The title of the resulting long-player, Propeller Versus Wings, has been inspired by Powell & Pressburger's magnificent A Matter of Life & Death, a film with which it shares a sense of romance and adventure. Perhaps emboldened by the addition of the multi-talented Scott (as well as the results of their research), this collection of songs sees Zoey Van Goey displaying a newfound musical confidence, borrowing freely from disparate styles whilst still sounding like themselves, in a fashion not dissimilar to heroes such as Yo La Tengo and The Magnetic Fields.
Thus Propeller Versus Wings swings from the slow burn of opener ‘Mountain on Fire' which overflows with a heart-wrenchingly gentle tenderness that many bands aspire to but very few pull off, to the evocative period jazz of 'My Aviator'; from the Spektor-esque piano balladry of ‘Escape Maps' to the bubblegum-punk revenge-of-the-nerds tale that comprises 'Robot Tyrannosaur'.
Layered under the genre-hopping magpie tendencies and full-blooded sing-along choruses are a set of lyrics invested with both humour and humanity. Themes of flight, friendship and departure are to be found in almost every song. For example the touching portrayal of awkward teenage camaraderie in ‘Sackville Sun'; Or first single ‘The Cake & Eating It', which sets the story of duelling, romantically-entangled comic book superheroes to an XTC-influenced jangle and Dirty Projectors-inspired vocal harmonies.
Propeller Versus Wings comes packaged in specially commissioned artwork by Glasgow-based artist Ursula Cheng, including a 9 panel fold-out illustration. Equal parts Quentin Blake, Jamie Hewlett, Jimmy Corrigan and Hayao Miyazaki it is the work of a kindred creative spirit, bent on making strange the stuff of everyday life in order to fashion a looking glass through which the mundane becomes something more magical.
A great addition to the Chemikal canon and a must-buy for those of you who like your pop of the indie variety...