Chloe Chadwick - Same Old Brand New Me
Chloe's new EP "Same Old Brand New Me" is a welcome return from someone we have followed since the early days of #TEAMw21. The last time we saw her live she literally nearly stole the whole weekend at Buckle & Boots with a set that barely paused for breath, so determined was she to get us to hear her then new material. This new EP as we shall see is more than just a collection of songs - the title hints at a transformation and the material reflects that - at times she will lay herself open revealing some of her darkest moments yet at the same time she will share with us her highest of highs. The songs will show how Chloe's writing has developed and the band she has assembled have beautifully been able to realise her vision.
"Rattling Bones" opens the EP, it is a quite brutally honest song, it has the lowest of lows in terms of relationship suffering, yet by the end it manages to transform into something more uplifting as Chloe reclaims herself.
The opening is a sort of chugging acoustic strum while in the background there is an eerie haunting guitar sound mixed in with some synth sound building an ominous atmosphere. Chloe's opening salvo when it arrives is quite dark, the second line is literally a plea for help and there is is air of someone who has realised the desperateness of the plight they are in
"Aching bones makes me quiver,
oh lord get me outta this hellhole.
Things I forgave now make me shiver,
I’m forever haunted by these chains"
The picture painted of constantly being abused and the damage it does are lid bare. The pace of the tune picks up as Chloe reaches breaking point.
"These sticks and stones are breaking my bones,
I’ve cried, I’ve tried to block you outta my mind and I,
Just wanna be at peace with me"
The chorus sees Chloe deliver a quite measured vocal - the lyrics could easily be spat out with a degree of venom
"Don’t wanna love you like I do,
but when you take my heart it breaks in two.
Even though you know what you do,
I always find myself right back beside you.
Cus I’m the only fool and your so cruel."
The second verse eventually sees the start of the fight back
"Next day unfolds, revealing evidence,
for the list of lies you’ve told,
I’ve been victim of your games and a choke in your hold,
The final chorus sees the transformation with Chloe once more taking control - it also sees the song come to a sudden end.
"You don’t own my heart, I’m done we’re through.
I’m taking back the last ounce of confidence.
I have left. This is the consequence, of treating me so cruel.
Now look who’s the fool."
Possibly a companion piece to the opener is another subsequent single "Temper Gene", the cover of which sees Chloe enveloped in a red mist.
"I wasn’t looking for a war
I just wanted peace
I wasn’t searching for someone
but I found crazy
I never saw it coming
I failed to see the warnings
I tried to hide behind those forgiving eyes"
The opening verse of the song is just Chloe singing to an acoustic guitar. Musically things pick up with the chorus which blends quite soulful sounding delivery and backing, paired with some quite stark uncompromising lyrics.
"You got a temper gene
Operate like a mean machine
You turn into a psycho
Then round and round we go"
The second verse even more makes things clear - the word "toxicity" is all but screamed in celebration of becoming free.
"You knew just how to push my buttons
You were the master of puppets
Manipulated every conversation we ever had, before it ended bad
I always tried to hide it
When questioned I denied it
But I couldn’t fight it anymore
So I got out of this toxicity"
The key moment in the recovery comes in the bridge - knowing that ties must be totally cut.
"I sacrificed you to set me free
Now all that's left is a poisoned memory
It made me stronger, and through it all
I found the better me
If the opening songs were a little dark then the next two bring a little lightness to proceedings, starting with "Make Up 4 Lost Time" which is a song of unadulterated lust!
"Cus when the going gets tough
and I’m feeling kinda low
All I wanna do is be there for you
Make love to you all night long
To feel your heartbeat,
I wanna make up 4 lost time"
This sees a more soulful side to Chloe, the whole vocal delivery is completely different, and the backing vocals are warmer - she is most certainly in a happier place and it comes through in every word sung.
"Soulmate" opens with a solid back beat and a prominent lead guitar and is very much a song of 2 halves - the before and after meeting your "Soulmate". Lyrically the opening verse may not be uplifting but as the saying goes the darkest hour comes before the dawn and they paint a picture of someone in despair, questioning where they are and where they are going and not necessarily liking the answers
"I was feeling the pressures, I was getting older
My thoughts ran colder
Everyday running away from myself
Getting carried away with my health
It just wasn’t me - I was slipping further away"
Contrast that with the feelings of elation felt when you find your "soulmate"
"But in the darkness, she rescued me like a breath of fresh air, she helped me to see
All the wonders, I see through her eyes, she gives me strength to succeed"
The chorus is testament to the wonders of unbridled joy - where Chloe's vocals soften, taking on a dream like quality as she revels in her current situation.
"And she’s all mine - she’s all I ever wanted, all I ever needed
She’s all mine - she’s all I ever wanted, never knew I needed"
Musically the song is built on that excellent percussion base which really propels the song forwards, however the mix of guitars and keyboards adds to give Chloe the perfect base to project from.
The song also appears as the closing "Bonus" track in a piano only version which leaves no hiding room vocally and Chloe carries it off with some aplomb. The opening slightly slower, the vocals more concentrated having to do all the work to sustain the listeners interest. You can really feel the pride bursting through in Chloe's delivery and the piano arrangement works wonderfully
In between the 2 "Soulmates" comes Chloe's take on a not heard enough classic in Creedence Clearwater Revival's - "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" - It's pretty faithful version with just Chloe and a couple of acoustic guitars yet it seems so refreshing - #TEAMw21 salute Chloe's impeccable taste.
Being based a little outside our normal reporting area, our chances to cross paths with Chloe are infrequent so it is great to hear this new EP which is almost certainly, her most assured release to date.