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MKE Music Premiere: Charlie Vibes, ‘Control Control’

Amanda Huff; Rodney Johnson; Destiny Pivonka; Larry Lau; Artwork by Isaiah Malnory-Brown

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to ourMusic Submission page to learn how.

The vibraphone. It’s an instrument that doesn’t pop up often in the indie-music world and thus also doesn’t make many appearances in the 88Nine playlist. This is one of the reasons why the Milwaukee Music Premiere is so wonderful — it opens the door to sounds you never would’ve imagined hearing on our airwaves or here on the website.

Chuck Diesel is here to fix that. Playing under the moniker Charlie Vibes, the Milwaukee musician and vibraphonist put together this collaboration with singer-songwriter Amanda Huff and Destiny “TK” Pivonka under the title “Control Control.”

Diesel and Huff have been putting their heads together on things like this since December of 2019 and invited a deep roster of musicians to help on the new single, led by Pivonka on alto sax and vocals. There’s also guitarwork from Steve Peplin, Pete Billmann and Jay Craggs; bass from Logan Amys; and keyboards and organ(!) from Anthony Deutsch.

Vibraphone, alto sax AND organ. How could this not be a fun song? And you know what? It is! Everyone involved does their thing at a high level, particularly the lead vocals from Huff. They’re full of soul and more than hold their own amid what sort of has to be a very big-sounding song that — along with previous single “Let the Right One In” — relays the story of a relationship falling to pieces:

In the end, it was money that called
When your choice was made
Didn’t think it would lead to a fall
Now we watch as you fade away
Nothing feels right
The future was bright
His inflection and style
Make you stay for a while

Give this one a listen on demand right here using the player at the top of the page, and keep your ear open for it as part of the 88Nine playlist.