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Maps: We Can Create

Bedroom dreamer wakes up and makes dazzling LP before breakfast

Maps: We Can Create

8 / 10 A hell of a lot of daydreamers lie around in their bedrooms imagining the day they will become a star. Not just a pop puppet mind,
a credible act respected and loved by all and sundry.

But rather than just smoke endless amounts of weed and prattle on incessantly about how he “could do what Radiohead, have done, easily”, Maps (aka James Chapman) took a more proactive approach – he bought some equipment and did pretty much the whole thing in his stinking lair.

The result is ‘We Can Create’, a near-faultless debut on which Chapman has merged his impeccable influences (grandiose indie bands with fragile-voiced singers, achingly sad electronica, pure pop) to dazzling effect. It’s a joy from start to finish, from the giddy rush of opener ‘So Low, So High’ to stately closer ‘When You Leave’.

In between, you’ve got everything from New Order-aping beauty (surefire summer hit ‘To The Sky’), techno-flavoured mantras of unbridled optimism (‘Don’t Fear’) and dreamy, shoegazing anthems (‘Lost My Soul’). Meanwhile, the rattling momentum of recent single ‘It Will Find You’ brings to mind Hot Chip’s recent efforts; that’s if they had a heart as big as Bono’s gob.

For a ‘normal bloke’ – and one with hardly any cash – James Chapman has packed ‘We Can Create’ with warmth, soul and a pioneering spirit. It’s a call to arms (and kick up the arse) for bedroom stoners the world over.

Alan Woodhouse

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