champs - "shadow on the sea" - bmg

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CHAMPS are brothers Michael and David Champion who hail from the  Isle of Wight, a place  off the south coast of the UK famous for its festival, multi-coloured sand and well, not much else. 

 

Formed in 2011 CHAMPS released their debut album, DOWN LIKE GOLD, which was lauded amongst critics with rave reviews from The Guardian, The Independent and Q magazine. It also received substantial radio support in The UK at bbc6, bbc radio 2 and radio 1. The band played a live session on the popular Dermot O’Leary show and toured Europe relentlessly, supporting the likes of Alt-J, Lord Huron and Wolf Alice. 

 

The follow up, VAMALA, came 366 days later and again received unanimous critical acclaim from all the usual publications. French Magazine Les inRocks gave it 5/5 and hailed it a masterpiece. The lead track of the same name has since racked up 5 million Spotify streams and found support at UK radio from the likes of Lauren Laverne, Huw Stephens and Tom Ravenscroft. 

 

After a few unsuccessful attempts at starting the third album the boys decamped and spent some time in London alleviating concerns by immersing themselves in the underbelly of the East End music scene, which led to a chance meeting with American producer, Sean Oakley (Frank Ocean, Portugal The Man, James Blake). The pair spent the following few days with Oakley going through demos and explaining their vision. 

 

There was an immediate chemistry between the three and in late 2016 they booked out Chale Abbey, a studio on the Isle which stands within the walls of an abandoned monastery which dates back to the 1100s.  Between long walks and a few very heavy nights they recorded a bevy of songs, which ultimately began the HARD INTERCHANGE sessions. 

 

The lead track on the album, Solid Action, speaks of the first time Michael witnessed somebody injecting heroin in an underground club in Berlin during one of their early tours.  

 

“It was done with such jovial determination and control, a very “Solid Action”, ‘the nonchalance really affected me.’ Says Champion of the song, and of the album, “This album has nearly killed us, broken us and saved our lives simultaneously. It documents three years of highs, lows, heartbreaks, adventures, love, hate and everything in between.”

 

Adds David, “We've lived with this album (HARD INTERCHANGE) for a long time and we're really very excited to be able to set it free. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much we enjoyed making it.”