Princess Chelsea has announced the release of Aftertouch; a collection of covers recorded between 2010-2016, for Friday October 14th.
Chelsea uses covers as a way to experiment with production and arrangement ideas in between albums and ‘Aftertouch’ is a curious invitation to hear the development of a musical palette over five years. It features covers by local artists Lawrence Arabia, an unreleased Disasteradio song (‘Aftertouch’) and songs by Marianne Faithfull, Lucinda Williams, Nirvana and of course Elvis Presley.
Its first single ‘Morning Sun’ is an early Marianne Faithfull single from 1965. The original is a chamber pop gem featuring harp, flute and Marianne Faithfull’s precise and deadpan delivery. Chelsea has transformed the arrangement into something out of Stranger Things series 2 vs Twin Peaks, but decided it was important to keep the flute.
The music video is a hark back to Princess Chelsea’s DIY days and was filmed by Jonathan Bree (who made the infamous Cigarette Duetvideo) on the island of Rarotonga at a long abandoned resort. It features a friendly stray dog - unfortunately local three legged dog Tripod was nowhere to be found on filming day.
Aftertouch Tracklisting (with original recording artist and year Chelsea recorded)
1. Next Exit (Interpol) recorded 2016 2. Come As you Are (Nirvana) recorded 2013 3. Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley) recorded 2015 4. Morning Sun (Marianne Faithfull) recorded 2016 5. Side of The Road (Lucinda Williams) recorded 2016 6. And I Love Her (The Beatles) recorded 2010 7. Aftertouch (Disasteradio) recorded 2016 8. Cold Glass Tube (Reduction Agents) recorded 2016 9. After The Moment (Craft Spells) recorded 2011
Die-hard fans may notice that early covers (‘And I Love Her’ 2010) present building blocks for ideas used in later recordings of original material (‘Goodnight Little Robot Child’ from Lil’ Golden Book 2011).
The title track ‘Aftertouch’ - is a song by Wellington based Disasteradio (also responsible for the album art) - and while performed live is currently unreleased. A banger of a track - Chelsea plays a post-modern Madonna to Disasteradio’s nostalgic disco-synths. Those who pay attention will notice a Reduction Agents cover featured in the Lil’ Chief tribute album released recently.
Jonathan Bree (Lil' Chief chief / The Brunettes) has lent a hand on production for nearly all of these tracks - Nikkel and Bree seem to have fine-tuned their working chemistry after two albums together. Earlier self produced tracks like ‘And I Love Her’ and ‘Come As You Are’ may not have the sonic fine-tuning of Bree’s magic wand but still posses a naive charm.
Talking about the album Chelsea said “The ‘Princess Chelsea’ sound is something I’ve spent years developing and is heavily based on arrangement. I’ve spent hundreds of hours fine tuning an instrumental palette and one of the ways I do that is by recording covers of my favourite songs. The common theme amongst all these songs is quite simply good songwriting - I always cover songs that move me emotionally and hope that the songwriting might rub off on me a little bit. Those nearer to my age group will hopefully be as moved by an Interpol cover as most people should be by the most beautiful song in the world ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’."
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