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Chartreuse Speaks 'Morning Ritual' and Their Eclectic Sound

Updated: Apr 18

Birmingham, GB four-piece group Chartreuse released their eclectic debut record, Morning Ritual to much praise last fall. The album was a long time coming as the group showcased their craft over four well-received EPs. Recently, the group added a remix EP of select tracks from Morning Ritual to their discography, with Folly Group, Art School Girlfriend, Jaws Of Love, and more adding their influences. I spoke with Chartreuse about the record, their reactions to the press, and some of their highlights as a band.


Chartreuse
Photo Credit: Louis Bever.

Your sound is anything but ordinary - leaning into a multitude of genres. What would you say are your favorites to write in?


This sounds quite cliche but we don’t think about it too much. Recently with new music, we’ve started to discuss it a little more but usually, we’ll write something and it’s only until it’s 80% done that we’ll say ’ This isn’t really the right vibe for Chartreuse,' then we’ll look at changing it to something that is. What that is though is hard to say! We like loads of genres & would probably describe ourselves as Folktronica but who knows if that’s right! 


Your debut album Morning Ritual came out in November last year, garnering significant praise. How have the positive reactions made you feel?


The positive reactions to the record have been amazing really. We worked really hard on the album for quite a long time so to release it was a relief and it was even more of a relief that people seemed to like it!


I am a person who loves album covers, and the cover for the record caught my eye. Could you explain the significance of the cover in relation to the record?


We’re super happy with the album cover. We worked with an incredible artist called Erik Solin from Helsinki. Not the most romantic but we found their work on Instagram and instantly loved the perspective they worked with and the colours. We wanted something that would stick out and we think Erik really achieved that! 


Chartreuse album cover
'Morning Ritual' Album Cover

You have all been friends since you were in college, working together on music, and now here in this band. What influenced you to start releasing music?


We’ve been a band for a long time. It just felt quite fun at the start making songs and not thinking about it too much but the further we got we realized we were all really passionate about the project and wanted to make it work. We were terrible when we first started and it took a long time to make any music we were confident enough to release. Once we did we sort of just kept going. It’s definitely a nice creative outlet to work through feelings or emotions so that’s probably what was the driving force to begin with. 


What have been some of your favorite moments as a group?


We’ve been lucky to tour in America which is insane. We’ve supported some wicked bands along the way like Local Natives, Palace, and Bombay Bicycle Club. Releasing our debut album has been a pretty big highlight, to even get to just record music and put it out is a real privilege. Venue highlights that we’ve played are probably the Albert Hall in Manchester and Brixton Academy! 


My personal favorites off the record are “All Seeing All The Time,” “Switch It On, Switch It Off,” and “Whippet,” because they are all unique and eclectic in their own ways. What are your favorite songs off the record, and why?


Thank you, glad you enjoy those! We all have different favourites but "All Seeing" is a really fun one to play live. "Sorcerers Eyes" is a great bookend on the record and again feels really good to play live. "Backstroke" is short and snappy in a cool way but ultimately they’re all our sweet children and we love them all equally, although "Who Bites Down" and "This Could be Anything" are hard to play live so they lose points. 



You just released the remix EP of Morning Ritual featuring remixes by Folly Group, Art School Girlfriend, and more. What ignited the idea to remix these songs by these musicians?


We chose musicians we really admire and most of them we hadn’t worked with before. They’re all so unique and brilliant at what they do we just felt it’d be great to give them the tracks and see what came out - we’re so happy with the way they turned out! It’s always nice to hear your songs in a different light. 


You just wrapped up some shows in the States, particularly at SXSW. How was that experience for you all, and do you have any tours planned next?


America is always fun to play in. We recently played in Brooklyn which was so good, people actually turned up which was really nice and the atmosphere was very welcoming! We don’t have any tours in the US planned but have a nice festival season coming up in the UK and Europe and hopefully touring more later on in the year.


Do you have any advice for someone starting and what steps they can take to cement themselves in this competitive industry further?


Think this is something we’re still very much learning! We are lucky to have a really nice team behind us and that’s a pretty big part of it. Find people you trust and who are emotionally invested in your music and the rest will hopefully follow. As long as you're passionate about making music then keep making it. We’d probably say play loads of shows, make as much music as you can, work hard, and learn about the industry - the more you know the easier it is!


To wrap up, what are some things you want people to know about Chartreuse that I may not have touched on?


Ooo that’s a hard one. Mike can do a one-handed clap which is pretty cool. We’re currently writing album two and are going to be recording that this year, which is very exciting. We write everything in a shed at the bottom of Mike and Rory's garden. That’s about it! 



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