From humble beginnings in their Northeast Australia hometown to worldwide acclaim and ferocious sets on some of the planet’s biggest stages, the alt-pop trio Chase Atlantic are riding high on a wave of their own creation. And with the release of their much-anticipated sophomore full-length, Phases, hot on the heels of their DON’T TRY THIS EP, 2019 looks to be their biggest year yet.
Mitchel Cave and his older brother Clinton formed Chase Atlantic with their best friend, Christian Anthony, in 2014. Classically trained as musicians and singers, the brothers began their obsession with programming and production as teenagers. Spending days locked away in their bedrooms working on beats, they began combining sounds from their favorite genres—from pop to electro to rock and R&B—fusing together an experimental sound that retained catchiness and hooks. Adding live instrumentation and vocals to the mix, the trio recognized their work’s undeniable groove and edge, an eclectic and unique hybrid of dark, rhythmic, and emotional sound—not to mention their shared bond and ability to make singular decisions as a hive mind.
“We’re on the same wavelength,” Mitchel says. “We have the same outlook and that’s why we’ve been such great friends for such a long time. Our music-making is synergistic; we all share the same musical brain. We make music that is hard to define by genre but easy to enjoy.”
They began releasing their music online and quickly developed a following in their home country, with fans flocking to their infectious live shows and embracing the confident honesty in their storytelling. The viral single “Friends” caught the ears of Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden, who signed Chase Atlantic to their esteemed LA-based music company, MDDN, in 2016. They released a pair of EPs and a self-titled debut LP in 2017, leading to an endless string of sold-out headline shows and tours around the world, including festival slots at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Reading & Leeds, and Vans Warped Tour. Despite all the rapid-fire success, the band work hard to maintain and increase their high-level work ethic, sticking to their guns when it comes to their method of making music and refusing to compromise any of their creativity, control, or—most importantly—their joy.
“To be where we are today with music as our career, having grown up without a lot, it’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Mitchel says. “We went from staring at the same four walls for 18 years to seeing the whole world. We have to keep our heads—everything in moderation. Well, music-making should not be in moderation, but everything else. As long as we’ve got our headphones and laptops, we have all we need.”
Phases is the band’s official full-length follow-up to their debut and follows the gloomy emotional tone and sharp sonic eclecticism set by DON’T TRY THIS, the EP released in early 2019 that also highlighted their knack for hooks and a cool, confident delivery. Phases finds Chase Atlantic operating at the height of their powers, with twelve songs that showcase the wide-ranging breadth of their abilities to reveal a darker side of their existence.
“We made this album because we wanted to drastically pivot the angle from which pop culture is viewed and ultimately digested,” Mitchel says. “Throughout our career so far, Chase Atlantic has always been represented as a ‘go to’ for unique and complex music with high sonic value. We’ve been able to fuse genres and aesthetics together to create a defined nocturnal bliss of our own, blending dreamy melodies with moody progressions, all the while touching on subjects from drug abuse to romantic pieces.”
The songs of Phases represent that balance and reflect the band’s deft ability to blend and bend the rules of pop music into a wholly singular sound. Lead single “Her” starts with a sampled thrum of blurry whirs before Mitchel’s voice enters over a barebones, engaging beat. The song’s chorus is tender yet marred by the inevitable frustrations of romantic encounters spent in the band’s hyper-speed orbit; it’s not a stretch to call it a love song but, as viewed through Chase Atlantic’s whirling telescope, there is more than meets the eye. “Heaven and Back” is an upbeat, dance-y and dark track that climbs and clips along, with a shimmering 80’s throwback vibe as updated by the band’s instrumental wizardry. “I Never Existed” similarly highlights their ability to craft catchy, moving anthems with a moodier slant and singalong moments, and the album’s title track is a lovelorn slow-jam on par with the best of modern R&B acts but propelled by its futurism. The wide variety of influences on the album includes alt-pop, rock, R&B, and hip-hop, and will hit home with fans of Post Malone, The Neighbourhood, The 1975, and The Weeknd.
Chase Atlantic are fueled by their obsession with creation, songwriting, and beat-making and refusing to conform to any one sound. And as their spotlight only continues to grow, they understand that everything they need to get by is already in their possession.
“This album feels as though it is truly a work of astronomical measures,” he says. “It’s the first time we were able to honestly and openly hone into something so monumentally special and raw without compromising even an inch of our integrity as artists. We’ve developed a completely new sound within a matter of months that has never been tapped into before. Chase Atlantic is now dwelling within a realm of its own; it’s both scarily isolating and blissfully euphoric at the same time. Welcome to a whole new era.”