Tenderness is at the heart of Grian Chatten’s solo efforts. Not long after the impressive Fontaines D.C. revelation earlier last year, it would appear the frontman is ready to split off and pursue more avenues. It is not the end of Fontaines D.C. but it is the start of warm and intimate showings from Chatten. Listeners will know when Chatten makes his move true and proper. That much he promises. Confident and even a tad sinister under the delicate guitar chords he conjures up, The Score is a supreme and intense statement from a singer whose craft works better in isolation than it does with the likes of Skinty Fia. It is the stripped-back and personable qualities of the lyrics which push through most of all.
Chatten speaks of his titular score, one everyone listening in should at least be familiar with. It is the operation of indifference, the burst of colour and charm from the blue. It comes and goes, definitely, and The Score knows this feeling all too well. Chatten’s soft-spoken lyrics, and the defenceless stylings which bring about the pain of heartbreak are a powerful inclusion. Much of the power comes from imagery conjured up by the Fontaines frontman. Just these tender two minutes are enough of an experience to see where Chatten hopes to take his debut album, Chaos For The Fly. Whether he means a bug or a sudden burst to break free, to fly off from the troubled conclusions and lack of warmth experienced in The Score is yet to be declared.
Maybe it will not come clear. Chatten brings the generous showcases of inside his soul and makes for a chamber folk hero on his first outing of it. Strip it all back and return to basics. Rekindle the flame and find new courage. All of this comes through with startling effect. The Score is a useful cleanser for the mind and soul, a quiet and calming collection of acoustic beauties which ripple as Chatten crashes through. His folk-like focus comes through as he promises, even warns, his move is to be made. Finding the space in between, hesitation and lust, comes from setting the field of play in motion. The Score may feel sympathetic but it is far from it, a generous acoustic guitar-led track which seems to have a bitterness to it.
Somewhere deep within there are the usual pangs of regret for love, or the lack of it when not taking the chance The Score continually promises to power through. Instead the sinking stones, the dragged-out heartbreak and the fears accompanying Chatten’s style find themselves flowing under a neat little percussion inclusion. Chatten makes his move. Listeners now know the score, the quality he presents on his first single a touching conclusion to his innermost desires. Reflect and find yourself in The Score, it is what these folk intentions are for. Be greedy, lap it up and build on the freeing and surprisingly tense flow found here. Note the pain, and feel the bubbling scope of truth and beauty, it all comes to a head and the burning crashes of emotional range present The Score as an essential piece of emotional outpouring, for Chatten and his growing gang of listeners.