Best Days

by Cartwheel

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about

Cartwheel’s first EP Best Days will be released on Feb. 15th. The three-piece indie rock band is the creation of guitarist Kristyn Chapman, and marks her debut as a songwriter and bandleader. While she’s played guitar in bands over the last 12 consecutive years, Chapman feels this album is her first complete statement.

“I’m very proud of this record. I wrote these songs in a tumultuous time in my life, following the unexpected death of my brother,” Chapman says. “These songs helped me work through the difficult stages of grief as well as normal things anyone in their twenties experiences, like navigating relationships and becoming yourself. As a whole, it sums up how I view life. Diving into your deepest sorrow allows you to experience the deepest joy.”

The narrative of Best Days covers grief, healing, and reclamation of self in just 22 minutes. While these can be difficult to talk about topics, Chapman’s relatable lyrics and straightforward delivery is at times colored with optimism. The 6-song tracklist explores a spectrum of sounds from Yo La Tengo-inspired indie rock jams like “Cutting Off a Limb,” to harder, 90’s-tinged alt-rockers like closer “Break & Mend.” Even with this variety, the core sound of the band remains steadfast.

Joining alongside Chapman are long time collaborator William Erickson (drums) and Riley Day (bass). The tight, rhythmic interplay between Erickson and Day provides a solid bedrock for some of Chapman’s more wandering and spectral guitar meditations. While this is the first release for the band, the EP effortlessly showcases each player’s unique musical sensibilities, which comes as no surprise considering that the members of Cartwheel have all spent the better part of a decade regularly touring, recording, and writing music.

“I wanted to write songs for a very long time, but I had a perfectionist creative block against it until 4 years ago when I started writing the songs on this record,” Chapman says. “One night a very honest song just fell out of me – the song ‘Nothing.’ The chords, melody, and words came all at once in a rare miracle. Over the next two years I continued writing the songs in my bedroom and worked on forming the band. Will and I were playing together for about a year fleshing out the arrangements, then Riley came into the picture and really filled out the sound harmonically.”

The EP was recorded and mixed by David Lord at Air House Studios in Wichita, Kan., and mastered by TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion).

Best Days will be released on Feb. 15th through Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and everywhere else music is streamed. A limited quantity of physicals will be available for purchase locally. 

credits

released February 15, 2019

Kristyn Chapman - guitar, vocals
Riley Day - bass
William Erickson - drums

Recorded and mixed by David Lord at Air House
Studios in Wichita, KS. Mastered by TW Walsh.

Cover photo by T. Chapman.
Design by Kristyn Chapman.

Band photos by Jaclyn Cage (morevananything.com).

license

all rights reserved

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about

Cartwheel Wichita, Kansas

Kristyn, Will, Riley

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Track Name: Life Doesn't Wait
This was the day,
four years ago.
The air feels the same,
the clouds are back in my head.

I wish you would’ve
talked to me about it,
instead of pretending you were
tough enough to handle it.

Life doesn’t wait.
It gives and it takes.
Going on the best I can,
it’s all I can do.
It’s all I can do.

Of course, we slow down after.

For the rest of my life I’ll miss you.
Track Name: Nothing
Burning all the bridges I built,
it’s easier to be alone.
Can’t let anyone close enough to see
that there’s nothing at my core.

Grief took away my confidence
and replaced it with a hole.
I wonder how you can be so young
and free and smile so genuinely.

I’ve been trying.

Take off my mask,
show my face to the world.
We’re so afraid to feel anything,
but feeling is what makes life full.
Track Name: Cutting Off a Limb
Cutting off a limb,
learning to live again.
Will I ever stand
on my own again?

Part of me
merged with you.
How do I become
seperate again?

Not gonna waste another moment
waiting around for the right thing.
Reaching forward,
past the edge of my skin.

Free and alone,
anxiety back again,
you’re no longer my crutch.
Sometimes I say too much,
you’re no longer my crutch.
Track Name: Choose an Adventure
Sooner, not later,
I’ll give up my love to a plane
going to God knows where.
Who am I to make him stay?

Choose an adventure,
flip back, change your mind.
Make decisions knowing consequences,
knowing what is life and death.

Will we meet again?
I can’t say for sure.
Lives intersecting for a
moment will continue on.

Love sets you free,
I can’t hold anyone but me.

The sad and lonely doorway
still hanging open waiting.
The truest love I’ve ever known
wasn’t enough to make him stay.
Track Name: Best Days
How do you go on
when every day is the same?
All the best days are in the past.
I know you can do it.
Do you know you can do it?

Can you bridge,
bridge the gap of 40 years?
Can you find her?
I know there’s still surprises left in you.
Do you believe it?

If you decide to go outside today
maybe you’ll see that life’s still moving,
despite everything that happened,
maybe there’s hope for moving on.

Your tears deserve
to be worn like a smile.
It’s okay to feel however you feel.
There’s a world of color waiting.
Track Name: Break & Mend
I know you’ve been waiting
so long to share your voice.
Give it time, soon you’ll know,
what you’re trying to say.

Don’t let the silence
cut you so deep.
There is time.

How far can you bend
until you break and mend?
You’re balancing a vase
of flowers on a pile of rocks.

And I can see roots
growing over concrete,
flowers shooting through
beams as big as trees.

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