Two years on from the first UK Covid lockdown and we are learning to live with something that has changed all of us in a myriad of ways, some of which we haven’t even begun to imagine yet.  However, for me, one of the ways in which society has changed is that we are all living more “in the moment” than before whilst also constantly looking back and marvelling at what transpired in 2020 and 2021.  Naturally, looking back whilst trying to live for today has meant that looking into the future has seemed more than a little scary and sometimes downright impossible and that has very much been the theme of music written and released in the last year.  Of course, that can’t go on forever and thankfully we have a new album from Snippet Cuts aka Johnno Casson to look forward to at the end of April.  Entitled Chippa, it’s a collection of tracks that purposefully embrace optimism and a hopefully journey into whatever tomorrow may hold.

Now, I’m issuing a warning here to all our readers – this is as joyous an album as you’re likely to hear this year and you WILL NOT be able to sit down whilst listening.  One of my favourite things to mention in a review is danceability and there is so much of it in Chippa that I ended up bopping around my office whilst trying to make notes.  It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.

The first track (after a prelude full of bird sound) sets the scene for the tone of the album and sets out the note of optimism in the title of ‘Today I’m Gonna Be Happy‘, as well as the lyrics and music. It does what it says and is indeed a happy, boppy tune that ignites the feeling of joy that pervades the whole album.  Jonno says, about the album as a concept that

“I took the decision to not use my art to moan about the pandemic, rather take an optimistic and hopeful route into our new tomorrows. Life has become a series of short wonderful bursts of loveliness in recent years after all, so I’m getting to truly appreciate that and know it is plenty enough for me.”

If we have learnt anything over the last couple of years, surely a sense of optimism and learning to love what is in front of us at this moment is close to being top of the list.

Although the overall feel of Chippa is joy and hope, there are some less happy moments alluded to in ‘Happy Place‘ and ‘We Could Use a Lift’.  Despite this, the tracks still have you dancing about, the sadness and pain coming through in just the lyrics which are typically full of razor sharp social commentary, such as “I spent an hour on the Twitter, it was jampacked full of vitriol”.

The feeling of joy and elation comes forth more and more towards the end of the album, in particular, ‘I’ll Be There For You’, ‘You Mean Something’ and ‘You Are The Love‘.  The calypso tinged pop of ‘I’ll Be There For You’ feels like an instant classic that will have you singing along to the chorus immediately – going straight into the next two songs felt the nearest thing to clubbing in my office during the day as I could get.  I would totally dance all night to those three songs alone.

Chippa is an album that can be summed up in just one word: joyous.  It’s an early contender for best album of 2022.

Johnno’s advice for aspiring musicians is all about the creativity involved:

“Just be creative and things will happen, write songs and music for yourself first and foremost. And remember that only you should measure your success as an artist because someone else’s measurement will nearly always pitch you against a mainstream artist and always lead to disappointment and lost confidence. Does making music make you happy? If yes just keep doing it & enjoying it & things will happen”.

Chippa is released on 22 April. Get your copy here.

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