Your Day Will Come

Chanel Beads is what you might call a scene band, the project of producer Shane Lavers who’s associated with the much-maligned lower Manhattan micro-neighborhood of Dimes Square. They play packed shows in lofts and bars full of kids born in 2004 taking pics on a point-and-shoot digital camera while wearing absolutely enormous pants. If you go to a bar called The River and hang out with dripped-out downtown people, someone will ask you: Hey, have you listened to the new Chanel Beads singles?

This is essentially how I was initiated to Chanel Beads: because they suddenly became inescapable, at least in the much-maligned lower Manhattan micro-neighborhood of Dimes Square. It started with “Ef,” a one-off single from last year, which somehow sounded like the Microphones but also kind of like Enya and Gang Gang Dance? I quickly abandoned any prejudices I had about a band that I began to become convinced was a sort of Drain Gang for the art school set. “Ef” felt totally fresh, a sexy bricolage of completely zonked synths where singer-songwriter Maya McGrory’s vocals burst and bloom in a dreamy, sort of druggy way.

The band’s debut album, Your Day Will Come, expands on those dreams and drugs, and delights in more uncommon juxtapositions. It is both Lil Peep and Massive Attack; Prefab Sprout and Yung Lean; a record made by people who really freak out about music, who know every twist and turn on Steely Dan’s Aja and are crazy enough to say, but what if we kind of rapped over this? It is a risky proposition, difficult to avoid seeming winky or gimmicky, but more often than not, the results are supremely lovely. On “Unifying Thought,” McGrory sounds like she’s singing through a waterfall inside a mall. “I don’t do molly anymore,” she sings at the song’s outset, before it gets beatific, with crescendoing strings crashing into a wash of guitars. She continues: “If you love me, I love you more.”

The general approach of Your Day Will Come is to find that provocative sweet spot between being chintzy and being sincere. To fuck around, but with discipline. In practice, this usually means doing something like cutting elevator music with open chords on an acoustic guitar. It means adding some Seinfeld slap bass on the velvety downtempo track “Embarrassed Dog” and having it somehow feel completely intuitive. Or on “Police Scanner,” where the hand-clap drum machine loops and shoegaze guitars get all freaked out by Lavers’ vocals, the repetition of little “yeahs,” which are performed with the same sort of energy of watching Ren & Stimpy reruns in your parents’ basement—paranoia pop, you might call it.

For all its oblique melodies and wobbly production, Your Day Will Come evokes a strange kind of beauty. It’s tied together by the ambient outlier, “Coffee Culture,” a gentle drone of strings, synthetic choirs, dulcimers, and some sort of digitally-treated wind instrument. It’s a welcome break, a comfortable silence. This is the kind of New York cool the band traffics in, not one born of disaffection but of sincerity. More than anything else, Your Day Will Come is cool because it’s a good hang. Like you’re sitting shotgun in the car of someone you have a crush on and you’re taking turns being DJ. Like: you are riding your bike and you are a little bit drunk and it is 90 degrees so you’re wearing a rash guard because baby, you burn easily. It seems to say: to give one shit, to care about your art, to maybe even be a little funny about it, is it so uncool?

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Chanel Beads: Your Day Will Come