Chayse Porter "Endless / Boundless"
From Earth Libraries:
How to describe Porter’s solo work…mischievous pop? Cotton candy spun with barbed wire? Beatle-esque, Burt Bacarach-inspired soft rock left to freeze in the warped confines of a funhouse mirror? Whatever your preferred descriptor, Endless / Boundless is a fresher, more direct record than the high-concept psyche excavations of Chay’s Palace, his 2022 sophomore album.
Where Palace was painstakingly crafted with vintage analogue equipment in a studio, Porter opted to compose and record Endless alone in his basement, before the bursting seeds of ideas had any chance to wilt. “I didn’t want to sit on an idea too long and allow the inspiration to fizzle out. It was more important for me to express myself immediately and directly, than ‘correctly,’” said Porter.
While Porter may have used the humble and convenient confines of his basement to write and record the album, engineer Brad Timko gave the final mix a sparkling sheen at the legendary Studio B in Muscle Shoals. However, don’t let this polished sound fool you – there are darker corners of Endless / Boundless to discover along the winding path of these nine songs. **
Said another way, there’s more than just the “dreamsicle skies” of “Rolls of 35”, Endless’ relaxed earworm of a lead single. Porter is intentionally releasing the record’s breeziest material first to welcome listeners in before they reach the thornier, stranger expanses nestled within the tracklist. “I compare it to like…I want you to see the stick that’s holding up the crate and say ‘Okay, that cheese looks really good. But…why is that stick there?’” said Porter with a wry smile.
Lyrically, Endless ruminates on unrequited love, toxic American exceptionalism, and, in one of the record’s lighter moments, unexpected kindness from strangers. There’s jubilant dream pop (opening stunner “Bleeding Hearts”), shoegaze with threats of violence (“Lead Pipe Cinch”), and a cinematic instrumental centerpiece best enjoyed with eyes closed (“Copter”).
With the record on the way and a live band assembled and ready to go, Porter has left listeners a trail of breadcrumbs in anticipation