An acoustic strum, an insistent 1-2-3-4 rhythm, a warm piano line; may as well be the key, the ignition, and the clutch as Charlie Kupilik – formerly the drummer of Asbury Park’s electrifying Modern Crowds – puts his turn as a solo artist into gear.
While Kupilik was a founder and key sonic architect of Modern Crowds’ razor-sharp rock and roll, he proves that when freed from his band, his own pop instincts suit things quite well. Gang vocals, oooh’s, aaah’s, ho-hey’s, and a momentum-propelling kick drum all signal a more folk-oriented direction. Lyrically, the comforting blanket of sentimentality hangs over the tune as escapist images of gray skies, wave-watching on the board walk, and interminable train rides poke through; all at the same time wistful and grounding.
A bevy of scene mainstays that includes Riley Schiro on lead guitar, Jessie McCormick on backing vocals, and Cranston Dean on piano all show up to lend “These Days” a welcome full-band feel. Together, with producer/co-songwriter Rob Chiarappa, Kupilik and company have crafted an excellent kickoff to what promises to be a fruitful solo career: familiar sounds from an exciting new voice. If “These Days” is any indication of what’s to come, we’ve got a lot to look forward to.
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