EP REVIEW: Champ Kind – ‘Mojo’


There are times when what I really need is a song with a great tune, something that’s going to leave you feeling happy and gets your body moving; this debut EP from Leeds’ band Champ Kind delivers the goods.

Look, this is a band I know basically nothing about, all I have is the music I can’t base any of my review on a list of influences listed in their band bio or any previous bands they might have been in.

They also do something else that I have a thing about, that’s to be hard to define exactly what they play as the opening track ‘Mojo’ will show. Is this indie pop, something with a hint of Brit-pop, soul, funk or even something with more than a hint of music from beyond our shores. Well actually it’s all of those. Somehow I want to at least partially slot them into that Leeds’ Nu Soul niche; whether I can really do that is up for debate but it’s a part of their sound.

‘Castaway’ has a harder choppy guitar feel; you could almost describe it as more rock in feel but the sheer catchiness of the song, the beat kinda says no. But on the other hand it’s not exactly pop; it’s poppy but not pop.

The final track ‘Rather Do’ continues the feel of ‘Castaway’ but it’s harder, more insistent, and more complex. Look this has bits of Latin influenced freaky rock, indie rock, hints of soul and R’n’B. But it still has that wonderful sense of a tune.

Ultimately, does it matter what musical niche we try and force these songs into, no it doesn’t. What’s important is that this is bloody good time music with tunes that are almost illegally earwormy, words that leave you smiling, and a bouncy beat that you can’t help but want to dance to.

And I guess you’ll want to know whether the band are showing musical skill, And the answer is that they show us a devastatingly brilliant musical ability.

What’s obvious is that this is a band who sprinkles influences from all over the place into their music. It feels like the sound they have just developed organically out of those.And what’s developed is astounding. Songs that mix it up, that have different feels but are so obviously their songs.

I’ve made a note to catch them live as soon as I can, and you should too. In the meantime getta load of this wonderful EP, sheer musical happiness.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.