REVIEWS

Starlings & Crows

'A stunningly lovely blend of electronic and orchestral jewel tones, sensitive vocals and diaphanous compositions, this record envelops and holds you to its chest where you can feel its beating heart... A staggering powerhouse of talent...'

Gray Days and Gold Best of 2020

'Chloë March has been variously described as an ambient-pop or electro-pop artist, but neither label truly satisfies. Yes, an ambient aspect is present in her atmospheric music, and, yes, she does use electronics to fashion her material, and, yes, there is a pop dimension in play when she favours concise, song-styled structures. Yet her intensely personalized sound helps make Starlings & Crows, March's fifth album, transcend singular categorizing. One ultimately less listens to this intoxicating collection than luxuriates in it.

Operating out of her Warwickshire countryside home, the English artist crafts songs that might be better described as deeply aromatic mood pieces that derive their greatest distinguishing character from her unmistakable voice. Across eleven songs, March induces entrancement by coupling her free-floating, often multi-layered singing with instrumental backdrops that are pristine and keyboards-heavy. Her voice unfurls gracefully, with its vulnerable ache a stark counterpoint to the secure foundation of the instrumental design. An omnipresent tension emerges through that juxtaposition when the meticulous polish of the latter contrasts with the live-sounding spontaneity of the vocal performances.

As the thirty-eight-minute recording plays, the listener is pulled deeply into its world, the effect intensified by the subject matter associated with the project. As the John Tenniel-like illustrations adorning the sleeve (and the title of the closing track "Looking Glass Lawn") suggest, March drew for inspiration from Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking Glass as well as the writings of nineteenth-century nature poet John Clare. Such literary references accentuate both the album's connections to the transporting dreamworlds of fantasy fiction and the sense of wonder engagement with the natural world calls forth.

With a title alluding to the Apollo 11 mission, the opening song "Landing 1969" illustrates how critical her voice is to her music's impact when multiple vocal lines elegantly intertwine across a shimmering bed of pulsations. Here and elsewhere, March favours slow tempos, a choice that strengthens the music's dreamlike quality. Among the standouts is "Remember That Sky," which alchemizes her voice and a lilting backing into a swooning, intensely emotive elegy for things lost and unrecoverable.

As much as singing is the primary focal point, arresting instrumental touches surface too. “Turn Fox Then,” for example, is animated by a deep bass pulse that in another context could pass for dub; in this song the element works in tandem with the synthetic textures and vocal to create a swaying mass that's more than a little hypnotic. A similar state is induced during "High Hay" when strums by a harp-like instrument are part of the sound design. Piano moves to the instrumental forefront in "All Things Good," whereas "To a Place" mixes things up by undergirding her singing with a waltz rhythm.

However tempting it might be to cite artists such as Elizabeth Fraser and Tracey Thorn as reference points when speaking of March, Starlings & Crows—not for the first time—shows she's staked out her own artistic place. No one sounds quite like her, either vocally or musically.'

Textura

'"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.'

Craig Laurance Gidney

'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.'

Chris Ingram at Fresh on the Net

This review is via Google + Apple Translate - to view in Italian please click through to the original:

'Having brilliantly overcome the parenthesis of organic collaboration with Todd Tobias ("Amialluma", 2018), Chloë March returns to solo creation, accentuating the dreamy characters and evanescent atmospheres of the previous "Blood-Red Spark" (2017). On the fifth album, the English artist now proves to be fully at ease in rarefied and often arrhythmic settings, to which his sinuous interpretations give enveloping dynamics and sinuous harmonic flows.

 

The eleven tracks of "Starlings & Crows" are the result of an immediate and very sophisticated elaboration process, which derives from the comparison with places and personal memories, filtered by an approach of enchanted candor, faithfully reflected by soft synthetic stratifications, marked by occasional pulses and fragile watermarks of notes. The delicacy and apparent vulnerability that transpire from the work are paired with the clear awareness of Chloë March in her vivid dream-pop emissions, arising from an undoubtedly personal dimension but calmly aimed at universal emotional spaces.'

Music Won't Save You

'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.'

Neil March at Trust the Doc

'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.'

Fifty3.net

 

Blood-Red Spark

'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.' 

Textura

'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' 

The Underground of Happiness Best of 2017

"A song of outstanding natural beauty... (Wild Cherries) from her totally extraordinary fourth album"

Tom Robinson on BBBC6 Music "Top Tunes of Introducing 2018" 

'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.'

The Sunday Experience ~ From the much missed music writer Mark Barton

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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...'

Neil March at Trust the Doc

'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.' 

 

Music won't save you

 

Nights Bright Days

‘Nights Bright Days’, the third album from British singer-songwriter Chloë March, arrives in the wake of her memorable performance on Bloc 4, the most recent Hidden Shoal collection by Jumpel... [hers is] a style closer in spirit to entrancing artpop than ambient composition per se... A poetic quality pervades her material, and in that regard it doesn't surprise that many songs reference mythological tales and figures such as Eurydice and Orpheus. Crafted with obvious love and care, the songs unfold instrumentally as dream-like soundscapes where March's piano and synthesizers are complemented by guitar, French horn, and woodwinds contributions from Tommy Ashby, Emma Bell, and Ted Watson, respectively. Her music's defining sound, however, is her luminous voice, a smoky alto that unfurls like a plume of cigarette smoke, its velvety tone a sensual narcotic.... 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 (“Orpheus at Sea” one good example of many). At such moments, it's hard not to think of the mythological Sirens who used their hypnotic voices to lure sailors ashore, wrecking their ships against the island's rocky coast in the process.

 

As key as her singing is to the project, its sound design isn't incidental to its impact, as March enhances the songs with subtle touches, such as the twinkling mallet instrument that repeatedly ascends within “Winter Deep” and the soprano sax and bass clarinet haunting the backgrounds of “Sunless” and “Sometimes the Dark.” While the greater number of songs reinforce the enchanted character of the album's tone, there are a few, such as the piano-based reverie “Eucalyptus Night” and the jazz-inflected “Cafè des poétes,” that evoke the image of March singing softly within a dimly lit nightclub, her voice a comforting tonic for the weary listener. One imagines March's song cycle would appeal to listeners of artists like Kate Bush, Jane Siberry, and The Cocteau Twins.’

 

Textura

Chloë March’s musical past covers a stint in the sophisticated melodrama of Cousteau as well as a background in drama and playwriting. Such skills and experiences have been put to excellent use on new album ‘Nights Bright Day’ where the attention to production detail is matched with fascinating storytelling.

Bathed in magical beauty, ‘Winter Deep’ sees March cast as the female equivalent of C Duncan, with whom she shares a cool, breathy vocal and a penchant for dreamy arrangements. March’s primary focus seems to be on piano-led numbers and lambent, ambient pop, with strong echoes of Jo Hamilton on ‘Cafe Des Poetes’, yet a diversions into psychedelic soul (courtesy of ‘Boho Night’) is tackled with skill and panache. The superb ‘Orpheus Head’ bubbles with highly inventive production and oddball melody where the key lyrics, “You’re in my head. You’re in the ground, beneath my feet”, are delivered gently for maximum impact.

A clutch of spare, vocal-led numbers (‘Ember’, ‘Eurydice On The Underground’, ‘Orpheus At Sea’, ‘Eucalyptus Night’) seem like lost anthems from a watery world whilst a spectral ‘Be Lonely Roi’ threatens to lure the listener completely underwater, engulfed by the hypnotic aural bliss. On abstract offerings such as ‘Sunless’, ‘Woods’ and the Anja Garbarek-esque ‘Owl’, meanwhile, it’s as if nature itself has decided to take over and recorded its own beautiful songs.

Variations in pace may be few and far between but this is not a problem because the arrangements always keep the listener guessing from the first song to the shiver-inducing grace of the finale ‘Unlit’. Furthermore, March’s vocals manage to find that difficult balance between elegance, emotion and mystery. A joy.'

 

Leonard's Lair

''Nights Bright Days' is an evocative and poetic tale of sensual sounds arranged in a series of unique musical dreams... I compared her voice to Beth Gibons or Mimi Parker, but I cannot ignore such singers as Tracey Thorn and Tori Amos ("Ember", "Le Roi Lonely" and "Dream Swim") The recording 'Orpheus Head' remains deep in the memory, with electronic backing, piled vocals, piano phrases and an elegant dream-pop vibe. In turn, the beautiful ballad 'Eurydice On The Underground' recalls the late 90's work of David Sylvian' 

 

nowamuzyka

'Chloë March's third album loosely fits in this category (the concept album). But you won’t find an overarching narrative theme. Instead, you’ll find a suite of songs that use image-patterns of night, winter, light, dark with a sub-theme of Orpheus and Eurydice running through three compositions. And I use the term 'composition' deliberately, for these amalgamations of synthesized programs, with delicate colorings of piano, saxophone, zither and guitar are closer to the work of Erik Satie than they are to traditional pop music. March’s work most recalls David Sylvian’s classic album, Secrets of the Beehive, with its slow burning atmospherics that borrow from folk, classical, jazz and electronic ambient music. Her smoky velvet alto also shares Sylvian’s ruminative phrasing. The use of zithers (in this case, autoharp and psaltery) at times recalls the hermetic, textural compositions of acoustic-ambient artist Colleen. 'Nights Bright Days' is like musical incense. Recommended for fans of Sylvian, Virginia Astley, and Goldfrapp (in the vein of Felt Mountain or Tales of Us).’

 

Strange Alphabets

'What a beautiful, beguiling dreamy and enchanting album it is too bringing elements such as jazz, classical, folk and dreampop together in one utterly fantastic collection of music. Chloë's vocals have a kind of transformative power to them and the guest musicians on the album bring with them bass clarinet, soprano sax, french horn - instruments all of which add to the beautiful layers of music....Stunning...a genuinely enchanting album… ' Ian Fairholm

 

Ian Fairholm ~ Eppy Gibbon Podcast

'Chloe March's new album is a gorgeously textured effort that harks back to her earlier material. Single "Winter Deep" is a lovely song with a mood that's ethereal and bright. It's almost painfully beautiful. "Orpheus' Head" takes it inspiration from Greek myth, and is a dreamy concoction with sweet vocals. March's music hits a high here. "Eurydice on the Underground" continues the Greek myth theme and it's a highly suggestive song. March's delivery is absolutely lovely and spot on. "Unlit" ends the masterful album on a good note. March's sweet vocals against a neoclassical backdrop that recalls David Sylvian's art pop. It's one of many great songs on this brilliant album.' 

 

Luna Kafe

'Arresting sleepy headed woozy baroque folk dreaminess from Chloe March whose ‘nights bright days’ is getting a deserved re-release on the much adored hidden shoal imprint, pulled from it this sweet sortie entitled 'winter deep' which I’ll be honest ought on first hearing to have those of you attuned to all things Linda Perhacs hearing alarm bells going off in all directions inside your headspace for this little woodcut wonder plays peek-a-boo between the grooves like some kind of shy eyed sibling of Lisa O Piu here found spell crafting all manner of enchantment and twilight twinkling with a forest folk backing band made up of members of Oddfellows Casino and Stereolab – the latter of whom craftily leaving behind their kraut lounge nuances at the entrance gate.

Described as 'sensual dream pop' – a description so perfect we’ve struggled to better, 'Orpheus Head' is one of those rare sublime occasions where the configurations collide and converge in elegiac grace to craft something both enchanting and spellbinding where sophisticat night pop blended upon the distantly vague vestiges of folk, soft soul and down tempo electronica gather to arrest and seduce, for here elements of Linda Perhacs, Serafina Steer, Musetta and Stereolab intertwine with the emotional hush of a youthful Goldfrapp to engage something truly captivating, celestial and magical. Utter bliss in a word.'

the sunday experience

('Ember') ‘A stunning raw and emotional minimalism’ 

 

Shell Zenner ~ Fresh On The Net

'this new tune, 'orpheus head', is a crystalline ballad of obsession that has Chloe creating strange sonic spaces with deep synthy instrumentals and many layers of her mesmerizing voice that sounds frosty and warm simultaneously. Her music is a signature blend of classic pop, electronica, and psychedelia that you are unlikely to hear elsewhere.'

 

the modern folk music of america

'Chloë March with glorious dream pop, ('Eucalyptus Night') perhaps with a debt to Ryuichi Sakamoto.'

 

The Underground of Happiness

Chloë March’s album 'Nights Bright Days' – now re-released on the Hidden Shoals label – is a work of intellectual shadows yet the light of the new day always makes it through her dark clouds in a manner that transcends any potential depression.

Much is made of repetition in the music that provides the platform for the introspection that appears to motivate Ms March. An artistic choice is an artistic choice, however, and the effectiveness of that choice is illustrated in the simple piano figures that cause 'Eucalyptus Night' to sway as if sighing as the world described in the lyrics spins to a sudden stop.The simplicity of 'Winter Deep' provides a further example and, as if driven to describe the ethereal, Ms. March uses her musical witchcraft to cast a spell that turns all that would be wistful into something hypnotic..... Beauty is in the ears of the beholder and these ears behold beauty.' 

 

Blues Bunny

'Sixteen blissful, piano fused tracks... Nights Bright Days creates an artistic balance, between the isolation and admiration found in pop and piano based music. The essence of isolation feels more apparent on March’s piano based track, yet feels oddly inclusive and warming. We are welcomed into March’s own isolation, her habitual abyss for anyone to becomingly gaze upon her poignant work. March’s vocals carry this admirable isolation in between soaring gracefully, no louder than the glow of the morning sun, retaining consistently high pitch and focus, while remaining simple and charming, to then becoming as smooth as a bottle of aged whiskey, with an ever so slight husk in her tone, that resonates a stroke of jazz into her calming performances. Collectively, Nights Bright Days becomes a piano based album at heart, with some notable turns to the recognisable fixations of most singer songwriters, on leading track Winter Deep as well as Boho Night, Orpheus Head and Dream Swim, all finding their own fixation of fusing pop with classical piano. Within Nights Bright Days opener, Winter Deep, broken folk melodies combine with March’s similarly themed vocals for an unassumingly misguiding opener. When placed in comparison with most of Nights Bright Days; the elegant piano tones found on most of the LP’s tracks, become buried underneath a wave of ambience from confusing contemporary folk, altered by the progressive styles of singer songwriter influences, and minute pop intrusions.

 

Welcoming N-B-D as a contemporary move on ambient, folk-pop quickly becomes dismissed by the following two tracks Café Des Poètes and Boho Night, whose focus on ambient synth pop, rather than the introduced folk pop, feels more apparent than the latter, Boho Night especially. Feeling more lucid and tangible, with dreamy synth tones flowing simultaneously with March’s vocal layering and electrolysed drum beats, a neo-pop flare that’s not to far from the likes of Michael Flynn’s latest LP, becomes illuminated and enticing to hear. This synth, neo-pop flare can be felt throughout most of N-B-D, almost in perfect unison with March’s more intricate, piano pieces. The latest single from N-B-D, Ember is the prime example of March’s ability to cast aside the bright eyed feel of her pop influenced tracks, for more endearing, beautifully executed piano tracks that grow like the warming fire on a cold Winter’s night. Similarly on Orpheus At Sea, a soft glow can be felt from the piano keys struck in ready precision, as the growing intensity feels controlled and comforting. The thought of a controlled growth is necessarily essential for March’s Nights Bright Days. On a first note, seeing sixteen tracks feels ambiguous, splitting people into two groups of keen, enticed listeners, and those who may deem the LP a challenge to complete. The idea of N-B-D being a challenge rather than a pleasure may take a few attempts to defeat, but once March’s vocals and piano skill become welcomed, N-B-D will quickly become a lucrative edition to your minds music bank.' 

 

Velvet Independent

 

Divining

'A command of the keyboard reminiscent of Kate Bush, Tori Amos or Nina Simone’… hear the three years of perfectionism' 

 

Tom Robinson BBC6 Music

'Wow, this is a beautiful record. March has a voice that blends perfectly with the lush arrangements and intricate piano tinkling. It can be soft almost whispery, and also full and clear.  There is quite a lot going on here musically. The aforementioned twinkly piano, but there are also according to her bio: “marimbas, harp, strings and shimmering beats with French horn, found sounds of paper, glass, and wind chimes.” I really enjoy songs that incorporate many layers and instruments (if paper is an instrument, and heck, why not?) and this is a perfect example of this method done right. Stand out songs: Written on Water, Sea Bell and title track, Divining. Seeing as this whole album was inspired by water, it’s no surprise that this is perfect for those cold, rainy days spend under a blanket with tea and a book (and if you’re lucky a dog or cat curled at your feet.’ ) 

 

Collected Sounds

'Electronic dreampop with dashes of jazz and artsong. One woman band March crafts an ethereal song cycle based around water imagery, using the intricate minimalism of Steve Reich, layers of sparkling keyboards and her deep, sensual alto. Ms. March is a more pastoral Kate Bush. It's the sort of music that would accompany a movie version of Wuthering Heights (as directed by Peter Greenaway)' 

 

The New Gay

'It's as lovely as they say. It's almost a score without a film. There's a sense of place, earnest and immersive. And what's truly remarkable is that it's not at all the samey new-age-compilation that the song titles might suggest. Listening to it is interesting. There are things to discover. There are ways to become lost.

Take 'Soft Rain' There's more tumult here than you might expect from the title: a pitter-patter of a drum part, a backdrop more propulsive than droning. And there are quiet moments, too, when it dies down so the piano can plink out the raindrops. The song demands a window and a spring shower, but even the latter's not necessary. It'll provide one.'

 

Self As Fractal

'A collection of reflections set to the most imaginative assemblage of a mesmerizing voice and artfully filtered sounds.'

 

Julian's Flight

'Divining' is a gorgeous semi concept album, water imagery being the central conceit. Her voice is a smooth silky alto and her hypnotic compositions are drenched in misty synth orchestrations, Satie-piano pieces, wind chimes, French horns and harps.*Highly recommended* for lovers of ethereal dream pop.' 

 

Ethereal Lad

 

EP's and Singles

'One of those rare releases wherein you feel a quiet moment of your hectic day is required in order for you to sit with it, perhaps to comfort, allowing it to breath in the hope that it gives up its ghostly secrets and shyly blossoming beauty. Demurred in a frail Satie refrain, this fragile visitation is spun in a silvery poetic elegance that’s trimmed and traced in Autumnal rushes and the bathing of a pre dawning stillness blurred in a misty twilight glow atop of which Ms March’s lovelorn yearn aches crushingly from a hidden vantage point with tearful sympathy. Ice sculptured neo classicist dream folk at its most pristine and perfect and sheer heart breaking and humbling to boot.' 

The Sunday Experience on single: 'May'

'And speaking of winter music...something about this dreamy beauty ('Old Tree, Mon Coeur') makes me think of the kind of swirly feeling that comes at the end of the year (often brought on hot whiskey). It’s a song inspired by the oldest tree in Kew Gardens. The combination of harpsichord-alike arpeggios, a thick ambient fog and March’s marvellous drifting vocal creates a suitably ageless effect. A stunning evocation of the vastness of the universe and the microscopic human heartbeat running through it.' 

The Underground of Happiness

'Her musical approach stays unconventional, with dream-pop production that blends electronic and organic elements and vocal melodies that are jazz-like in their unexpected twists and turns... Mesmerizing' 

The Modern Folk Music of America

Collaborations

Amialluma - Todd Tobias/Chloë March 

'There’s times when the words singer-songwriter are completely limited to the artist that they are describing. Whilst those two little words are something of a catch all for anybody writing their own independent music, possibly leaning toward guys and gals with acoustic guitars and notebooks of lyrical scrawls, but still able to cover most musical bases. These two little words don’t really give anything like the depth required to describe Chloe March however.  Chloe is a singer-composer-pianist-producer, and the daughter of classical/theatre musicians. Since the early 00s, she has been creating sonic textures, that evoke emotion, tell stories, and challenge the listener. Take 'Wild Cherries' from 2017’s Blood Red Spark for example. Haunting vocals caress the ears, over a reverb drenched backdrop of synths, beats and guitars. It’s mesmerising, and somewhat hypnotising.

 

For 2018, Chloe has teamed up with Todd Tobias, an American creator of thematic mood music, and the end result is Amialluma. Regarding the lyrical structure of the album, the lyrics centre around a child’s journey from the safety of its mother’s arms through an ancient, shadowy world. Overcoming fear and meeting with otherworldly guides, the child finds independence and reveals a deep connection with nature.  In its listening, this album will take you to another planet.

 

The lyrical notes of this album don’t just evoke an atmosphere, they paint a landscape. Opening track 'Lillavva' is both imposing, yet calm. The album cover art features a simple sketch of mountainous peaks in the distance, and the swelling sounds of the album opening give the impression of a scale, of a journey.

Tracks across the album vary wildly in length. Indeed, 'Ruulu' comes in at just 68 seconds, yet manages to evoke a sense of dread, through its simplistic, yet bleak tones.

 

If 'Ruulu' gives off tension, the following, 'Lallulow' gives off mystery. The lead single from the album, it captures the spirit of what the overall sound is about in just under five minutes. Light, shade, wonder, fear, a little bit enticing, a little bit weird, a little bit challenging but most certainly interesting, its the album’s centrepiece for sure.

 

'Cherra Leilahi' comes as our protagonist is reaching the end of their journey. All the otherworldly sounds combine to wrap up to a fine conclusion. Certainly the most hopeful track on the album, whilst I would hesitate to call it relaxed, it does have the impression of achievement and perspective.

Ultimately, this is an ambitious project between two ambitious people, creating both musical velvet and musical sandpaper, all soothed by Chloe March’s beautiful peaceful tone. Listen to it in full, back to back, close your eyes, and embrace it. Much like our protagonist, it will take you on a journey.

 

Angry Baby

Hauntology & Glossolalia:

A collaboration between musicians Todd Tobias and Chloë March, Amialluma is an album’s worth of atmospheric ambient music that desultorily drifts between a whimsical and eerie tone. All ten compositions have a distinct hauntological ambiance. The soundscapes have the feel of the soundtrack to a forgotten children’s movie. Music box melodies, echoed bell-like tones and 60s Sci-Fi sounds are woven together, mostly in a halcyon mood that gets disturbed by the occasional dark chord progression. 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. The resulting suite (which is how it is supposed to be listened to) reminds of me of the work of the English band Pram, (who share a similar tonal palette crossed) with the Cocteau Twins at their most tranquil.

Craig Laurance Gidney

'If there's one word that describes Amialluma, a thoroughly enrapturing collection by English vocalist Chloë March and American instrumentalist Todd Tobias, it's bewitching. It's not the first time the two have joined forces, March having earlier guested on his 2015 set Gila Man, but it is the first time they've shared equal billing on an album—a fitting gesture as both of their contributions are integral to the musical outcome and its narcotizing effect. Known for his work with Guided by Voices, Tobias is the less familiar textura presence of the two; March, on the other hand, has been mesmerizing us with her vocal gifts and atmospheric songcraft for many years now, most recently with her superb solo outing Blood-Red Spark.

One thing about Amialluma in particular merits immediate mention, that being the duo's decision to have March sing newly invented words in place of a known language—a critical and brilliant choice, critical in allowing the music to sever any and all connections to real-world content and relatedly brilliant in bolstering the ethereal, dream-like character of the music. Yes, the move does understandably invite comparison to a similar approach adopted by Cocteau Twins, yet Amialluma never feels derivative or as if the duo's following a path laid out by another. Amialluma carves out its own distinct and self-contained space, one deeply celestial in tone.

Tobias's gauzy, keyboards-based soundscapes sever earthly ties from the moment “Lillavva” establishes the album's heavenly aura, which is bolstered even more when March's soft, sensual utterances appear; the aptly lulling “Ma Leila Lulla” and serene closer “Cherra Leilahi” drift like gently floating clouds of choral whispers and fragile vocal musings. In some cases (e.g., “Shehehs”), Tobias's ambient soundscaping exudes a brooding, industrial-ambient quality that suggests darker spaces have been entered, a quality that March naturally responds to in kind.

She's in exceptionally fine voice throughout, and demonstrates remarkable invention and a bold absence of inhibition in the myriad vocal effects—coos, stutters, trills, and the like—she drapes across her partner's backings. In “Lallulow,” she metamorphs before one's ears from a human form into something more abstractly creature-like, whereas “Inttavei” sees Tobias crafting a mysterious minimal backdrop for her to emote against, the singer responding to the sound design with upward swoops and entranced murmurings.

Text in the accompanying press release suggests that a narrative of sorts was conceived for the release involving a child's journey from the safe haven of its mother's care through shadowy realms that are eventually overcome. Truth be told, I'd rather pretend no such narrative exists in order to allow the music to most deeply inhabit its own enigmatic space sans grounding in conventional human experience. March's voice and Tobias's music together communicate perfectly well on their own self-defined terms, and no real-world representational anchor's needed to enhance the presentation.'

Textura

'One time Robert Pollard collaborator and Ohio-based soundscape designer of bright acoustic instrumentation and brooding, droning tones, Todd Tobias and UK vocalist/collaborator Chloë March pull down a sense of mysterious calm on their first single from their collaborative record. It's easy to imagine these tracks unfurling like morning fog across a heavily wooded valley. The uneasy drone and ebullient acoustic guitar settling in among the nestles and leaves of trees in that low place.' 

Tome To The Weather Machine

To Set The River On Fire EP - Markus Mehr/Chloë March

'it's an auspicious pairing. his feel for sonic textures is a great match to chloe's instrumental sensibilities and gossamer voice, which is unique and beautiful (i've written about chloe a few times and i think i'm running low on adjectives for her special instrument). especially cool is when she steps into markus' tune 'bouy'. her voice inhabits the spaces he creates.'

 

The Modern Folk Music of America

'English dream-pop artist Chloë March has reconstructed a track from the latest album by German experimentalist Markus Mehr, and vice versa. The results are incendiary and seductive.

Mehr took March’s “Ember” and turned it into a multilayered, futuristic and electrifying beast. The track surges forward savagely, throbbing and twisting, but Mehr has beautifully preserved the caressing expressive charm of the original, in fact, he even intensified it. It’s a cutting edge, erratic sonic roller coaster bursting with electricity, craftiness and otherworldliness. An absolute stunner. March, on the other hand, has set a different kind of fire in Mehr’s minimalist ambient river, “Buoy,” a mystical and slightly dark fire that burns slowly and sensually.

The EP also includes the two original pieces. This collaborative effort really ignites the imagination and will surely leave, and probably has already left, many listeners craving for more. We here at Igloo Magazine would be absolutely thrilled to hear March and Mehr setting more of each other’s rivers on fire, in the form of a full-length album.'

 

Igloo Magazine

Troubled Mystic - Liminal Drifter/Chloë March

'Liminal Drifter’s album 'Troubled Mystic' sounds exactly as its title promises. The first track, A Love Song for Ghosts, is haunting and fresh. The second track, Subway Dream, sends you on a traveling journey of sound that the rest of the album by this debut Australian artist delivers. The title track features the luscious dream-pop voice of Chloë March, which transports you to a sexy summer by the beach before seamlessly spiking into a haunting refrain and dipping back into the dreamy electronic tapestries of that musical train ride across time and electronic space. The album is like an electro wind chime blowing in a strange wind. Take the time to be entranced by the beat of this album' 

Indiemunity

'Liminal Drifter (aka Dr. Simon Order) is a Perth based electronic producer. According to the Facebook site: 'Liminal Drifter is ambient electronica, tinged with splashes of trip-hop and psych folk.' Order's (hailing from the UK) previous work includes the '1990s project dUB Rumble, producing remixes with UK prog' (accoring to the Hidden Shoal label).

On "Troubled Mystic", the title track from Liminal Drifter's forthcoming debut album (due out August 19th), Order's teamed up for a collaboration with English dream-pop artist (and labelmate) Chloë March. The result is a thrilling and teasing track of icy coolness and perfectly tempered charm. You can see/hear the link, or musical relation towards, backwards to the trip-hop of the 90s/early 00s, such as Massive Attack. Their label also mention early Warp Records electronic acts The Black Dog, Plaid and (early) Autechre. Hidden Shoal say that the song 'punctuates a bright, shuffling groove with golden swells of brass and March's aching vocal.' Quite right, and it makes me curious to check out the rest of Troubled Mystic.

If you're into 'downtempo dream-pop to shimmering, spacey electronica', Liminal Drifter might be the right pilot for your ride. Surf the space waves.' 

 

Luna Kafe

Europa - Jumpel/Chloë March

'Vocalist Chloë March's humanizing presence elevates every song on which she appears... Alluringly hushed... Her sensual vocalizing and soft, smoky delivery leaves a haunting impression' 

Textura

'An extraordinary vocal from March, at times reminiscent of Beth Gibbons and Mimi Parker of Low' 

Nowamuzyka

 

EP's and Singles

'One of those rare releases wherein you feel a quiet moment of your hectic day is required in order for you to sit with it, perhaps to comfort, allowing it to breath in the hope that it gives up its ghostly secrets and shyly blossoming beauty. Demurred in a frail Satie refrain, this fragile visitation is spun in a silvery poetic elegance that’s trimmed and traced in Autumnal rushes and the bathing of a pre dawning stillness blurred in a misty twilight glow atop of which Ms March’s lovelorn yearn aches crushingly from a hidden vantage point with tearful sympathy. Ice sculptured neo classicist dream folk at its most pristine and perfect and sheer heart breaking and humbling to boot.' 

The Sunday Experience on single: 'May'

'And speaking of winter music...something about this dreamy beauty ('Old Tree, Mon Coeur') makes me think of the kind of swirly feeling that comes at the end of the year (often brought on hot whiskey). It’s a song inspired by the oldest tree in Kew Gardens. The combination of harpsichord-alike arpeggios, a thick ambient fog and March’s marvellous drifting vocal creates a suitably ageless effect. A stunning evocation of the vastness of the universe and the microscopic human heartbeat running through it.' 

The Underground of Happiness

'Her musical approach stays unconventional, with dream-pop production that blends electronic and organic elements and vocal melodies that are jazz-like in their unexpected twists and turns... Mesmerizing' 

The Modern Folk Music of America

'Isn’t this quite heavenly, a new mix by Chloe March of a track that originally featured on her 'nights bright days' full length, this version I believe comes pulled from her 'the Orpheus Pavement' EP for Hidden Shoal. A seductively shimmering fantasia, this demurring beauty comes longingly haloed in delirious dissipates and dreamy dissolves tripped in neo classical jazzy swirls and a floaty dub draped detailing which by these ears had us imagining a studio summit meeting pooling together the mercurial talents of Heather Duby, Grimes and Musetta'

The Sunday Experience

'Staying on the subject of semi-classical and beautifully ethereal Pop music, TTD favourite and, as I always feel obliged to point out, no relation Chloë March rounds off what has been quite some year with  winter tune entitled Snow Bird. So I was delighted to receive her email telling me about the track. It finds her voice floating in otherworldly space between swirling synth patterns and cool ambience. Chloë has recently released an album of collaborations with US producer Todd Tobias (which included the extraordinary single Lallulow) and earlier in the year her single Wild Cherries with its haunting melancholy and eerie atmosphere became one of my singles of 2018 and remains so. In fact, I have selected as my Fresh on the Net track submission of the year which tells you just how much I love it. Snow Bird is less eerie but just as atmospheric and characteristically unique. There is a parallel universe somewhere in which Chloë is an international star. At least there should be.'

Trust The Doc

'Snow Bird is of an entirely fresh level of sophistication'

Tom Robinson

 

Chloë March music is available for Licensing

Contact Cam Merton: cam[@]hiddenshoal.com www.hiddenshoal.com/licensing 

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