Formed in Essex after meeting on a Fine Arts degree, CHM is multi-instrumentalists Lance Keeble and Adam Gardner. Influences include Mansun, XTC, Zappa, Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, Blur, Spoon, and Talk Talk. To date, we have self-released two albums via Bandcamp, as well as several EPs, and have been fortunate to receive regular airplay across the BBC Introducing network – particularly from Ollie Winnipeg and the BBC Introducing Essex team. In addition, the lead track from our last record gained enough traction to be chosen by Huw Stephens as a tip of the week on his Radio 1 show in 2015. Alongside this, we were also blown away to receive support from Tom Robinson on 6 Music. Since then life has intervened somewhat, but we have been working on several projects – the first of which to see the light of day is Nuclear Tapes.
Deeply unsuccessful Ayrshire & Essex-based alternative pop band, Charlie’s Hand Movements, released their third LP on Friday 22 May. Recorded between 2016-19, Nuclear Tapes is a 38-track triple affair that veers between pop, rock, plastic soul, spoken word, short instrumental passages, Dominik Diamond, Patrick Moore, freemasons, public service announcements ringing out in post-apocalyptic airport departure lounges, and magicians that see with the whites of their eyes. Nowhere Near is the closing track from the new LP.
Originally a more conventional song born from the realisation of a long-term relationship ending, it morphed into a different beast entirely during the recording process. “Often when writing, we will set up several instruments and begin to play without any prior discussion about what should happen or where the song will go. These improvisations usually spark ideas that are later developed and refined, but in this case, the improvisation became the song.
Taking inspiration from Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden, we decided to remove everything except for the one verse at the beginning of the track (if it even qualifies as a verse) and ride out the LP on the raw feeling that was in the room on the day. Our friend and long-term collaborator, Mick Gawthorp, had by this stage contributed saxophone to several tracks on Nuclear Tapes, and in the spirit of continued spontaneity, we decided to drop a handful of his unused improvisations from other sessions into the mix. Given that the Nuclear Tapes project was our maximalist blowout, we wanted to end the record on something that felt honest and vulnerable: something that was raw, with moments of beauty as well as glimpses of ugliness beneath the surface.”
The album itself was conceived as a maximalist blowout in the vein of Mansun’s SIX, and Nowhere Near is the track that brings the project to a close. They wanted to finish on a largely-instrumental and improvised ambient piece that captured something raw and vital.