Princess Chelsea - The Great Cybernetic Depression

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2015-06-29

You easily win me over if you write a song called ‘Machines of Loving Grace’ as Princess Chelsea did previously. Richard Brautigan is my favorite writer of all time and that is one of the greatest poems of all time. Her song did the poem great. 

Princess Chelsea is the stage name of Chelsea Nikkel, and while she is a YouTube sensation for a compelling, quirky video with millions and millions of views, she will hopefully become even better known for her elaborate yet simple, occasionally brilliant songs. Hailing from the same country that produced Broods and Lorde, one might expect a healthy dose of moody synthesized pop centered around a moody, synthesized female pop singer.

However, The Great Cybernetic Depression takes this formula to a higher level. While there isn’t a whole lot of separation between Chrvches and Broods and similar electro-pop bands, and Lorde may be special in her own way, Chelsea is a classically trained pianist and the songs she constructs have a depth to them that leave you with comparisons to Ladytron and The Raveonettes.

The album opens with a dreamy, wispy track called ‘When the World Turns Grey’, which sets the tone for the first few songs, as her compellingly low-key and sweet vocals ease in and out of the music in way not dissimilar to Cat Power. The album slowly gains momentum. When the male vocals, as deep and deliberate as Matt Berninger from The National, start off ‘We Are Strangers’ and Chelsea joins in, her music grows richer and even more compelling.

The Great Cybernetic Depression is one of the finest albums this year. Princess Chelsea has a distinctive style that separates her from the typical electro-pop formulas, and hopefully this will continue.

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