Maps Developed ‘Counter Melodies’ Through DJ Sessions

[Cover photo credit to Steve Gullick]

Maps, aka James Chapman, has shared the latest single from his new album Counter Melodies that is due for release on February 10th, 2023 via Mute. Last year Chapman dropped the first half of his new album and the single “Fever Dream” heralds the second half of the album, which will arrive in vinyl, CD, and digital formats. The track was prompted by severe insomnia.

Chapman recalls:

I went through a period of not being able to sleep. I’d just be lying there awake for most of the night and sometimes I’d get up to work on music. That influenced quite a lot of this album. With ‘Fever Dream’, I was trying to make it sound like waves and waves of paranoia. I wanted to capture that feeling of being half awake and half asleep and going inwards into your thoughts. It’s still an uplifting track, but I wanted to isolate that idea of things falling apart while you try to organize the chaos of your thoughts.

For Chapman, initial ideas for Counter Melodies began to form in the wake of Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss. Chapman chose not to tour the album beyond a few shows, and instead he found himself DJing a lot towards the end of 2019.

He says:

I was enjoying making my own tracks and playing them in my DJ sets. It’s like a comedian trying out new material. I really liked the idea of tracks flowing into one another, like a continuous DJ set. As soon as that idea was in my head, I just worked really hard to make it happen.

While Counter Melodies sounds totally unique in the Maps catalog, the artist feels that there is “something about its presentation and tonality” that makes it instantly recognizable as Maps.

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