NATIVE Premiere: Chico’s “Ballet for Bastards”

When they first met in high school, singer/guitarist Carson Mays and lead guitarist Ryan Quarles had a mutual respect for the other’s musical talent. That respect led to friendship, and that friendship led them to Chico. 

Born and raised in Nashville (and Belmont alumni), Mays and Quarles have spent their whole life soaking in the musical melange of this city. Their debut album reflects that.

Ballet for Bastards is a thirteen-track debut record that, like a ballet, leaps from one sound to another with expertise and grace. The opening track, “Blooming Iris,” begins with ambient tunes that sounds like the feeling of waking up from a nap on a plane. By the end of the track, it feels like that plane is rocketing into space with the guitarist from Mad Max: Fury Road at the helm. The rest of the album takes similarly unpredictable turns.

For example, the title track, “Ballet for Bastards,” is just over 90 seconds and features only the gentle strumming of an electric guitar, backed by some nat sound of what I believe is a rainy day.

Bouncing from song to song, it can be difficult to believe you’re listening to the same album. Listen straight through, though, and you’ll see experience the impressive dance Chico has pulled off.

Don’t miss their release show May 28 at The East Room with Patzy & Datenight. More info here.

Suggested Content

The Art of Seclusion

After writing in an abandoned rubber band factory for three months, Nashville native and roots-rock poet Rayland Baxter has emerged with Wide Awake, a politically charged anti-manifesto that’s still fun enough to play at a backyard cookout