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Chop Chop: 'Play'

Album art for Chop Chop's sophomore album, <em>Screens</em>.
Album art for Chop Chop's sophomore album, Screens.

Chop Chop is, for the most part, the work of songwriter Catherine Cavanagh. For Screens, her upcoming sophomore release, Cavanagh wrote each song, provided vocals and also performed many of the instruments by herself. She did receive help from her friends and family, though, including her brother and U.S. military sergeant Frank Cavanagh, who was once the bassist for Ohio-based band Filter.

So musicianship runs in the family, although Cavanagh's brother was into industrial rock music, and Chop Chop makes sometimes breezy, sometimes dark synth-pop, with sweet, airy vocals.

Today's featured song, "Play," is the second track on Screens and it's also one of the balmiest on the album, with its acoustic guitar and a twee sensibility. Towards the middle of the record, the electro beats and claps on "C Train David" inject a little energy into the mix, but not enough to make it a staple at dance clubs any time soon. Still, it's definitely good for a few shimmies and head-bops in the privacy of your home or car.

Chop Chop switches the mood entirely with the grimly titled "Serial Killer." It's one of the few moments on Screens that isn't particularly sweet or playful. It's a dark little piece with mournful strokes of a cello. At only 2:17, it's a shame "Serial Killer" isn't longer as it adds a much needed and unexpected dimension to the album.

Screens is set to be released on November 11 and will be accompanied by a brief West Coast tour during the first half of the month.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast.

Yesterday's Second Stage artist.

Email host Robin Hilton.

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Tamara Vallejos