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The Chordaes


  1. 1.
    What Do You Want from Me
  2. 2.
    Get the Feeling
  3. 3.
    Baby Goodnight
  4. 4.
    Touch the Ground
  5. 5.
A conversation about music with THE CHORDAES’ Leo Sawikin is a look back to some truly innovative songwriting and musicianship.
He is something of a historian, with many of his favorites being the greats his grandparents and father grew up with and exposed Leo to during his formative years. Tin Pan Alley (Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein) from the 1940’s and ‘50s and The Wrecking Crew (Leon Russell, Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco, Larry Knechtel, Carol Kaye) from the 1960s have had an audible impact on Leo’s songwriting sensibilities, as have modern acts such as Radiohead and New Radicals.
Earmilk has called the band’s music “…a driving post-power rock sound that is unique and energizing.” Producer and “sixth band member,” Marc Swersky (Joe Cocker, Roger Daltrey) rates Leo among the best songwriters he has worked with. “His songs are so complex,” he explains. “He hears things so precisely, the smallest detail makes or breaks the song for him.”
The new EP IN ITINERE was made for headphone-listening, to catch every musical nuance. Another place where the influence of The Wrecking Crew can be felt was in the recording of IN ITINERE —90% of the instrumentation for the album was live. To add to that, The Deli Magazine has likened Leo as a performer to Jeff Buckley, because of the passion in his vocals. The combination of singer and song is formidable.
IN ITINERE (pronounced in i-TIN-air-eh), the Latin for, roughly, a walkabout, is emblematic of THE CHORDAES’ journey through the aforementioned eras of music, to arrive at their trademark sound. When recording, Leo was determined to achieve a sound that did justice to the complexity of the songs, a la PET SOUNDS era BEACH BOYS. Taking this journey with Leo is longtime friend and drummer, Ethan Glenn. The two have been playing in bands together since their middle school days.
The richness of the recorded music demanded a lot in live translation, and the band has reveled in the challenge, bringing both fun and intensity to the stage. With the addition of band members Nick McFly (bass and vocals), Dan Cobert (keyboards) and Kevin Foley (lead guitar and vocals), they are a skilled and energetic 5-piece. “As we play more and more shows, we create a more fluid translation of the music. We draw energy from the fans – we love playing live,” explains Ethan.
Kevin elaborates on what it took to get to this point. “When I first sat down to learn the music, I thought it would be intuitive, because it sounds so accessible. It was when I started to study the songs that I realized how complex they really are. I think that's what draws people to the band; the music is so easy to listen to, but there's something deeper going on under the surface.”
New York City is the land of bigger, better, and more. That it is THE CHORDAES’ hometown explains a lot about the band. Nick explains “Bands in NYC are the most polished and perfected possible. There is a higher standard here and we work hard to distinguish ourselves.” Dan adds, “Coming up in New York means it's more likely that people will compare you to The Strokes, or Interpol, or Blondie, or the Ramones or Talking Heads, etc. Because there are so many bands, you have to quickly find your angle and communicate to the audience what makes you special before you get lost.”
THE CHORDAES are all-in and playing to win in as big a way as their city demands.



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