The Chamberlains has shared his second single of 2022, a thunderous, synth-heavy track titled Metropolis.
The track sees The Chamberlains — the musical project of Sydney artist Mike Stephens — ruminate on the underbelly of urban life, singing of “downtown lights” and “chimney tops” in scratchy distorted vocals. The five-minute song was produced by Ben Worsey, with Stephens manning the vocals and guitar alongside bassist Ronstan Monk and drummer Matt Moore.
Metropolis evokes the grunge of its titular location with guttural percussion, as Stephens’ vivid lyricism paints a picture of a cityscape full of “fog lamps” and “winos nestle[d] underneath the railway tracks.” The single marks Stephens’ latest release under The Chamberlains moniker, having first conceived of the project as a university student in 2020. Since then, The Chamberlains released his debut studio album Kingdom of the Swine last year; an eight-song record featuring tracklist highlights Charli is a Boy and The Most Innocent Times, among others.
Metropolis was recorded at Sydney’s Everland Studios, which is also home to songs from the likes of Greg Nunan, Erin Foster and Slim Jimz. The track marks The Chamberlains’ second single of 2022, having released Last Night in Norwich earlier this year. That track likewise draws on Stephens’ poeticism for a similar exploration of twisted urban nightlife. Speaking of the themes of Metropolis in an interview with CEFE Flynn Mastering, The Chamberlains said the track draws sonic influence from Tom Waits, and arose when Stephens was sifting through old photographs.
“I unearthed a box of old picture books from my childhood,” he said. “Among these was a book about the various occupants and happenings of the night world… It was quite magical to rediscover and experience this fragment of my upbringing through adult eyes. I’ve always had a fascination with nocturnal urban environments.”
Listen to The Chamberlains’ Metropolis via Spotify above, and keep an eye out for his future singles and broader album project, which are expected to arrive sometime next year.