Chet Tucker is a multi-instrumentalist – humble, enigmatic and highly talented. In my opinion he’s the kind of artist that if not seized and celebrated, risks spending his creative golden years residing in the shadows, or someone else’s…
His contribution to The Uplifting Bell Ends, alongside psychedelic-folk mastermind James French, first landed him on Third Eye’s radar. For supporting evidence give the Bell Ends’ most recent album ‘Super Giant III’ a spin and pay particular attention to the ‘Chet Sounds’ series of tracks. In addition to this his live drumming was, and still is, charismatic and impeccable.
Chet’s love for wearing both composer and producer hats stems from watching countless music documentaries as a boy. He told us that he bought his first Tascam four track recording machine at the age of 16 after seeing Ween using one in a video.
“I’ve always appreciated the people working behind the scenes and feel like I have a strong connection with producers and engineers and how they bring musical ideas to life. I wanted to do that with my own music.”
Getting to know Chet and seeing him perform live it’s clear he is a man destined for a life of musical exploration. When he sent through the demo tracks of his debut album, Josh and I didn’t hesitate to offer our support along with a few necessary jabs of encouragement to keep up the momentum.
Confidence is key, particularly for a self-produced debut release. Theinitial songs needed mixing attention, with vocals pushed a little too far back, as generally happens with self-recording artists who aren’t confident in their take. We assured him his vocal tracks were great, simply needing a pinch of mixing magic dust to glue them into the instrumental mix – which was undeniably superb, particularly for a home job.
It’s hard to describe what stood out most for us when we first listened. Was it the nostalgic chordal movements? Sophisticated layering and arrangement? Or silk-smooth vintage tones garnishing absolutely every instrument? Keys, guitar, drumming, all brilliant. That’s just the superficial ear candy, paying attention to the lyrics, his storytelling is raw, honest, sometimes effervescently light-hearted. It’s hard not to relate to the majority of the album’s themes.
After a few months of back and forth, reassurance and shifting release plans we settled on the new mixes, fired them off to our mastering man Owen Penglis to tie them together and agreed on a limited edition cassette run.
‘Off The Beaten Track’, was the first single to drop, premiering with one of our most-adored platforms, ‘New Commute’ and shortly after the video picked up a spin on Rage – not bad for a debut release! Since then we’ve revealed three other tracks from the thirteen destined for his self-titled album (Who Hears Colours, Bleu and Strawberry Jam) with the Chet Sounds word spreading and more publication love.
“While his solo work does share similarities with his other group’s oddball psych excursions, his own project truly celebrates his eye for unpredictably adventurous songwriting.” – Trouble Juice.
If you’re interested in giving the singles a listen or preordering Chet’s album on cassette (lavished with artwork from our British pal Tomas Walmsley jump over to chetsounds.bandcamp.com.
You’ll hear more from us soon.
Third Eye Stimuli Records is a Sydney/Wollongong based record label devoted to bringing you far out sounds from Australia, New Zealand and beyond.