top of page

Album Review: I (don't feel like myself today) by Cham Léon

Cham Léon is, without a doubt, among Norway's most intriguing artists at the moment. They're establishing their own sound and, in the process, creating a safe space for everyone who might feel like they don't quite belong. Their debut album, I (don't feel like myself today), is a celebration of self-discovery and individuality and is a beautiful exploration of soundscapes.

"I" opens the album and we’re immediately faced with an innocent children's voice, naively uttering "God, I don't feel like myself today" which distorts into a more grown voice repeating the same words and meeting the younger voice in the middle. It’s a brave way to open an album, and it feels so vulnerably honest it makes you want to listen carefully to whatever comes next.

"I" perfectly transitions into "minutes of fame", a synthy, drum-heavy track diving into the strive for fame, with lyrics like "I would like to crawl over sticks and stones and break my bones if that is what it takes to get to two minutes of fame". The juxtaposition of striving for fame whilst at the same time acknowledging that it isn't healthy or even necessary is a powerful stance, and it flawlessly matches the loaded melody.

"Garden of Evil </3" is laden with religious contemplation but is also an extension of "minutes of fame", delving deeper into the uncertainty and fear of navigating to find your place in the world. "four" keeps with the same narrative, in a more severe and intricate tone. They sultrily lure us into a dark, dreamlike universe and vulnerably shares the feeling of being up in the air with open wounds, uncertain of where to go from here.

The cathartic "SenSeSSS" picks up the pieces from where "four" left off, and despite not necessarily being about anxiety, it delivers one of the most honest descriptions of it I've come across. The tension in the musical production effortlessly substantiates the poetic values of the song. With lyrics like "should I shut my senses down to feel nothing, I don't wanna feel nothing, I wanna feel something", it perfectly embodies how infuriatingly complex mental disorders and trauma responses often can be.

"Sins" is a wonderfully hopeful encore, a testament to everlasting courage. It's catchy and colourful, precisely what I'd describe Cham Léon's debut album as. All in all, I (don't feel like myself today) is a bravely non-conforming album and a beautiful celebration of queer individuality and diversity. It avoids feeling cliché thanks to unconventional production choices (Henrik the Artist and Cham Léon is a duo to keep an eye on). They've already created ripples in the Norwegian music scene, and I'm pretty sure the world's about to witness precisely who Cham Léon is and what they have to say.

Written by Eirunn Oppheim


bottom of page