Maps was, still is in fact, essentially a one-man project of Northampton’s James Chapman. Starting out with a self-released 16-track recording in 2006; the following year he released his debut album We Can Create.
We Can Create is a lengthy beast, clocking in at just shy of the hour mark, and is impressively dense and textured for a one-man show. It’s as fine an example of electro-shoegaze as you’re likely to come across, mixing and matching between anthemic (You Don’t Know Her Name), and reflective balladry (Lost My Soul).
Elouise is in the finest tradition of layered shoegazing - synths, vocals, guitars all butt up against one another, tussling for space in the limited recording tracks available, each taking on characteristics of the others.
Chapman has never quite matched the heights of his debut, despite adapting his sound, moving more electronic for 2009’s Turning the Mind. Perhaps he is still trying to recover from the surreal sensation of losing out in the 2007 Mercury Music Prize to Klaxons. I think we’d all need a little time to get over that one.