Watch Chelou's Mezmerizing NEW MUSIC VIDEO For 'Out Of Sight'

By Alex Brown - 31.1.19

They say anticipation is half the pleasure, and in the case of Chelou, it’s been a steady yet unhurried build up to his first album.  The result, an intoxicating set of folk-blues, beats and Chelou’s hauntingly vocal, Out of Sight is now set for release on his own label Concrete Dog via AWAL on April 26th.

Chelou’s beautifully blurry, hypnotic sound isn’t reflective of his earliest influences - Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Nick Cave – but when it came to songwriting, “morose acoustic music,” won out. “I’m hopeless at parties,” he concedes. “I want to put Leonard Cohen on! I like anything in the A minor key and I love a good melody.”

If the Chelou sound is a blissful brand of melancholy it’s rooted as much in the 21st century. Dance music was a staple when he was younger with its electronics and ballad-esque vocals having it’s own impact on this musical output.

Fittingly producer / DJ Maya Jane Coles has been a key mentor – Chelou featured on two of her tracks ‘Believe’ and ‘Darkside’ and she was the main collaborator in shaping and making Out Of Sight along with Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar, Florence & The Machine) and LOXE.

With Chelou’s initial releases picking up consistent support from Annie Mac, Tom Ravenscroft, Lauren Laverne and Huw Stephens, it was ‘Halfway To Nowhere’ that proved the breakthrough track clocking up 4m plays on Spotify and over 5.5m on YouTube to date. Chelou wrapped up 2018 with the single release of Out Of Sight - on his own label Concrete Dog) alongside his most recent show, supporting Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Chelou has stayed true to the intimate, organic DNA of his sound. “‘Sorry’ is the demo version, as I couldn’t recapture the same emotion again” and ‘She Rocks, I Roll’ “takes you on a journey,” he says.  There is real life in these grooves, and stories to tell.  His family features heavily across his music and visuals.  Its Adam’s mother on the album cover - a woman being fired from a cannon – who ran away at 15 and joined the circus; ‘Lil Sis’ inspired by discovering he had half siblings from another relationship resulting in a half-sister singing backing vocals on a number of his releases.

“If the album has a theme, it stems from a place of frustration” he explains. “Like, how can I be a musician when I’m bartending forty hours a week, or digging holes?” I realised, after we finished the album, that many songs had similar words and concepts, like going home and trying to get back to a good place.”

Chelou translates to ‘shady’ or ‘hidden’ in French and the man born Adam Gray has “spent a long time not revealing much, but it wasn’t exactly intentional,” he says. “I originally wanted to be a songwriter and not a stage performer, or even a singer.  I began to create a world outside of my everyday existence, starting with the name Chelou, and once it all started happening, it fit my natural personality.” This extends to his videos, all of which have been animations to date.

Having reached a good place, Chelou is no longer out of sight, but here and now, with an album that has made the wait all worthwhile.

Catch Chelou LIVE!
APR 17th - Paris, La Boule Noire
APR 18th - Amsterdam, Cinetol
APR 22nd - Hamburg, Hakken
APR 23rd - Cologne, MTC
APR 24th - Berlin, Badehaus Szimpla
APR 25th - Munich, Orangehaus
APR 27th - Prague, MeetFactory
APR 28th - Zurich, Salzhaus
APR 30th - Budapest, A38
MAY 3rd - London, Jazz Cafe
MAY 25th - Bristol, Love Saves The Day

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