Cold Beat, aka Hannah Lew, returns with her third album, Chaos By Invitation, out April 7th via her own Crime on the Moon label. As compared with previous releases, Chaos By Invitation began in Lew’s home, alone, with additional tracking done later by Phil Manley (Trans Am) at El Studio and Mikey Young (Total Control) – only to return to Lew’s home for completion over the course of many months. As a result, the offering is much more personal and direct than Into The Air, which was more of a band effort. Collages from Lew’s home environment make up many of the textures of Chaos By, woven in to create an intimate atmosphere, a sort of chaos by necessity and design. The album also features performances by her friends Kyle King, Alex Shen, Jackson Blumgart, and Mikey Young.
The album moves through themes of sensuality/intangibility. Lew attempts to reconcile the distance between these two modalities throughout the album. One can hear the surrender in Lew’s voice as she grasps to hold onto the end of a rope during “In Motion” – as if succumbing to a strong current of emotion. Chaos By Invitation examines what can be machine-readable and what is only felt in the body.
Inspired musically by bands such as NEU! and Tubeway Army, Lew was also influenced by her own burgeoning interest in astronomy. The first single, “62 Moons,” is a song about love taken for granted, analogous to the 62 moons of Saturn, which are in constant loving orbit around a beautiful siren planet with many satellites. The artwork (above), done by Kevin McCarthy – of legendary Bay Area post-punk band Rank Xerox – was made to be machine readable, with some far distant expectation some synthetic intelligence would be able to understand this extremely personal and human album.
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