RECOMMENDED RECORD: Princess Chelsea: Everything Is Going To Be Alright (Lil' Chief/digital outlets)

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Love is More
RECOMMENDED RECORD: Princess Chelsea: Everything Is Going To Be Alright (Lil' Chief/digital outlets)

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this which won this year's Taite Music Prize for best independently released album. It comes in a gatefold sleeve with inner sleeve photos and lyrics.

Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . .

Princess Chelsea (Chelsea Nikkel) has delivered a series of delightful and engaging albums which sometimes have the hallmarks of fairytales in her delicate, often childlike delivery.

But as with many fairytales, there is frequently a darker subtext and that sometimes disconcerting juxtaposition between her light and fey voice with the veiled menace has made for some enjoyably disturbing listening.

This new album, her sixth, pushes even further musically with excoriating guitars and a restless energy but also offers the airy dreamscape of the weightless In Heaven (“everything is fine”) and Dream Warrior. And I Don't Know You (“and you don't know me”) which initially seems another light piece but comes with guitar sting to drive home the message.

Ostensibly her break-up album, these songs neither wallow in misery or pay out but from the title track (“My boy he wrote to me . . . I feel dead”) there is a resilience behind the pain which finds its echo in the gritty guitar passages.

The Forest, recorded live in the studio, has a rare aggressiveness (“I don't give a damn 'cause they don't care anyway . . . so I run through the forest”) with a churning rhythm section and indie.rock guitar squall.

Then there is the signature sound of her cute, melodic bedroom pop (Love is More, the seemingly affirmative Time) which marry MOR Fifties pop with Eighties alt.rock and some clever arrangements for strings.

Forever is a Charm and We Kick Around might have been beamed in from the New Wave era but are given the Chelsea twist where she comes of as an ingenue in the former. But you know she's not, The Forest has already proven that.

The title track gets a lengthy reprise at the end and provides a resolution: “I think of you sometimes and it makes me feel blue . . . then I walk outside . . .”

Princess Chelsea is one of our most clever, considered and astute songwriters who knows exactly who she is and how she wants to present herself.

It's notable for the cover art she has dispensed with the cuteness of previous images.

This isn't a new Princess, the same one but with more to say and finding new ways to do it.

Princess pop . . . with Nikkel nettles.

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