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The wonderful weirdness of Chappo

Previously described by a fan as "a futuristic Talking Heads," New York psychedelic rock outfit Chappo has been keeping it trippy as the trek along to promote its second album. Singer and guitarist Alex Chappo (take a guess as to how the band name was established) grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but moved to New York City in order to kickstart the band's base in Brooklyn. There, it started as a duo but expanded to a four-member band, which Chappo describes as beneficial when it comes to accumulating ideas. Thankfully, they're all on the same page musically, but at the same time bring something unique to the table.

Chappo performs at the House of Blues Cambridge Room on February 5, 2014.
Kristin Lockhart
Brooklyn indie rock band Chappo will be touring this February and March in the U.S.
Michael Williams

The new album Future Former Self, which will be released March 4 from Rouse Records, is the band's second full-length output. The album hints at sounds such as folk, psychedelic rock, electronic pop, and indie rock, but manages to bring them together into a cohesive unit, including the catchy Tame Impala territory of lead single "I Don't Need the Sun."

In contrast to the makeshift living room recording sessions in the past, Chappo was able to record the new album for two weeks straight while nestled in a recording studio in Vermont. However, front man Alex Chappo explains that the recording process can't compare to a live setting, since there's "a different experience every night… and it's organic and new."

As for a live setting, it's all about reciprocation with the audience and feeding off of the crowd's energy. Though past tours consisted of bountiful confetti and ridiculous costumes, this time around Chappo have gone for a more "slick" and streamlined approach to better accompany cuts from the new record. There's still confetti though, and plenty of it, as crowds at the current shows have witnessed.

Future Former Self's narrative of a man traveling through space fits well the already spacey atmosphere the band gives off live. Donned with a foil-wrapped LED moon and projections full of swirling bright colors, Chappo's kaleidoscopic show at House of Blues' Cambridge Room on February 5 as a supporting act for Royal Teeth gave a much different vibe than peppy, folk-oriented headliners Royal Teeth. Singer Alex Chappo gave out confetti poppers to the audience, thus eliminating any future need for confetti canyons.

Though he only half jokingly refers to life in New York City as "always poor,"according to him the ability to fill the senses with more to see and do is all worth it in the end. The vibrant culture seems to have crept into Chappo's sound. Adding to the band's quirky nature is the comically titled EP of covers Nothin' to Sell You, which is available to stream on Youtube. The eclectic collection of covers ranges from Beck's "Cyanide Breath Mint" to Kenny Rogers' "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)." Chappo described the EP as a way to infuse the group's own style in each of the songs, but doesn't consider it a great challenge.

Having seen all kinds of crowds around the U.S., he doesn't believe it's fair to generalize or pin down each region to a certain reaction, such as the stereotype that "hipsters don't dance." A few years ago, Chappo's catchy single "Come Home" from the debut album Moonwater was featured in an iPod Touch 4 commercial, providing the group with more exposure and the ability to tour with bands such as Imagine Dragons and Of Montreal, in addition to playing festivals such as Bonnaroo and Pop Montreal.

As for what's up next for the band, Chappo will continue to do what most indie bands do- tour rigorously. This March, Chappo will be performing an official showcase at SXSW, and continue to spread warped indie rock to the masses.

Chappo tour dates

All dates listed below are in support of Royal Teeth.

2/9- Phoenix, AZ @ Pub Rock

2/11- San Diego, CA @ Casbah

2/12- Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar

2/13- San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

2/16- Seattle, WA @ Neumos

2/18- Portland, OR @ Doug Fir

2/20- Boise, ID @ Neurolux

2/21- Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court

2/22- Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater

2/24- Lincoln, NE @ Vega

2/25- Kansas City, KS @ Czar

2/26- Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock

2/27- Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet

2/28- Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge

3/3- Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room

3/4- Columbus, OH @ The Basement

3/5- Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theater

3/6- St. Louis, MO @ Demo

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