The emotionally charged, beautifully crafted and intensely atmospheric songs and soundworlds of Chloë March have been captivating listeners since she released her first album 'Snowdrop' in 2004
“Absolutely Superb” - BBC6 Music
Independent British composer, vocalist, pianist and producer, Chloë March's highly distinctive and genre-defying music ranges from sophisticated lush chamber pop to evocative cinematic electronica, encompassing chamber-folk, dream-pop and her classical roots along the way. Since self-releasing her debut album 'Snowdrop' in 2004, March has been following her own highly distinctive path, attracting loyal fans and glowing critical attention. March’s music has often found a home on BBC6 Music and airplay also includes Danish National Radio DRP2, Radio Eins Berlin, Exile FM, BBC Introducing and 2ser Radio, Sydney.
March began learning piano aged four and her background includes improvising and songwriting as a teen, a Degree in Drama and Postgraduate Diploma in Playwriting from Manchester University and composing music for theatre productions. After touring the UK and Italy as keyboard player and backing vocalist with CousteauX, she spent three years teaching herself how to record and produce while writing her lovingly crafted second album 'Divining' (2008). With this album, March was able to start fully exploring her continuing fascination with multi-layering of vocals and sonic textures combined with melodic flow and a sensual harmonic depth. A commission to compose the 40 minute electro-orchestral dance/theatre soundtrack 'Politik' followed, further expanding March's production, composition and instrumental arrangement skills and creativity.
In 2014, Australian label Hidden Shoal re-released her third full-length 'Nights Bright Days' to critical acclaim. March's fourth album 'Blood-Red Spark' continued her exploration of songwriterly story-telling and imagistic soundscape. The album was nominated for Best Album: Pop in the Independent Music Awards. March’s highly praised fifth album 'Starlings & Crows' (Hidden Shoal/Powderkeg 2020) again written, performed, recorded and produced by herself, was influenced by her deep love and concern for the natural world and appeared in many 'Best of 2020'’s
March is a frequent co-writer and guest vocalist with other artists, including Liminal Drifter, Jumpel and Todd Tobias (including the extraordinary collaborative 2018 album 'Amialluma' (Tiny Room Records/Hidden Shoal) and most recently film/tv composers Dürbeck & Dohmen on the single 'Golden Sunset' co-written for the 2022 German TV show 'ZERV' and the track 'Weightless Fall' for TV Show 'Der Überfall'.
Chloë March's early childhood was spent in a small village on the borders of Warwickshire and Worcestershire during the 1970's/80's. Her parents were both professional musicians working for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and passionate teachers and music educators. As a child March was surrounded by live music, from brass ensembles, weird and wonderful instruments created for theatre, to classical, jazz and show singers and the piano music of Schubert, Ravel, Schumann and Chopin. March started learning the piano aged four and was drawn to improvisation and composing as a teenager, inspired by her own discoveries including Nina Simone, Steve Reich, Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian, Kate Bush and much much more. Her parents divorced when she was nine and March then lived with her mother, a pianist and piano teacher.
As a teenager March was playing in bands with her brother, writing piano-based songs and composing/improvising longer form instrumental pieces. For two years after leaving school March worked in a factory and then as a nanny for the family of an opera singer in London, during which time she kept composing but also focussed on her love of theatre and acting. She studied at Manchester University in the early 1990's from where she holds a Drama Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Playwriting. March composed the music for many theatre productions at University including her one-woman show 'Words In Her Mouth'. Her first play 'Mater Dolorosa' was produced by Theatre Alibi in Exeter.
March had been continuing to develop her songwriting and made her first visit to a professional recording studio in Bristol in '95 when she made her first demo tape. With some encouragement from EMI, but no actual label signing, March made it her mission to keep recording whenever she could afford it. The purchase of a four-track made multi-layering tracks a possibility, but the frustration at not being able to realise or be in control of the production of the expansive detailed compositions she wanted to create was a source of huge frustration.
It was during the mid '90's that March began her long journey with her singing voice. She started Classical vocal tuition in Bristol and, after moving to the South East, she continued to study in London with Classical and Jazz teachers including Barb Jungr, eventually finding the confidence to start performing her own songs in venues in the capital.
With the freedom to create her own musical vision her main ambition, March fully embraced the Independent route and self-released her debut album 'Snowdrop' in 2004. This was a collection of the songs she had performed in venues across London and recorded in local studios. Some of the songs were piano-based, but the album also featured ambitious evocative electronica, multi-tracked and cinematic - a direction that March yearned to be in control of and expand.
After work as a piano teacher and touring the UK and Italy as keyboard player and backing vocalist with CousteauX she spent three years teaching herself how to record and produce while writing her second album 'Divining' (2008). The album was lovingly crafted, themed around water and featured March on piano, her sister Emma Bell on French horn, use of vocal multi-layering, detailed textural electronica and integration of found-sounds and field recordings.
"A command of the keyboard reminiscent of Kate Bush, Tori Amos or Nina Simone... Hear the three years of perfectionism” BBC6Music
Following on from 'Divining' was the EP 'Garden on the Boulevard', the single 'Snow Kiss' and a commission to compose the 40min electro-orchestral soundtrack for Dance/Theatre piece 'Politik' performed at the Michaelis Theatre, London. She also worked with German ambient Producer, Jumpel, singing on his 2010 single 'Edinburgh' and on four tracks of his 2013 'Bloc4' album.
March's third album 'Nights Bright Days' was self-released in 2013, a cycle of songs as dreams imbued with imagery of darkness and light, night and day and Orpheus. The album embraced elements of jazz, classical, folk and dream-pop, and featured guest musicians Ted Watson on bass clarinet and soprano sax, Emma Bell on French horn and Tommy Ashby on guitar.
"In a typical song, she bolsters her singing's impact and the music's entrancing potential by accompanying the lead vocal with intricate, multi-layered counterpoint.” textura
"Absolutely gorgeous” BBC6Music
"A masterful album” Luna Kafe
"A beautiful, beguiling dreamy and enchanting album... Stunning” Eppy Gibbon Podcast Show
In 2014, the highly regarded Australian Independent label Hidden Shoal re-released 'Nights Bright Days' to glowing reviews. Bundled with the album was a new companion EP 'Under The Day'.
During 2015 March produced an interpretation of Hidden Shoal label-mate Markus Mehr's 'Bouy', released on the EP 'To Set The River On Fire', a Remix vs. project that saw Markus Mehr remixing March's track 'Ember'. She also worked on three vocal collaborations with electronic artist Liminal Drifter, including the title track of his album 'Troubled Mystic'.
2016 saw a new EP, featuring the title song ‘The Orpheus Pavement’, along with three remixes by Lvmark, Sam Atkin and March herself.
For her fourth album, 'Blood-Red Spark' (Hidden Shoal/Powderkeg Records 2017), March fully embraced beautiful ambient/electro-pop soundworlds of warm spaciousness and radiant sensuality, underpinning these with a compelling pulse to create a vital heartbeat of an album of emotional concealments and revealments, truth and trickery, loss, longing and desire.
"Absolutely Superb… A totally extraordinary fourth album” Tom Robinson BBC6 Music
'Blood-Red Spark' was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the Best Album: Pop Category 2019. The album was again written, recorded, performed and produced by March and featured her brother, Geoff Bennett on guitar.
"The air is thick with atmosphere throughout and March is a masterful creator of mood.....Stunning rarefied synth compositions topped with layers of her remarkable voice. A beautiful sound, somewhere between The Blue Nile and David Sylvian” Underground of Happiness
Single 'Wild Cherries' from 'Blood-Red Spark' was chosen by Tom Robinson as one of his Top Tunes of 2018 and the album also featured in textura's Top Twenty and The Underground of Happiness Best Of 2017
In 2018 March collaborated with Todd Tobias (Guided By Voices, Circus Devils) on their extraordinary album 'Amialluma'. March expanded on Tobias’s original idea of using an invented language palette for the vocals, developing a lyrical world of word-invention sung into archaic lullabies and tales.
"March sings, purrs, trills, murmurs and chants words in an invented language that manages to be both soothing and disturbing, like a feral child raised by nature." Craig Laurance Gidney
"An ambitious project between two ambitious people, creating both musical velvet and musical sandpaper... In its listening, this album will take you to another planet... ” Angry Baby
March followed these albums with the winter single 'Snow Bird' (2018)
"A fresh level of sophistication” BBC6Music
"Chloë March rounds off what has been quite some year with winter tune entitled 'Snow Bird'...It finds her voice floating in otherworldly space between swirling synth patterns and cool ambience.... atmospheric and characteristically unique” Trust The Doc
March’s fifth solo studio album 'Starlings and Crows' (Hidden Shoal/Powderkeg Records 2020) saw her drawing inspiration from her early childhood in the Warwickshire countryside as well as nineteenth-century nature poet John Clare, and Lewis Carroll’s fantastical 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'. Throughout the album is a palpable sense of wonder at the natural world, shot through with a deep concern for nature’s vulnerability. 'Starlings & Crows' resonates with notions of home on a macro and micro level.
Single 'To A Place' is an elegant waltz built around swooning strings and piano. 'Landing 1969' sounds as astral as its subject matter would suggest, pulsing at the same tempo as Buzz Aldrin’s heart-rate as Apollo 11 left earth. 'Remember That Sky' is achingly emotive, showcasing March’s innate talent for creating an atmosphere of intimacy without compromising compositional depth. Despite running to a succinct 38 minutes, 'Starlings & Crows' is lush and expansive, while distilled to its crystalline essence.
'Starlings & Crows' was selected by the highly respected Textura as one of the Ten Best Albums of 2020:
"One ultimately less listens to this intoxicating collection than luxuriates in it... No one sounds quite like her, either vocally or musically."
The album also featured in 'Best of 2020' from Cannock Chase radio's The Curve Ball, Exile FM's Trust The Doc, Eppy Gibbon Podcast Show and 'Gray Days and Gold'.
Airplay for the album includes BBC6Music, BBC Introducing, Exile FM and Danish National Radio DR/P2
In Spring 2021, March contributed a new single 'Silver Grey City' to the Charity Compilation Album 'And In the End' organised by Simon Tucker as a Fundraiser for the Help Musicians UK Charity.
February 2022 sees the release of the track 'Golden Sunset', with March as featured vocalist and co-writer with the film/tv composers Dürbeck & Dohmen for the soundtrack to German TV show 'ZERV' (ARD/Das Erste)
Commissioning Enquiries for Film/TV/Collaborations please contact Chloë March: powderkegrecords[at]btinternet.com
Back Catalogue Licensing Enquiries please contact Cam Marton:
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"I didn't believe in myself as a singer for a long, long time. I sang and recorded my own songs from when I was sixteen and absolutely loved singing when I was little, but I never thought I was a proper singer... I started to have lessons in classical technique and I went on to have five more different teachers, slowly moving from classical to jazz...to finally just working on body/voice. That was over a period of over ten years. Then I stopped having lessons and let myself be a bit less hyper-critical of what I was doing. All of my teachers gave me something invaluable in terms of technique or approach...
I still get very emotional when my songs are played on air; it's an extraordinary experience, almost out-of-body I find... I was moved when the album (Blood-Red Spark) did seem to resonate with people and seems to have connected in the way I'd hoped. My emotion over that has got more intense over time. I also felt a lot of gratitude, for being able to make the music in the first place and for the people it reaches and for how they let me know; it's always made me very emotional to hear when that connection has been made."
Chloë talks about her vocal development, how she approached the 'imagined language' of 'Amialluma', and the emotions surrounding an album release