Atlanta indie mainstay Daniel Burdette Moll unleashes a new project and record under the name 1978 Champs. “It’s my favorite picture of my father,” explains Moll when asked about the project’s name. “He led a rag-tag team of kids to their division championship in 1978. He showed me the picture one day and told me the story, and I’ve always loved it. It makes me feel connected.” The same do-or-die underdog ethos is unmistakable in the Champs’ full-length debut “Anisah,” a sprawling musical landscape characterized by heartfelt vocals, scintillating guitars, cinematic textures, bluesy riffs and boot-stomping intensity. Moll’s voice is as sweet as it is harshly emotive, and he thinks nothing of switching between the soft, acoustic-driven ballad “Iolaire” to the Southern-fried anthem “Alamo” with the ease of a seasoned writer.
“I wrote this entire record myself,” he continues, “and there’s definitely the sense of going it alone written all over the album.” Indeed, the songs reflect a wide range of emotion, artfully woven into surprisingly complex lyrical plots, especially the hard-driving “Color and Cartridge” and “Gold Across The Sea.” “Even though this album was done as a DIY indie project, I still think of it as punk because its central message is not caring what others think and doing what you know as best you can.” Pieced together over the course of a year at Earthsound Studios with Lee Dyess (From First To Last, I Set My Friends On Fire, Mayday Parade), the entire project was self-financed on a pay-as-you-go budget, with Moll performing all the instruments himself. “I washed a lot of dishes to get this done,” he laughs.
After completing the album, Moll set about procuring a live band to bring his vision to life. Guitarist Aaron Lecesne, formerly of The Rise of Science, drummer Matthew Lynch of TrioScapes, and former Come What May guitarist Jack Fowler on bass rounded out the lineup, and the group set about filming a media package for the record’s release. With two videos now available to the public, single “Alamo” and a tasteful and fun cover of Drake’s “Under Ground Kings,” Moll and 1978 Champs are poised to unleash a barrage of moonshine-soaked bluesy rock n’ roll on the masses with the release of “Anisah” on March 23. “Music,” says Moll, “will never be the same.”
– Jesse Magick, Infamous Empire