Chloe Lilac : 19 Review
by Griff Stevens
Chloe Lilac hails from Brooklyn, New York and is a rising indie-rock songwriter and vocalist. “I was raised on Frank Zappa, the Talking Heads, and Bowie,” the singer says. That varied background mixed with her cynical rebellious personality makes for interesting lyrics. Her ability to open up and write autobiographical lyrics has enticed fans to listen. Her self-released single “Stolen Liquor” is a prime example of this. Her single “Summer” had more than 10 million streams on Spotify. Lilac signed to RCA Records for her debut EP Manic Pixie Dream, with her second EP, DOUCHEBAG, following a year later. In 2021, Lilac released her single “10 Things” and its accompanying video, which she created at home during the pandemic. Lilac is now following with her second single of the year, “19.”
For “19,” Lilac is joined by producer Rory Andrew (Machine Gun Kelly, ODESZA, Jaden Smith, Goldlink, Two Door Cinema Club). The song has a standard structure, and all the action takes place in Lilac’s vocals. Each verse and chorus have Lilac adding clever variations to her singing, making each phrase very special. Her breathy lower tones pull you in closer; her upper register is sweet and pleasant. Lilac’s pop/rock melody floats through the sections, each finding its own distinct atmosphere with ghostly vocal harmonies, steady drums, and crunchy guitar. The nineteen-year-old Lilac explains the lyrics, “I wrote 19 about how scary everything’s gotten in the last two years. I really sat and thought about the state of the world and how weird and out of control everything’s become since the pandemic. I want to stress how grateful I am for my physical health and my family’s health; I’ve been very blessed throughout the pandemic thus far. There’s just so much loss that’s been happening and still happening. It’s really intense, especially being witness to all the tragedy at what seems like the beginning of my adult life.”
Lilac has a distinct vocal style that falls between rock and pop; this gives her music a broad appeal. What sets her apart from many of her contemporaries is her ability to craft a song’s melody into distinct phrases. Then, she further enriches the theme and adds variations and ornaments to each phrase to give it even more character. “19” is absolutely something to take a serious listen to.
Label: Eudora Records
Release Date: October 15, 2021
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