Review of We Travel Fast Album by ChungKing

ChungKing – We Travel Fast

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Chungking – We Travel Fast (released 09.06.03)


We Travel Fast

(released 09.06.03)

The life of Chungking began with a familiar dilemma. Sean Hennessey and James Stephenson had created a set of accomplished tunes that just required a vocalist with the ability to bring the songs to life. After plenty of fruitless auditions attempting to fill the vacancy, Hennessey overheard his girlfriend, Jessie Banks, belting out a song at home. Surprised and much relieved, the search was over.

Chungking – We Travel Fast (released 09.06.03)  @

However, the Brighton three-piece almost joined the legions of bands that fizzle out before they have hardly started. Prior to anything as serious as a record deal having been signed, Hennessey and Banks split-up, jeopardising Chungking’s future. Thankfully, they did not call it quits. On the first track, Banks sings of their love of making music and it was this desire that led to the release of ‘We Travel Fast’. It is a track that ushers in a collection of songs to rival Burt Baccarach’s soaring orchestral pop classics.

Banks’ vocal is by turns delicate and powerful. This perfectly complementssongs that veer from periods of acoustic guitar calm to choruses of string andhorn ornamented majesty. Initially ‘We Travel Fast’ gives the impressionof being another insipid chill-out album designed simply to wash over you. Althoughfurther listening quickly reveals a debut album of greater depth. The best aspectof the album are some wonderful layered vocal harmonies that make full use ofa voice that almost rivals Dusty Springfield. The only real surprise is thatit took so long for Banks to reveal her potential.

Gavin Eves