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A Magazine for Sheffield

Cobalt Chapel Orange Synthetic

Cobalt Chapel’s Orange Synthetic reflects their mastery of music’s potential to reflect and engage with a geographical space, while exploring a genre-fluid approach to traditional stories, folk tales and legends.

Released: 29 January 2021
Orange Synthetic

Comprised of prog duo Cecilia Fage and Jarrod Gosling, Cobalt Chapel’s second album follows on from Variants, their debut and this album’s companion. The Yorkshire pair use their music to explore their home, inspired by the humanity, anecdotes and folklore of the region, as well as the creatures and legends rooted in the dramatic northern landscapes which surround them.

A contemporary take on the psychedelic music of the 1960s, organs and keyboards are the primary sounds of the album, cut through by Fage’s crystal-clear vocals. The incorporation of drums, soft bass and guitar creates the swirling textures characteristic of the prog rock sound. However, this album refuses to be confined to one genre alone, and the folk-sounding vocals and relative instrumental minimalism of ‘E.B.’ reflects the artists’ core focus on Yorkshire.

This focus is additionally evident in the analogous lyrics which tell of Yorkshire-specific events; the titular ‘Orange Synthetic’ is about the disastrous 1970 Krumlin Festival that was held in Yorkshire, but was ruined by the unpredictable weather. The sense of unrest imparted by the competing keyboard riffs and guitar lines reflects this mystery and unpredictability.

‘Our Angel Polygon’ refers to RAF Fylingdales and their Cold War efforts. The piece maintains both a crisp melody whilst representing a sense of danger and melancholy. Melancholy is a staple of the record, and ‘A Father’s Lament’ epitomises this in its story of deceased children. The lament is driven by the bass and drums, yet it succeeds in maintaining a balance between the unhappy subject material and an upbeat recognition of music’s ability to remember, restore and heal.

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