Toronto-based artist Marlon Chaplin has just released his full-length debut album and it is, to put it simply, a powerhouse record. Chaplin clearly has the range of a true rock performer and these ten tracks embody his style flawlessly. It is diverse, passionate, and an inimitable listening experience that will leave you wanting nothing more but to see the live performance (and to play the album on a continuous loop).
The record opens up with “The Circle.” As the attention grabber, the title track is very high energy, complete with a full-bodied opening instrumental. It is the perfect opening, capturing the adrenaline of that momentous first song of a rock concert. It sets the pace for other similar rocker tracks, such as “Drain Me,” “Imaginary Mary K,” and “Elevation.” The album slows down with two acoustic ballads: “Back to the Start” and “Take Me There.” They are dreamy and buoyant, complete with pretty harmonies. Chaplin’s more vulnerable side is at the forefront of these songs, making them even more beautiful.
“A Single Drop” is a cool song with a biting edge. It swings us back around from the romantic ballads, showing Chaplin’s diversity in sound and genre. Listeners are treated to yet another change of pace with “One Man Show” and “Where Did We Go.” Their upbeat sound reminds me of the band Bleachers, with the vintage upbeat aesthetic and catchy guitar riffs. And the final track, “Out on the Wing,” brings a flawless ending to a very well-rounded album. It’s slower and sad, but full of life, focusing on the magnificent sound of strings.
The amount of work put into this strong debut is clear. Released via Möbius Recordings, the album was produced by Chaplin, mixed by Chris Shaw (Partner, Weezer, Bob Dylan) and mastered by Joao Carvalho. With such a stand-out debut, The Circle is bound to impress anyone and everyone who listens to it.
The Circle is out now, and is available for purchase here.. Keep up with the latest on Chaplin here. Also, be sure to check him out on tour, including the album release show in Toronto on August 30th.