Album Review: Tchotchke by Tchotchke

Album Review: Tchotchke by Tchotchke

Tchotchke is the debut album of the band Tchotchke, formally known as Pinky Pinky. The band is composed of Eva Chambers (bassist), Anastasia Sanchez (drummer and vocalist), and Emily Tooraen (guitarist). They are a musical trio with an alternative indie sound. In an interview with Coup De Main, Anastasia described their sound as “bathwater and mothballs.”


The jangly guitar and piano riffs paired with the breathtaking vocals give the album a 60s/70s sound. All of the songs have a hint of melancholy that can be easily overlooked upon first listen. They also utilize the phrygian mode to give the songs a more hypnotic feel.


The album contains three singles: ‘Dizzy’, ‘Ronnie’, and ‘Don’t Hang up on Me.’ They give an accurate insight into what the album sounds like. Dizzy showcases the dreaminess of the album with simple chords and a catchy melody. Ronnie is a sweet song that uses harmonies to add to the 60’s/70’s sound of the album. Don’t Hang up on Me is an intriguing blend of pop and jazz that utilizes piano as the main instrument.

The first single off of Tchotchke is ‘Dizzy.’ The song features synth, bass, vocals, guitar, xylophone, and drums. The song has a dreamy quality to it which is aided by the sighs in the background of the chorus. The steady kick of the bass drum in the chorus supports the lyrical message, allowing the listener to be fully immersed in the song. Another interesting point in the song is the outro. As the song fades, vocal tracks are layered on top of one another in a way that emulates the song’s title, dizzy.

The second single off Tchotchke is ‘Ronnie.’ The song utilizes guitar, drums, bass, and vocals. According to the band, this song is a love song to their best friend, Veronica. Because this is a love song, they decided to write it like a pop song. The unusual vocal melody and retro-sounding guitar riff give it individuality. The harmonies in the guitar tracks and vocals are reminiscent of ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ by the Beatles.
The final single off of Tchotchke is ‘Don’t Hang up on Me’. It uses piano, bass, guitar, drums, and a dual vocal track to create a more jazzy tone. When listening to the song it is hard not to dance along to the juxtaposing vocal and guitar tracks. The vocal track features notes more commonly used in a minor key while the guitar riff utilizes notes more commonly used in a major key. This adds to the overall jazzy tone.

Summary (in the style of Robert Christgau):
Tchotchke is the soundtrack to dreams and late nights. The lyrics are unapologetic and paired with striking melodies. Most songs mix modes to create a juxtaposing sound that captivates the listener. The synth in the background of ‘What Should I Do?’ gives the illusion that ghosts are providing backing tracks for the band. Tchotchke is a rare and stellar album to find in this day in age.