KEWEN – Single Review: “Chapters”

Kewen is the solo music project of British singer-songwriter Callum Kewen, who plays a pleasing style of folk rock inspired by such acts as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. Based in Northeast England, the busy young musician is also frontman and lead vocalist of soft rock band Kewen & The Crosswalks, and does oral music reviews of local artists on his Facebook page.

He’s been releasing music as a solo artist for six years, beginning with his debut singles “This Feelin’” and “This April Day” in April 2017, followed that September by his first EP Chimes. He followed that EP with more singles, culminating in the release of his second EP A Little Bit of Magic in 2019. He dropped a lockdown single “Freedom” in 2020, then a single “The Line” in 2021. Since then, he’s been working on his debut album Chapters, due for release in September. He just dropped the album’s title single “Chapters“, an upbeat song of optimism and hope for a better future.

Kewen elaborates on his inspiration for writing the song and album: “This album has been 2.5 years in the making and I’ve put my heart and soul into it. I wrote ‘Chapters’ not long after I went through a breakup in my personal life. I took myself off to the Lake District in the UK for a night of wild camping on the mountain side, and wanted to get into a different frame of mind which is something I had never done before. This was one of two songs I wrote up there that day, and I think they may be some of the best stuff I’ve ever written. I very much felt at that time in my life that I was moving onto the next chapter in my life and I knew I wanted to title my next project in relation to that. The song started writing itself once I got pen to paper and it was probably done within the hour.

For the recording of the song, Kewen played acoustic rhythm guitar and sang lead and backing vocals, with additional contributions by several of his fellow musicians: Oliver Cobb, who produced the track, played electric rhythm and lead guitars, Kewen & the Crosswalks bassist Hannah Ward played bass and sang backing vocals, Jack Herron played drums, and WayneOnSax played the wonderful saxophone. Primary backing vocals were sung by Teah McCafferty, along with Hope Laverty, James Brown and Eddie Hogg.

I really like the song’s bouncy melody and infectious toe-tapping groove, highlighted by lots of cheerful guitar noodling, exuberant percussion and that marvelous wailing sax. Though he strains a bit on the higher notes, Kewen’s plaintive vocals are pleasing as he fervently sings “I can feel the chapters closing in, I can feel the chapters of life. I can feel the chapters, and everything’s alright. I can feel the pages of this worn-out book, I can feel the new pages rise.” The delightful backing vocals, especially those of Teah McCafferty, nicely complement his. “Chapters” is a fine single, and a promising glimpse of what we can expect on the forthcoming album.

Connect with Kewen: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on SpotifyApple Music deezer / YouTube

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