The electro-soul artist takes us on a track-by-track journey through his debut album.
The release of a debut album is a monumental thing. Laced with the music set to define an artist’s career and introduce their sound to the world, they are usually some of the more coveted bodies of work from successful creatives. Using his debut release to establish himself as a rapidly rising name in the electro-soul genre is Chiiild with his smooth-sounding Hope For Sale.
“This album represents my journey through the last year,” explains Chiiild. “Aiming to cover the whole human experience, I dive into my outlook on life, love and social justice. This is Hope for Sale.”
Upon the release of the shimmering project, the artist sat down with Wonderland to offer fans a track-by-track analysis of his debut album. Head below to hear more…
The song is a metaphor for living your life with agency. Is life happening to you, or are you leading the life you dreamed of? “Sleepwalking” was a milestone because it was the first music video. We went to the beach and shot all night with Dan Regan. I’m super proud of what we created.
“Hold On Till We Get There”
What I love about this record is the way it was created. My friend Billboard aka Mont Duamel flew down from Montreal to LA for a couple of days just to work with me on some new music. No goal in mind, just music and good vibes. He’s a wizard when it comes to making music, so it was a treat to work with him. We came out with “Hold On Till We Get There” and “13 Months of Sunshine” on the same day.
While working on Hope For Sale, I took a trip to Joshua Tree to get a break from LA. During that trip, I rediscovered the Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd. On that album there is a song called “Any Color You Like” which is an instrumental track that splits up the album really well. “13 Months of Sunshine” was inspired by that, and a modern take on Ethiopian instrumental music.
I started this song in Montreal and it was quite a bit slower and more ethereal, kind of like an acoustic drugged-out campfire sing along. It’s about that moment when you or your partner have been stressed out for too long and you need to connect to recalibrate and take the weight of the world off. It took a turn sonically after I jammed out to it in a studio in LA with my buddy D’Mile. He thought it could be cool if we sped it up and it ended up turning into what it is today.
London is a very important city in the story of Chiiild. That’s where I wrote the very first song “Synthetic Soul (Count Me Out)”. So this time around, I thought it would be interesting to stay for a week after my 2019 European tour to write and collaborate with our friends. Jay Warner and Ari Pensmith came through and we left our UK trip with Awake. Fun fact, while scrolling through IG, we came across this London musician playing an instrument we had never seen before. We called her up and recorded her Veena (think sitar and guitar merged into one) on the hook.
I feel really connected to this one because it’s the song that bridges this project to Synthetic Soul. I actually got to perform this one live before it was released. It’s a song that talks about simple misunderstandings that can become fights when you live with someone. At the end of the day, simple misunderstandings should stay simple, and there’s really no point in staying mad at each other if we’re both going to end up in the same bed at the end of the day.
Some songs just write themselves. This song started over zoom with Scott from Toronto. We were set up to meet and collaborate during the pandemic. He had some track stencils that we pulled up and I heard this piano part that was in one of the stems. I told him I would call him back and turned on the mic to lay some ideas over it. The whole song just flowed in one pass, and I knew I was onto something sincere. Lotus is a poem for someone you want to share every moment with.
This song came about while driving through the canyons in LA for hours on end. “We were both from different worlds. Our perspective shapes our view of reality. You’re already perfect, I’m already right. With a little practice, we’ll be alright.” Like “Lotus”, this song reads like one long sentence. I’m trying to tell you that you don’t get me. But I’m starting to understand what’s happening here. As I try to find the words not to trigger you by accident, I seem to trip up and set you off.
This song is what it sounds like when you don’t hold anything back, let standard song structure out the window and jam. There has always been a longing to make music for film. This is an expression in that direction. Also, the fact that Max went ‘full Bonham’ and soloed over the outro brings me joy.
“The Best Ain’t Happened Yet”
We made this one in a cabin in the woods buried in the snow in December just before the pandemic. We started jamming and left the tape running for 30 mins straight. It was such a vibe. I think we all went into some kind of trance and came out with this piece of music. It’s crazy how the lyrics took a whole new meaning once 2020 hit, and we realised the whole world was put on hold.
Jensen is one of a kind. I saw her online and was instantly captivated by her tone. She’s just one of those artists that sing and write in complete authenticity. The original version of “Gone” could use a woman’s perspective, and who better than Jensen. I reached out through a mutual connection and the rest is history.