artwork I did earlier made me realize that barriers in creative fields are imaginary. Now I get
much more influence from my life instead of imitating other people’s work or trends. If you lead a rich life, with interesting people around you, you’ll have plenty to create about. So I really don’t read novels anymore. I really don’t even watch movies anymore. The reason why I’m able to create so much is because I’ve eliminated things like reading books, watching movies, and doing little things in my life. It’s a trade off.
Instead of manicuring my fingernails I write a song.

However, I did just start getting into one of my friend’s books. I’m all about preaching one thing and then negating that. Work with me sometime! Anyhow, he’s a Chicago author, named Patrick Waldron, just put out his first book called The Threshing Floor.

Two books I reference constantly are “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki and “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankel. If I could sum these up: living in the moment, and giving meaning to your life, no matter what it may be. The Suzuki book is especially good because it’s written lectures so you can read them a couple pages at a time. When rereading these two books I always find ideas that I haven’t thought of before, and
I read something in the margin I wrote 5 years ago that was the beginning many thoughts.

For more information on Essex Channel please visit their website. - What To Wear During an Orange Alert

"CD of the Month - Essex Chanel's Love is Proximity"

With all that is going in this country and with our economy it brought a smile to my face when I received a cd of love songs. Travis Lee Wiggins is the driving force behind the prolific Essex Channel, and over the last several years he has been storing away his best love songs for what is now known as Love is Proximity. This collection is a testament to staying positive, and it is a state of mind that has netted Wiggins over 43 tracks for inclusion. These tracks will be released over the next six months resulting in four albums worth of love. Musically, Essex Channel captures both a sense of dense orchestration and the intimate sound of bedroom recordings. By using horns, strings, banjo, harmonica, and more, Wiggins keeps every track fresh and moving. The first single from Love is Proximity is called innocent romp called “Skinny Dipping”, and it will soon be a raucous and vivid music video. This album, the first of four, will be released on September 29th through Wiggins own Sweet Goodness Records. - website
- The Deli Chicago

"Essex Chanel Love Is Proximity Sweet Goodness A-"

album review
Essex Chanel
Love Is Proximity
Sweet Goodness
Travis Lee Wiggins has been described as prolific, and although it's accurate, I'm not sure it does him justice. The newest release from his Chicago band Essex Chanel, Love is Proximity, is studio album number eight -- not including the many EPs, side projects, unofficial releases, and extracurricular musical endeavors Wiggins is a part of. To top it off, the ten songs on Love is Proximity are the best out of 42 that Essex Chanel worked up over more than two years. The other 32 will be released at two-month intervals as Love is Proximity Sessions, Disks 1, 2, and 3.

Wiggins, who has been creating under the Essex Chanel moniker since 2005, was the driving force on the past albums, and Love is Proximity is quite the departure from that. Nine musicians helped Wiggins create a very thick and textured sound, which is decadent and rich -- almost an acquired taste. Mix that with the fact that the entire project is comprised of love songs, and the end result is sugary sweet, inside and out.

While the single, "Skinny Dippin'," represents the poppy brightness of the album (and probably the whole project), it has many more layers and a bigger focus on instrumentation, which is almost too much at times. However, the rhythm isn't lost amidst all the strings, harmonica, accordion, horns, and all the rest, and it still manage to bounce freely, with the occasional fit of stomping madness. "The Danger of Taking Things for Granted" is lower and smoother; bongos and a slow-as-avarice tempo make for an almost sultry track.

Lighter songs, like "Already in Heaven" and "For Granted" are nicely contrasted to the heavier tracks. "For Granted" begins with a simple guitar part and Wiggins singing, "Boy, you're going to miss her when she's gone/ Don't take her for granted," with piano, steel guitar, and ukulele joining in at the chorus. The end result is perfectly balanced, with a beautiful sad hopefulness to it. As is to be expected, there were a few tracks I wasn't too fond of, but I wouldn't say they're duds. And even if they are, the good outweighs what might be bad. On top of that, every song offers something a little different -- but with enough connective threads to weave a sort of story.

The goal for Love is Proximity was to create something mainstream, which could even be sold in a Starbucks -- a goal that, at first, seems to reek of commercialism. But there's one shining difference, and it's that Wiggins is more interested in producing music (good music, at that) than making a profit. Like a growing number of indie musicians, Essex Chanel has streamed Love is Proximity online, so listeners can see if it's up their alley before purchasing. Additionally, they are offering multimedia in the form of a free songbook with chords and lyrics, free songs before the sessions disks are released, and advanced downloads through their website.

So don't let the Starbucks thing get you -- Wiggins is just another eager, talented musician intent on being heard. - Redefine Magazine

"ESSEX CHANEL: Get Up and Dance"

Article about Essex Chanel by Kristina Francisco for the Chicago RedEye.

To say that Essex Chanel is prolific is doing the one-man band an injustice.

Essex Chanel's latest, "Dancing at Weddings," is Travis Lee Wiggins' seventh album in less than three years.

"I think with each album, I go in a different direction. I challenge myself," says Wiggins, the mastermind behind the band. "Before this album, I went to a couple different weddings, and I just love the music and how everyone gets up and dances to it. I thought it would be great to have an album you could put on and just play non-stop."

After a summer wedding last year, Wiggins went into his Edgewater studio, which he built two years ago, and started writing songs.

"I didn't have a bunch of songs together before going into the studio," Wiggins remembers. "I reworked the album over and over again [in the studio] because I didn't want anything on it that I wasn't happy with."

Wiggins, a graphic designer by day, finds time to create so many albums in such a short period of time by heading to the studio for three or four hours a day after work. The 27-year-old is seeing his commitment paying off.

"For me, the good songs come, and you never know when they're gonna come," he says. "The more you can put yourself in a position to write a song, the better chances are that you'll come up with a good song. Some days you pick up a guitar, you write something and it's perfect. On other days, nothing happens."

[ kristina francisco is a redeye special contributor. ] - Chicago RedEye

"Essex Chanel - Dancing at Weddings"

Review of Dancing at Weddings by Jennifer Patton of Delusions of Adequacy.

Essex Chanel - Dancing at Weddings


Travis Lee Wiggins’ Essex Chanel and its new release, Dancing at Weddings has some really innovative packaging. The CD comes in the form of an actual wedding-style invitation, complete with a program and response card. Very cute. The music here is unconventional - quirky even - and meshes indie rock with danceable electronica. Think lots of loops and blips over somewhat deconstructed guitar and drums. I’ve never been to a wedding with a band or DJ playing anything like this, but Essex Chanel might just get me on the dance floor. - Delusions of Adequacy

"Dancing with Essex Chanel"

Dancing with Essex Chanel
01.29.2008 in Concert by Kara

Let's face it: Wedding dances can outright suck. Luckily, in the new album Dancing at Weddings, Essex Chanel brings the wedding dance to your living room -- albeit without the embarrassingly drunk uncle attempting to do the Worm on the dance floor.

Essex Chanel is the solo project of Chicago-based musician/artist/all-around busy bee Travis Lee Wiggins, who also performs in the Summer Salts and Fetla. Dancing at Weddings sort of serves as an tutorial, opening with a loopy, roaming bassline over background shouts to "Get up and dance!" Soon what one can only assume is a party robot intercedes. On second thought, you better bust out that Worm.

Subdued, muffled bass provides the anchor, while electro looping, feedback, and fiddlings run amok. Other tracks, such as "I'm the one (who wants to dance with you tonight)," two-step into indie rock territory featuring a super-simplified drum track and jangly guitar. It's not a spectacularly inventive combo, but it's fun and perfect for nights when low-key boogying is in order. Overall, the vocals are pretty basic, with Wiggins often just singing a single line over and over. And while that could prove boring, here it serves to let the music remain the showcase. The tracks seamlessly segue into one another, which is nice for maintaining a groove, but ultimately left me wishing the tracks stood out from one another a bit more.

Essex Chanel will be having a CD release show on Friday, February 1 at Schubas, featuring Wiggins with a full band. The show is 18 and up, and Ra Ra Riot and The Virgins will also be playing. Can't make it to the show? Get your own copy of the CD here. - Gaper's Block

"Essex Chanel"

Review of 67 Car Commercials & Biting the Hand that Feeds You by Paul of Score! Magazine.

Essex Chanel

Essex Chanel is the pseudonym for Chicago’s Travis Lee Wiggins, the multi-instrumentalist who has released the eclectic – and often charming – “Biting the Hand That Feeds You” and the quirky “67 Car Commercials.”“Bite” might be music for people who don’t really get music. This is not necessarily a bad thing. What Chanel lacks in conventionality – he compensates for with fearless invention.“Commercials” is a little more out there featuring – literally – 67 mini-musical-moments designed to be car commercials in Chanel’s off-beat universe.Where “Bite” offers a chance to get into the song and – win or lose – form your own opinion, “Commercials’ simply presents musical ideas that are as fleeting as they are interesting.Chanel is a machine with regard to the amount of projects he is releasing. Considering he does pretty much everything on his own – one would think he would need more time to do what he does.He doesn’t seem to have anything coming between him and his recording machines. Granite these days tings are a lot easier to do. You can cut an entire album in your house in a day – if you are so inclined, but Chanel isn’t taking any sonic short cuts.Music purists might say that is short cuts are in the art form itself – the songwriting often feels like a work in progress. It seems that if Chanel would (or could) stay focused on one song long enough, he might create something conventional.“Bite” – then – becomes Chanel’s accessible collection of songs ranging from an examination of the American dream to various and sundry quirky chants.“Commercials” is his note pad of ideas that need to be fleshed out – or thrown out – based on where he is planning to go with it.Ironically – the anti-sonic aesthetic gets lost in the pristine recording values. The mix is perfect – even if what is being mixed isn’t.

Written by: Paul
14 Oct 2007 - Score Magazine

"Essex Chanel"

From what I have been able to gather, Essex Chanel is a vanity project of prodigious Chicago multi-instrumentalist Travis Lee Wiggins. To celebrate the release of his latest disc (“Dancing At Weddings”), Wiggins assembled a well-heeled backing band, landed on an excellent Friday night bill at Schubas, and set to recreate the album live – or at least to play through the entire album in order, without stops.

While I understand Essex Chanel’s past efforts are a mixed bag of experimental styles and non-genres, the songs performed were squarely pop rock with an abundance of keyboards (played by Wiggins himself), and vocal effects. These songs, when played by a backing band dressed in ill-fitted suits (some more ill-fitting than others), come to resemble the repertoire of a hip wedding band that still won’t scare your granny.

Although Wiggins was an energetic and affable frontman, songs were quite danceable (as promised) with memorable refrains, and the assembled backing band played the material admirably, the audience was already preparing for The Virgins. Essex Chanel didn’t have a chance
.... -


Love is Proximity - LP - 9.29.2009
Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 1 - LP - 11.24.2009
Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 2 - LP - 1.26.2010
Love is Proximity Sessions, Disk 3 - LP - 3.23.2010
Dancing at Weddings - LP - 1.18.2008
The Album is Dead- Project - 5.5.07 - present
Cropcircles - LP - 4.8.2007
Biting the Hand that Feeds You - LP - 3.13.2007
67 Car Commericals BONUS TRACKS - 7 Bonus Tracks - 3.6.2007
January 2007 - Month Long Project - January 2007 32 songs, one written and recorded every day
67 Car Commercials - LP - 9.17.2006
Travis Wiggins Gets Drunk - LP - 7.21 - 7.24.2006
Spur of the Moment - EP - 7.8.2006
One Last Hurrah Before I Die - LP - 5.9.2006
Siren - LP - 9.8.2005



About Essex Chanel

Essex Chanel is an eclectic musical project based in Chicago, Illinois, led by multi-instrumentalist-composer-artist Travis Lee Wiggins. Combining varied influences from indie, rock, folk, alternative, dance/electronica, pop, the music changes from each release and live show as Wiggins intentionally tries to reinvent his music and make something new. Essex Chanel has released a huge catalog of music filled with a large range of musical influences. A thread that runs through most of Essex Chanel’s music is a concentration on the interplay of melodies. The live show of Essex Chanel varies from Wiggins performing solo, to a multitude of musicians cultivated from other Chicago groups. In 2009, Wiggins created Sweet Goodness Music, an independent record label and management company, and Essex Chanel is the primary artist.


Travis Lee Wiggins started Essex Chanel in Chicago in 2005 as an effort to go in different musical directions than his first band, Fetla. After Fetla went on a two year hiatus in the fall of 2005, Essex Chanel became Wiggins’s primary focus. For the first several years it was mostly a recording project, with Wiggins performing live under the Essex Chanel name rarely, and when he did it was solo with an acoustic guitar. During this period, Wiggins amassed a huge catalog of music, honed his songwriting and recording skills, and started his self-run Beware of Dog Studios. Being known as a work-a-holic, Wiggins grew obsessed with music, to the point his friends would call his guitar his “wife.” Not wanting to isolate himself as a solo musician, Wiggins continued to form new bands, most notably The Salts (previously called The Summer Salts), Dolphins Swimming, & The Personal FX, but in Essex Chanel he is the primary creative force, having control of every aspect of writing, recording, and the artistic direction and design.

Before 2004, Wiggins’s creative output was spent primarily on visual, conceptual, and performance art (see 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 himself. 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 multi-instrumentalist and composer.

Essex Chanel is unique in that not only is Essex Chanel’s music created, recorded, mixed, & mastered by Wiggins, but all the design, tour booking, promotion is all run by him, sometimes under the Sweet Goodness Music moniker.

Wiggins is known to release work that he think has partially failed, in order to present the idea that “not everything you make is great,” and sometimes “because people will like stuff I think was a failure.” 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 (, 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, and many digital releases are available through online retailers such as iTunes and

Essex Chanel Quick Facts:
Name: Essex Chanel
Genre: cross-genre: indie/pop/rock/electronic/folk
Years Active: since 2005
Home: Chicago
Members: Travis Lee Wiggins; live band/studio members include: Stephen Dranger, Mike Regan, Allison Trumbo, Aleksandra Lederer, Micah Travisonno, Brian Koehler, Joseph Khalifah, Luke Krause, Angelina Lucero, Sara Ma
Full Albums Released: 7 (Love is Proximity is #8, and the 3 Love is Proximity Sessions will make the total 11 Albums).
EPs Released: 2
Other Projects Released: 2
Songs Released: 207 (+42 songs for Love is Proximity)
Essex Chanel Complete Catalog: 7 hrs. 7 minutes (+2hrs. 30 minutes)