"On Standby" by Chasing DeerReview
It's been far too long since I last reviewed Chasing Deer in the magazine : I think it was their Christmas single "Together At Christmas" back last December: and even that was a re-release of a 2015 track. They were high on my "must see" list for Art in the Park, but due to the chaotic organisation of the music there, that sadly didn't happen.
Chief Deer Rob Hodkinson is very aware that his/their profile has been a little lower in recent times, especially in contrast with the insatiable gigging & regular releases which are such a normal Chasing Deer hallmark.
He's expressed his thanks to those who've supported him during the fallow months and now thankfully is back with the totally appropriate "On Standby".
This time out, Rob is joined on record by Ollie Hayes who certainly must have been a great support to Rob since he not only is involved on the writing & performances sides but contributed (with John Mitchell at Outhouse Studios & Natt at Ratcat Studios) on production and with Henry White on the artwork.
As I say, using an apt analogy, the song concerns being deprived of the thrill of being an active musician and you can hear the pleasure in Rob's voice from the very opening of the song: indeed I'm not sure I've heard him sing this fast before as he almost falls over himself to get his words out.
A typically upbeat, melodic Chasing Deer song, with a slight Motown feel: it certainly evokes the sense of revitalisation and a renewed determination to seize life's opportunities: "I've been away too long" he sings though the tone is less about regret than looking forwards & remembering what had previously motivated him, returning to the fray with relish & a new sense of purpose. He credits the 52 Songs Project community for helping spur him on in putting the song together & out, so it's good to name check them here myself.
The song rather appeared without warning, but Rob assures me that the follow up he's already working on will neither be a long coming nor as low key in pre-publicity.
Welcome back Chasing Deer. You were missed.