Chløë Black – “Spaceman”

13 Jul

It’s that time again. Months after we last pricked our typing finger and fell fast asleep, Chløë Black has once more hacked her way through the foliage around Castle Alphabet Bands to plant the kiss of true musical love on our forehead and awoken us from our slumber. This time she’s in a silver lamé jumpsuit and has come armed with ray guns, tin foil and plastic flying saucers.

Black’s seductive vocals and her deliciously, subtly infectious melodies have always taken us to infinity and beyond and now we’re flying higher than ever. Co-written with Ferras, “Spaceman” is about the sometimes unrealistic expectations we place on romantic partners to be entirely extraordinary and almost infallible. It is also as good as anything she has done to date; lyrically dextrous, inventive and quick witted. It trips and swirls around the cosmos as synth stars go supernova around her. The beat pops and crackles like a firework powered rocket as a wistful piano line drifts beneath.

Her vocal undulates and cavorts delicately with the melody as she sings of this otherworldly being, this near mythical creature she craves to bring love and desire. It’s enticing, dreamy and incredibly real and relatable. Her noir-ish electropop sounds continues to enthrall and evolve, and those hooks continue to enslave even the most resistant of minds.

Musically speaking, Chløë Black is our Spaceman.

Styling and art by Brooke Candy

Get to know Chløë Black: Facebook / Twitter

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Chløë Black – “Good Times”

9 Mar

If there is one thing guaranteed to get us writing again after a gap of any length of time (days, weeks, months) it’s a new Chløë Black tune. Having last grabbed us for “Waterbed” based shenanigans in October, she has now stirred us once more to engage in some “Good Times”. As ever, we’re all in.

Where “Waterbed” dripped with the seductive menace of melted wax onto a restrained torso, “Good Times” trips along with the giddy frivolity of an amphetamine fueled friday night. It’s more poppy than we’re used to from Chløë but it is no less infectious, just one listen was enough to have the hook whizzing through our skull like a pilled up pacman.

Like the mundanity of everyday life giving way to a chemically induced psychedelic world, the melancholic and wistful piano line opening soon ceedes to a tropical beat that brings vibrant colour and euphoria. It is, as ever, a gloriously inviting track about a darker side of life. “Everything hurts when I’m sober” sings Chløë as she dives headfirst into another world, escaping reality and floating high above the pain of the real world.

There is a depth to the track, a mania within the lyrics and sing-a-long chorus. This is an anti-anthem that both eulogises and takes down the use and reliance of pharmaceutical stimulation. It is, of course, as addictive as its subject matter and one we are going to be regularly dosing ourselves with for sometime.

Get to know Chløë Black:Facebook / Twitter

10 Records in 10 Days: Day Ten

20 Feb

Welcome back to 10 Records in 10 Days. A Facebook chain-turned 10 day blog series. The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Day 10 brings me to the end of this series and an opportunity to break all of the rules, both explicit and implied.


Various – All The Albums

Let’s be honest. There was no way I was ever going to keep this list down to a solid 10 records. There are just far too many that I adore and that mean so much to me that I could never willingly exclude some. In fact, I think I did pretty well just pulling this down to a solid nine records and only going crazy at the end.

Here then are a bunch of other records that have to feature in my list of favourites and those that really made an impact and remain on my rotation list.


Avec Sans – Heartbreak Hi The debut album from one of my favourite bands. I absolutely adore this record, play it regularly and it will forever be special as it marks the first time my name appeared in the liner notes for genuine reasons (i.e. without it being part of a pledgemusic campaign or similar).

John Grant – Queen of Denmark Just a beautiful album that introduced me to the incredible talent, lyricism and raw honesty of John Grant. His music is powerful, emotional and stunning.

Lyla Foy – Mirrors The Sky Another album that is just divine. Foy’s vocals are utterly gorgeous and the arrangements are heavenly. I seemingly hear something new on each listen and it just gets better and better.

Spring Offensive – Young Animal Hearts Another of my favourite bands and an album that I waited years and years for. It turned out to be everything I had hoped and more. That it also marked the end of the band only serves to make it more special.

Lo Fidelity Allstars – How To Operate With A Blown Mind An album I discovered in my late teens and that really fed my love and appreciation for leftfield electronica and big beats. I can’t help thinking of my university days when I listen to this and the assertion from a friend that it was weird, and very me.

Morcheeba – Big Calm Another album from my university days and one that makes me think of a certain group of friends and of a play I was in that another friend had written. Like Moon Safari it is a beautiful laidback and soothing delight. It also, randomly, introduced me to the work of poet Murray Lachlan Young (as he was featured on a special edition version of the album, interviewing the band).

Diana Ross – Diana Ross As a kid I knew Diana Ross for the sparkly campness of “Chain Reaction” and being unable to kick a ball in a straight line at the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony. As an adult I discovered why she was so revered and so important. The cover images of this album alone mark the beginning of her transition from shy, elfin talent, to sequined showstopper. It reawoke my love of motown and soul and has inspired many a session of crate digging at the local second hand record stores.

Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion Part II Part of my musical sponge period and a massive contributor to my my love of attitude fueled, swaggering rock. This was one of those albums that got passed around by my friends and was listened to secretly on walkmans in class.

Roxette – Joyride A stonking pop album from a superb pop band that was released smack bang in the middle of my youthful pop loving phase. They’ve sold billions of albums yet still Roxette seem to be massively underrated. I still love them.

TLC – Crazy Sexy Cool Another record that I associate with friends. This didn’t really feel like a hip hop album to me, more like a super funky pop record. It’s sensual, soulful, sexy and infectious. It’s full of passion and romance as well as hooks that you just cannot escape. Another that I still listen to today and that still sounds as good now as it did back then.

Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi An album that I had by accident. My aunt and uncle gave me a walkman and had clearly tested it with one of my cousin’s C60’s, which they had forgotten to remove. It felt illicit listening to it, especially as I would often sneakily listen after I was supposed to have gone to bed. From the opening synths of “Runaway” and that sliding guitar, I was enthralled. And so it was that I was introduced to hair metal and the early seeds that would become the staple of every wedding I would go to in my adult life. Jumping up and down and shouting along to classic rock. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

10 Records in 10 Days: Day Nine

19 Feb

Welcome back to 10 Records in 10 Days. A Facebook chain-turned 10 day blog series. The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Day nine brings me to an album that really, I could have posted tomorrow.


Pearl Jam – Ten

There are many things I can and cannot do. One that I most definitely cannot do is sing. Listening to Ten, I not only think I can sing, I think I can sing like Eddie Vedder. So I do. Loudly.

It is another of my flat out favourites. It was a vast album at the time of release and it still sounds massive now. Even though the subject matter is heavy (homelessness, depression, loneliness and suicide, for example) each of the songs is absolutely huge.

There is definitely an element of nostalgia in my love for Ten. It was part of my musical sponge period where I soaked up everything, it was a massive hit with all my friends (as it was for so many others – 20 million copies sold) and would remain so long into our later teens and driving years. We would drive along and sing (loudly) to each track.

Despite being released before Nirvana’s seminal breakthrough, it is often derided and accused of riding Nevermind’s coattails. Yet Ten actually serves as a bridge from what went before to the harder, more impenetrable sound of Nevermind. It’s more melodic, more accessible and (whisper it) probably better. Certainly I would argue that, having not had the critical acclaim or hysteria that Nevermind did, the vast majority of Ten’s 20 million sales came from people who liked and wanted to own it. Rather than people who think they should own it.

There’s a reason Pearl Jam were considered one of the biggest bands in the world, and it wasn’t just because of the grunge explosion. Ten is full to bursting with incredible, epic songs. Like most of the albums featured in this series, it has aged well and I don’t think that is just the nostalgia talking.

10 Records in 10 Days: Day Eight

18 Feb

Welcome back to 10 Records in 10 Days. A Facebook chain-turned 10 day blog series. The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Day eight is an album that is flat out one of my all time favourites, one that makes regular appearances on the stereo and one that I never, ever, tire of hearing.


Air – Moon Safari

Whereas most of the previous seven albums in this series have brought about some grand musical awakening within me, Air’s Moon Safari caused no such epiphany. The impact it had on me was a simple one, I absolutely adored it. As did many, many others, judging by its near ubiquitous nature in 1998 and the several gagillion copies it sold. Yet while many others will have long since lost their copies or filed it away in the section of their record collection marked ‘dinner party tunes’, I still have my original CD and I still play it on a regular basis.

Back in 1998 I was struggling heavily with depression, I was not in the best of places socially and on a slow spiral that would ultimately lead me to dropping out of university and plunging further into a bleak world of my minds making. These are not the times that positive memories are made or in which uplifting musical associations prosper. Yet Moon Safari endures, it’s tranquility and beauty providing me with moments of peace and calm at an otherwise tumultuous time. Even listening now I find myself soothed by the melodies and soft, loungey synths and I’m taken to a place of relative contentment.

That aside, another reason I love this album so much is that it is full of absolutely divine pop songs. There are moments of tenderness, of heartfelt emotion and warmth. The soft lilting vocals of Beth Hirsch help give the tracks both a poignancy and a lullaby quality that could melt even the stoniest of hearts.

Moon Safari is an heavenly, dreamy album that I still love getting lost in and that still sounds as beautiful now as it did on release.