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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Chariot Fade

Chariot Fade is a project from longtime Pittsburgh musicians Jonathan Chamberlain and Jesse Ley who you may remember from the beloved Pittsburgh band delicious pastries. Chariot Fade fuse psych-pop with loops, samples, and synths, blurring traditional musical boundaries. Their new song “Time So Thin” explores time as a tangible, finite resource.

Jonathan and Jesse recently spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar.

Chariot Fade are:

Jonathan Chamberlain
Jesse Ley
Michael Cunningham
Ross Reilly
Matt Ceraso
Rich Kawood

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

Brant Toulouse

What’s your musical history up to this point?

Chariot Fade is a musical project that was created by Jonathan Chamberlain and Jesse Ley of delicious pastries in September, 2019. It has undergone several lineup changes since its inception, but now boasts an impressive cast of local heavy hitters: Michael Cunningham and Ross Reilly from the band Neighbours, and Matt Ceraso and Rich Kawood of Mariage Blanc solidified the lineup in the Summer of 2023.

How do you describe your sound?

By fusing traditional psych-pop elements with loops, samples, drum machines, and synthesizers, this ever-expanding pop ensemble attempts to blur the boundaries of the sonic landscape by dismantling rock archetypes and re-contextualizing them into dance-friendly, melodic vignettes.

Tell us more about the song “Time So Thin.” What inspired you to write it and what does it mean to you?  

The origins of the song came from the idea of viewing time as a tangible, finite resource, rather than an abstract concept. And the realization that there will always be greedy hands eager to take it away from you.

But ultimately, “Time So Thin” is a celebration of life. Trying to possess a defiant joyfulness in the face of relentless negativity. And always trying to search for hopefulness in hopeless situations.

What was the first album that really changed your life?    

First albums that legitimately changed our lives:

Jesse: Spiritualized, "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space"

Jonathan: Van Dyke Parks, "Song Cycle"

Who are some other Pittsburgh artists you think more people should listen to?  

The list is long, but: BusCrates, The Garment District, Mento Fellini, Good Sport, C. Scott, Care Package

Any other super interesting things we should know about you?

Jesse and Jonathan have been making music together for the better part of 16 years. It’s been a beautiful collaboration. We’ve had bro-crushes on our current bandmates for years!

Learn more about Chariot Fade here:


Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.