Chay Appleyard - And the Gravelman (The Infamous Boxwine Night)
Chay Appleyard explores a folk punk frenzy with “And the Gravelman (The Infamous Boxwine Night)”. The whole of the album has a chaotic energy to it which feels charming. Nods to the anti-folk scene appear throughout for this is an album that has a playfully wild sense of humor. His references abound from the Violent Femmes to the Moldy Peaches, though his approach has a much more polished kinder appeal. Lyrics here serve as the beating heart of the entire sound for there is a tenderness to the way he lets things unfurl. With an album best taken in as a singular whole, the experience has a cohesive tact to it.
The edge of the acoustic guitar feels ready to burst on the yearning desire of the opener “Does this mean I’m officially not a rock star”. A blown out fuzzy energy comes through on the spirited lo-fi “Ditties”. By far the highlight of the album comes from the surprisingly tender ode of “Amy Rose” where he brings a bit of the Decemberists’ energy into the fray. Ramshackle rhythms underpin the heft of “The infamous boxwine Night”. Light, gracious riffs highlight the pastoral beauty of “Amateur Dramatics”. Sprawling and ambitious “Cans on the Train” has a celebratory atmosphere about it. Neatly bringing everything to a coherent, cohesive whole the powerful “The Rectory” ends things on a joyous note.
“And the Gravelman (The Infamous Boxwine Night)” shows off the deft skill in Chay Appleyard’s uncanny ability to create a true sense of community.