Musical siblings have a magical quality – they share the same influences, paint from the same sound palette and trade ‘goosebump’ moments back and forth with a kind of easy telepathy. Michael and David Champion have been playing together since they were kids, as you’d expect, and they’re veterans of the Isle of Wight’s exceptional music scene: Michael fronted buzzy indie band The Shutes, and he recently contributed bass to the debut smash by fellow islanders Wet Leg. The brothers, who started learning guitar at seven and nine, formed Champs in 2012 – but there was music in their bloodline. Their great-grandfather, a violinist with the Royal Philharmonic, was due to play on the Titanic, but he got drunk with a friend the night before it set sail and never made it out of Southampton...
Their fourth album Ride The Morning Glass is the record they always wanted to make: a unique combination of cool minimalism and evocative Americana, studded with radio-friendly songs. Island life, and a childhood steeped in music of Laurel Canyon, formed a sensibility in the brothers that makes them, in sound and aesthetic, more like an American band: “We’ve never really considered ourselves a ‘British band’,” says David. “Our music has always felt transatlantic. It’s driving music, big scenery...”
They grew up in the small village of Niton, near Ventnor, and their harmonies – as sweet and evocative as Crosby Stills and Nash – were formed on one eternal road trip: “There’s basically no public transport, and we spent hours and hours in cars as children listening to The Beatles and other sixties stuff – it had a huge effect on us.” There was Kirsty MacColl, Neil Young, Tracey Chapman and REM on those trips too. Like all the best brother duos – The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers – their voices blend effortlessly, swapping lead vocals back and forth: even their own mother can’t tell them apart.