The title of Chain Wallet‘s newest single implies an apocalypse. “World I Used To Call Mine,” the penultimate track from the Bergen-based band’s sophomore album, No Ritual (out now on Jansen Records), indeed deals with the remarkable ways that humans create order during chaos. The theme fits the music well: across the three minutes of “World I Used To Call Mine,” Chain Wallet pulls a cohesive, unignorable melody from a reverb-soaked, dream pop blur.
Even though crystalline, sparkling guitar arpeggios introduce “World I Used To Call Mine,” the song’s disorder is apparent the moment these guitars break through. Underlying the guitars’ melancholic unspooling are blasting bass, guerilla percussion, and whining synth upon whining synth. These elements are so intertwined that to describe them individually is to dull their effects, to attempt to organize that which is thoroughly in disarray. Even during the song’s gorgeous chorus, during which the verses’ Gothically murmured vocals scale precipitously into a soothing falsetto, “World I Used To Call Mine” exists in a whirlpool of dreadful sound.
Of course, finding the method to the madness is exactly what Chain Wallet sings about on “World I Used To Call Mine”: The music serves to amplify the band’s message. “The song is about somebody on a quest for a cosmic plan,” the band says in a press release. “It is supposed to portray the final phase of a rite of passage, the incorporation ceremony into the new world, but something goes horribly wrong.” It’s that last sentence, particularly the portion about incorporating into a new world, that reveals the immense depth to which “World I Used To Call Mine” reaches. In dramatically depicting someone not reaching their new surroundings, Chain Wallet paints a picture analogous to losing that which lies right in front of a person. In other words, they’ve painted personal apocalypse.