This time last year, Tim Chadwick was set to play his first big headline gig in Whelan’s. On the back of releasing breakout single I Need to Know in 2019, it could well have signalled the start of an exciting year for the Dublin singer-songwriter.
Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, the show didn’t go on. But while this may have been a bitter disappointment, a year away from the stage has provided time and space to create ‘Timothy’. This five-track EP is filled to the brim with honest pop and catchy hooks. If it’s sad bangers you’re after, Tim has been there, done that and got the T-shirt (well, put it on a jumper anyway).
For someone whose first EP back in 2017 was guitar-led folk with just a hint of pop, he has now whole-heartedly embraced the latter genre. Favourite Song and If I Gotta Run have that slick, buoyant pop sound that feels like it could have come straight from the likes of Haim, Maggie Rogers or Sigrid, and Only Me slinks and oozes along with glorious synth punches.
But, true to the spirit of the sad banger, there’s plenty of depth amid all the fun and flair. This is a collection of tracks that deal with heartache, loneliness, identity. With “what went wrong” and “waking up all alone”. Speaking to GoldenPlec as part of this year’s Plec Picks series, Tim said the music he has written in the last year has revolved around “kind of ordinary life” rather than dancing at the (currently off-limits) club. And never is this more clear than in the quieter moments of ‘Timothy’.
Search Party perfectly captures that prosaic pandemic home life, living with your parents where “nothing feels like mine” and “wanting more is a crime”. Leading with the piano on this song feels stark among the richness of the more upbeat tracks, while warm, honeyed vocals articulate the introspection and isolation that many can surely relate to at the moment.
The subdued In Another Life then provides a final opportunity for Tim’s soaring, aching vocals to shine. “There’s nothing left to hide,” he croons, laying out all his cards and emotions on the table.
“A lot of the songs are based around conversations I’m having with myself, looking at myself in a different way, learning to love myself,” Tim recently told GoldenPlec. That dialogue in recent months has certainly led to an EP that reveals multiple sides of an artist, and provides something to dance and cry to until you can be back at a gig again.