Ibiza, widely known for its nightlife, also offers breathtaking natural beauty for those who seek solace away from the relentless parties. In October 2021, Los Angeles musicians Eddie Chacon and John Carroll Kirby ventured to this Mediterranean haven and immersed themselves in the abundant sunshine and verdant landscape while recording Sundown, an album featuring laid-back grooves and introspective reflections on love, loss, and the human experience.
Chacon has spent decades perfecting his craft. After playing in a mid-’70s garage band with Faith No More founder Mike Bordin and future Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, he rose to fame as one half of soul-pop duo Charles & Eddie in the early ’90s. Their global chart success came with the hit “Would I Lie To You?” from their 1992 debut, Duophonic. However, after their follow-up Chocolate Milk flopped in 1995, the duo disbanded. Chacon eventually transitioned into a career as a creative director and fashion photographer.
In the late 2010s, Chacon was introduced to John Carroll Kirby, a seasoned producer and pianist who had worked with Solange, Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy, and Harry Styles. Their collaboration led to Chacon’s 2020 solo comeback, Pleasure, Joy and Happiness, featuring a series of hazy, low-key reflections delivered in Chacon’s delicate falsetto. His latest album, Sundown, continues exploring themes of romantic woes and regrets, showcasing the maturing partnership between Chacon and Kirby.
Chacon’s solo music often draws inspiration from soul legends like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, employing minimal lyrics. He typically repeats one or two core refrains until they transform into mantras. The album’s music, led by Kirby’s sleek production and mesmerizing Fender Rhodes performance, is filled with fluttering flutes, samba-inspired bongo rhythms, and communal handclaps. The music video for the title track offers a glimpse into the utopian recording process at Los Angeles’ 64 Sound Studios.
The album also includes introspective tracks like “Haunted Memories,” where Chacon’s slightly off-key vocals and Kirby’s fluctuating keys create a sense of unease. The track highlights the unresolved nature of Chacon’s inner turmoil. However, the album is not without its lighter moments, such as “Holy Hell” and “The Morning Sun,” which showcase a more blissful, carefree atmosphere.
Ultimately, Sundown captures the spontaneous, idyllic feel of Chacon and Kirby’s early days in Ibiza, a place where Chacon could contemplate love, loss, and the weight of the world without losing his groove.