By Matthew Keever
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Originally published: http://www.houstonpress.com/music/chase-hamblin-heads-way-back-to-start-2015-6512530
Their name notwithstanding, Chase Hamblin and crew are anything but roustabouts. Rooted in ’60s-era pop-rock with hooks catchy enough to entice listeners of all ages, Hamblin has been a staple of the local music scene for nearly a decade.
Not being one to sit still for too long, Hamblin kicked off 2015 with the release of his band’s latest effort, “Way Back,” an upbeat tune about rediscovering oneself in dark times. Available exclusively on Bandcamp to stream or download, Hamblin’s most recent release is part confession, part motivation and altogether as charming as many of his previous songs.
“Sometimes you just want to take the advice of that graffiti poet and GIVE UP,” Hamblin says. “Some never make their way back. It’s hard, but I’m pulling for all of you struggling.”
“Way Back” is Hamblin’s first original issue since 2013’s VAUdeVILLE, excluding his reinterpretation of the holiday classic “Let It Snow” released in December 2014. Intended for inclusion on a full-length album, the song stands alone without a tentative release date for record.
“I’ve been writing and arranging new material for an album, but I may put out a few digital singles before the full-length,” Hamblin says. “We [the Roustabouts] are also in the planning stage for a video to accompany ‘Way Back’ with local production group Adorable Creative.”
Between VAUdeVILLE and “Way Back,” not much has changed about Hamblin’s songwriting process. But in the interim, he has honed his production and arrangement skills and is approaching this next record differently.
“I’m more precise about the tones and the arrangements and seeing the big picture,” Hamblin says. “VAUdeVILLE was made with a live band of Geoffrey Muller and Robert Ellis, so I went more rootsy with the material I picked since we had such talented roots-based players on the recordings. The new material will have a completely different sound and approach.”
Chase Hamblin Heads “Way Back” to Start 2015
Lyrically, “Way Back” takes its cues from recent troubles in Hamblin’s personal life. About a year ago, the singer was feeling dejected and began doing what he does best: writing. He began seizing lyrics from the turmoil in an attempt to “capture the feeling of things not quite working out.”
“I just sort of started playing with the imagery around me that felt on the edge, on the tipping point,” Hamblin says. “I especially like the final image [from the song] of a vintner who planted seeds, grows the plants, harvests the grapes and makes the wine only to find that it is sour.
“However, ultimately the singer is empathizing, saying he knows it is hard to find your way,” he continues, “but it is implied that you can do it.”