Chew Lips are an East London based dance-pop trio consist of singer Tigs, and multi-instrumentalists Will Sanderson and James Watkins.
The group was formed in early 2008 and wrote ten songs at their first rehearsal, and played their first show that spring at a friend’s house. After a few more gigs, the group found a champion in BBC DJ Steve Lamacq, who asked Chew Lips to perform a session on his show and invited them to play the BBC Introducing Stage at the Electric Proms Festival that fall. After a MySpace exchange with the founder of the French label Kitsune, the band released their debut single, "Solo," on the imprint early in 2009; the song showcased Chew Lips' distinctive mix of brassy female vocals and Casiotone beats and melodies. The single "Salt Air," which featured a video directed by Man vs. Magnet, followed that summer. Their debut album, Unicorn, appeared in January 2010, as did the Play Together EP.
CHEW LiPS have gone on to create an astonishing, visceral debut that thrills from start to finish, each song different from the last but with the hallmarks of the trio stamped over everything, the tracks intrinsically connected and detached at the same time, grand and intimate at once. Opener ‘Eight’ creeps into life slowly, its glacial soundscapes giving way to a robotic surge of glitches and bleeps, ‘Play Together’ sees shrill synths pirouetting round Tigs’ deviant vocals, whilst ‘Slick’ is space-age soul, building to its climactic outro in a haze of cascading, kaleidoscopic harmonies as Tigs showcases her vocal allure – the CHEW LiPS frontwoman is mesmerising of voice, her prurient laments imbued with a playful menace that could break hearts and the law at the same time.
“’Play Together’ sums us up as a band,” says James. “It’s got an amazing bassline and some really cool keyboard sounds, whilst ‘Slick’ could signal a change into a new direction for us – the thing I really like about it is that the music could be Beyonce or something. It was one that me and Tigs were always excited about. It came on the most out of all the songs we recorded in the studio.”
“I love ‘Karen’,” adds Tigs. “I love that little break in it.”Indeed, anyone whose accustomed to its original live version should grip themselves for the moment it morphs from straight-arrowed art-rock into its swirling, mesmeric breakdown, whilst the likes of ‘Too Much Talking’ and ‘Piano Song’ reveal tenets of raw emotion within CHEW LiPS that underline the heart pumping within their mechanical beats’n’synths.
“I like that about our record,” opines Tigs, “the suggestion that we could go in any direction afterwards and it wouldn’t be completely surprising. Like ‘Piano Song’ – where the fuck does that come from?” As it transpires, the plaintive lullaby that closes ‘Unicorn’ comes from when James sat down at a piano left in David Kosten’s studio that Stevie Wonder used to play. “It’s not a song, there’s no structure to it, it’s just… nice,” smiles Tigs.
CHEW LiPS are looking to release their second album late this year.
Her's their demo song "Eagle" for the new CHEW LiPS track