Starlings & Crows
'"Starlings and Crows" the new album by Chloë March, is an autumnal song cycle full of rich electronics, dark honeyed vocals and startling touches, like crystalline piano chord progressions and shimmering autoharp strums. It’s richly atmospheric, full of nature imagery and Romantic (with a capital R) reveries. Every note played or sung is placed with jewel-like precision. It’s a song suite, but there are highlights, like the tentative piano ballad "All Things Good"or the cinematic blur of "To a Place" and "Remember That Sky"... It reminds one of the misty electronic pastorals of Virginia Astley’s "Hope in a Darkened Heart", though March has a plaintive alto compared to Astley’s boy soprano tones. Other references: "The Sensual World", by Kate Bush, "Secrets of the Beehive" by David Sylvian or the 4AD era of folk singer Heidi Berry.'
'This song was a nice juxtaposition against the previous on the list. In another world we are whipped off by the winds to a new environment and already charmed by its surroundings. I felt overwhelmed by the imagery, such was its power. Like finding a fascinating painting in an art gallery, you just cannot tear yourself away. Multi-faceted, layered, textured and dextrous. Chloë March reminds me a lot of Sarah Barker from Zero 7 fame. There is a sexual tension which emerges as she leads us through a hole in the old garden wall “I’m not sure I want this at all, but light is flooding through you”. Like a fine meal, everything is considered and delicately plated up, from the keys to the bass to the vocals. Achieving what is, in my opinion, a great song.'
'The ever-consistent Chloë March returned and stormed into the fresh faves with the haunting melancholy of To a place. Like all her best songs, it has an otherworldly quality with swirling synths and Chloë’s fantastic alto voice delivering a melody that cuts my emotions to ribbons. I duly chose it to be my Vanishing Point track on Ming & Jon’s Monday Night Ride Out show on Exile FM. Opinion from all those who commented was unanimous on the song’s unique beauty.'
March’s delicate alto glides through the minor modulations of the song effortlessly as she sings of longing for a loved one, of falling into a place of memory and imagination. There is a subtle menace implicit in some of March’s lyrics which counterbalances the beauty of their delivery. Hardly a new girl on the block, the upcoming album will be her fifth in a career spanning 16 years. While we await the full album, an investment in the back catalogue of this gifted, independently-driven artiste is highly recommended.
'Chloë March's many strengths are on full display throughout her fourth full-length Blood-Red Spark. On the album's twelve tracks, her first-rate songwriting skills are well-accounted for, as is the English artist's talent for crafting compelling instrumental backdrops. But as we've noted in the past, it's March's singing that is her music's strongest selling-point: she's got one of those one-in-a-million voices that could make even the most pedestrian lyric feel like cause for rapture. That being said, as integral as her vocalizing is to the album's impact, Blood-Red Spark would hardly merit a recommendation if the songs and arrangements weren't compelling, too.
March shares with a small number of other female vocalists—Anne Garner, Trish Keenan, Elizabeth Fraser, Tracey Thorn, and Susanna Wallumrød come to mind—a vocal delivery that's never less than alluring. Luminous, sensual, seductive—all such epithets apply to March's singing; whether presented as an unadorned lead or as harmonizing choir, her voice is the key that unlocks an intimate soundworld straddling dream-pop, trip-hop, and electronica. For the record, Blood-Red Spark was wholly created by March at her home studio, with a gritty electric guitar turn by Geoff Bennett on "So (Together)" the album's sole guest contribution.
The resplendent, deeply atmospheric character of March's music is in place the moment "Orchardie" inaugurates the album, her sultry, multi-tracked vocalizations complemented by a shimmering electronic arrangement. Lyrically many songs center on relationships, love, and intimacy, with songs such as "No Game" ("That's enough of the reveries / I want to be real, right now"), "Let It All In" ("Let it all in / This is where the heart begins"), and the title track ("Your good heart leads me through the dark / Everything around you a shimmer of blood-red spark") exemplifying March's desire for emotional directness and connection.
Another listener might conceivably complain that the songs hew too much to a common tempo, but to these ears the slower BPM allows March's voice to work its magic most fully. While her electronica side moves to the fore during "Mercury Trick" and "Signal Flow", she offsets the music's chilly synthetic timbres with the warm humanity of her voice. Nowhere is its effect more ravishing than in "Calypso Wants" where her weave of lead vocal and harmonies achieves an effect that's positively celestial. Here and elsewhere, the effect of her languorous delivery is enhanced by the luxuriant backings she fashioned for the songs.'
'The latest album by Chloe March is another heady trip through electro pop but really that tag doesn't do justice to the range of expression. 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'
"A song of outstanding natural beauty... (Wild Cherries) from her totally extraordinary fourth album"
'There may come a time when upon encountering new groove from Chloe March, descriptions such as enchanting and beguiling might prove superfluous, not on this occasion though. A new album, ‘blood red spark’ incoming on the adored Hidden Shoal, from off which ‘let it all in’ has been sent as a herald. A dream like visitation caressed in a twinkling neo classical torch toned wooziness, its delicate folk framing genteelly hushed and seductively surrendered in an evensong intimacy all lost in a moment of reflection. For here an ethereal whispering and the poetic dance of demurred expressionism and ghost lit tenderness forge a quietly alluring waltz whose forlorn crush sighs amid the glow of noir breezed dissipates. And while the press release might rightly point that its beautified and amorphous craft owes to the other worldly spectral reach of both David Sylvian and C Duncan, we here however, are much minded of an unusually vulnerable Jane Weaver sweetly shimmering in the grooves.'
I am always pleased to see a new track by the uniquely [multi] talented Chloe March...Wild Cherries arrived in the Fresh on the Net uploader this month. Even by Chloe’s high standards this is a stunning piece marked out by an eerie melancholy bathed in exquisite chords and unexpected tonal shifts. The lyrics are heart-rending and she delivers them with an almost detached beauty that is accordingly all the more poignant. Fantastic work...'
'Simplicity and intimacy seem to be the key words of the work, which however doesn't contradict the refined expressive dimension of Chloë March, muse of expansive dreampop enchantment.'