For French-born, London-based club voyager COUCOU CHLOE, music is life and her life is her music. One reinforces the other; supress either aspect, and ultimately she can’t exist. ‘FEVER DREAM’ is a 10-song statement of truth, melding left-field production tropes with a certain emotional directness that can’t be denied.
‘DRIFT’ pins down her after-hours appeal, the neon-tinted electronics pivoting between heavenly allure and a certain degree of threat. Moving between beauty and paranoia, COUCOU CHLOE illustrates her stark, distinctive approach – less-is-more on an album of stark truth.
‘POKERFACE’ has a vivid, over-the-top feel, while ‘IDK’ writhes with energy. 645AR guests on the sublime ‘BEEF IT UP’, while the slight garage feel of ‘SNAKES’ points to the influence of her adopted home city.
A succinct, carefully packaged project, ‘FEVER DREAM’ makes room for an impeccable guest cast. NENE adds further balance to ‘WEDDING CAKE’, while Matt OX injects additional energy to club booster ‘ICE CASTLES’, a track that moves between system thrust and frosted, sub-zero delicacy.
Eartheater and Tony Seltzer combine on centrepiece ‘KICK IT IN’, a song of unbridled aggression that yearns to experience the future. Perhaps the most fully realised track on the album, it’s somehow both uneasy and assured, drawing you into its web before injecting jet black club poison.
Closing with the angelic ‘NEVER’, this is a project that is almost deliberately constrained. Hemming in her margins, COUCOU CHLOE revels in a kind of post-club minimalism, the production illuminating her whispered incantations. The results are precocious and hugely affecting; an artist not to be second guessed, COUCOU CHLOE’s ‘FEVER DREAM’ lingers long after waking.
Words: Robin Murray