The Chelsea Curve spend the year hanging out in The Singles Scene

The Boston mod-pop trio delivered eight new singles in 2021, released monthly between March and October 

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The Chelsea Curve’s debut album set for Winter 2022 release via independent label Red On Red Records  

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Photo credit: Reuben

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BOSTON, MA [October 27, 2021] -- At a time when there’s not a lot to count on, The Chelsea Curve have become quite dependable. 

The Boston mod-pop trio has spent most of 2021 welcoming fans to The Single Scene, a monthly series of new music that stretched across eight months, releasing one new track at a time to streaming platforms. It started with a bang back in March with the release of power-pop firecracker “Girl Cavedog” and wraps this month, on October 27, with the eighth and final single, a retro-pub rager called “Top It Up.” All eight singles, plus new tracks, will be featured on The Chelsea Curve’s forthcoming debut album, released this winter by independent Boston label Red On Red Records. 

It’s been a massive undertaking, both by the band and the label, but aligns strategically with the age of streaming and playlisting, offering listeners new music every few weeks and keeping The Chelsea Curve’s music on the blogs, on the radio, and in everyone’s social media feeds. Most bands have an album release party over one night or a single weekend; The Chelsea Curve have been spotlighting their album, one track at a time, across eight months. 

“We probably would have done this anyway, but it began percolating during The Shutdown,” says guitarist and vocalist Tim Gillis.  “Since there were no live shows, we thought it was a good way to keep ourselves out there, and try something a little different. And stay busy. Really, really busy. Which we like.”

It also kept Red On Red Records busy, issuing new Chelsea Curve singles each month while also booking live events and releasing new music from Cold Expectations, Linnea’s Garden, The Jacklights, Kid Gulliver, and others.

“When the band first pitched the idea to me, I wasn't sure,” admits Red On Red Records founder and owner Justine Covault, who launched her label late last year. “I was worried that each song wouldn't have a chance to build momentum with fans, press, and radio before the next song came out. But I agreed to take a chance on the idea. I'm so glad I did! The Chelsea Curve are a relatively new band, and the steady supply of great songs has really made people sit up and take notice.”

The variety in the band’s sound helps keep things fresh. Indebted to power-pop, mod culture, and the sound of England that spans the ‘60s to the ‘90s, each new Chelsea Curve release has stood on its own sonic ground, displaying the band’s various shades of styles and sounds. Case in point: August’s spiky “Inconceivable,” was followed by the solemn, more reflective “7000 Hours.”

Covault cites the mixture of “dark and light” in the band’s songs, with nods to both the joys and struggles of modern life, as something not only listenable but entirely relatable. And by digesting these songs one story at a time, listeners are hearing the variety of The Chelsea Curve’s debut album unfold over a prolonged period, like individual chapters in a larger narrative.     

And that’s by design. Echoing Gillis’ sentiment, vocalist and bassist Linda Pardee says the idea for The Singles Scene came about as the band were writing songs in late-2020, during the height of the pandemic with no idea when live music would return. 

“When Covid stopped all live shows,  we thought why not release each song, one after another to keep our name out there -- I really liked the idea of just bombarding the public with our music,” Pardee says. “Catapulting it all out there so our music is always there for you, like a dependable friend (with good taste!) Fortunately, Justine bought into the idea. The best thing is that each month we get to celebrate a new song, it’s like it gets its own little birthday party as we launch it out into the big wide world.” 

Drummer Ron Belanger says the monthly rollout “creates a steady drumbeat of energy,” adding: “Most bands go into dormancy after releasing a record and it can be hard to get motivated again. With a single a month, we're always trying to get more plays than the last one, get more likes, shares, comments, etc. It's like we're competing with ourselves each and every month.”

And don’t worry -- the band is not too concerned about giving too much of the LP away. 

“We thought about that but we really liked the ‘deluge of singles’ concept and that won the day,” Gillis says. “We also had enough material to put out a few months' worth of songs and still have some that will be new on the album; we definitely wanted it to be more than just a collection of the singles. There’s also something to hearing everything in a particular sequence, which is part of the fun of any album.”

And with the rapid pace of music consumption in the digital era, Belanger suggests that by the time the album sees the light of day this winter, nearly a year on from when “Girl Cavedog” first hit the streams, the memories of those early Singles Scene singles will be a distant memory. So in a way, each of the initial singles are getting a new life repackaged into the album. 

“Just think of how much media the average person consumes in a month, let alone a year,” Belanger says. “So when the full-length drops, it will get people remembering some of their favorite tracks along the course of The Singles Scene. And, of course, with new artwork, song flow, and the promise of new songs, it should be an exciting mix of old favorites and new tracks to enjoy.”

The band admits they may have caused “a ton of extra work” for Red On Red, but both The Chelsea Curve and the indie label have been on the same page since Day 1. “Justine has been fantastic about getting them all out and taking care of every detail,” says Gillis. 

“I'm lucky because as a band they're very focused, and their stuff is all so good: Songs, videos, graphics, everything. They are ON it,” adds Covault. “That said, I have a checklist for each single I release from the label, and there are 46 checkboxes on that list. So it takes some time and attention. But that moment right before I release a new song of theirs to the unsuspecting public? It's thrilling, the little hairs on my freckled forearms stand up, because their songs are that good.” 

Could this be the future of music distribution, where a band releases more than half of an album’s music as singles, fit for the streaming age of playlisting and track-hopping,  treating the forthcoming LP as a sort of “greatest hits” package? 

“I think it’s the current mode of distribution, or at least consumption,” Gillis adds. “Even when bands put out a full album or EP, a lot of people are picking and choosing individual songs for playlists, or to buy. So we’re just feeding that behavior with The Singles Scene. We’re enablers!” 

Covault agrees, adding that “always having something new” allows The Chelsea Curve to keep the conversation going in the extended lead-up to the album release. And while certain songs have appealed to certain radio shows or blogs, the reception to The Singles Scene has been overwhelmingly positive, with some in the press already calling the album one of the best of 2022.   

“It helps the DJs, bloggers, and podcasters, they love new content. Especially when it's this good,” Covault says. “And it keeps the focus on this band. I truly believe they are something special. The very first time I saw them live, I fell in love with their songs and their sound and their energy. I want everyone in the world to know who they are.”

Please direct press inquiries to The Chelsea Curve at thechelseacurve@gmail.com or Michael Marotta at michael@publisist.co.

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The Chelsea Curve are:

Linda Pardee - Bass and Vocals
Tim Gillis - Guitar and Vocals
Ron Belanger - Drums

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