After ten single releases, Australia’s princess of dark-pop has finally released her debut body of work. Heavy, Pt.1. sees the singer adopt two personas: CXLOE, the singers darker side who is sharp, tinged with darkness and complex, and Chloe who is wholesome, radiating warmth with vulnerability. Enlisting the help of co-writers Michael Pollack, The Futuristics, Trey Campbell, Kito, Casey Smith, Boyboy and Andrew Wells on production duties, the singer has created a body of work that continues to explore her signature dark-pop sounds, whilst also introducing hints of new sonic exploration imbedded within the later tracks.
The first half of the release is comprised of the singers previously released singles: 12 Steps, One and Lonely and Heavy. 12 Steps tackles the taboo topic of addiction, a subject close to the singer. The song was written from the singers own experiences and conceptually takes on the form of the steps within recovery programs, creating relatable lyricism for listeners. On One and Lonely, CXLOE navigates the highs and lows of life on the road resulting in the singer spending the majority of her time away from her partner. The lyrically vulnerable track simmers over expertly crafted production by Sam McCarthy and mesmerising vocal echos. The title track, Heavy, lyrically explores the difficult terrain of the weight a relationship can develop, also touching on self-sabotage.
Shifting gears, Swing is a hypnotic moment on the EP and marks the first unheard track on the release. The song touches on the ever-changing emotions of the human psyche, comparing them to the notion of a swinging pendulum. Plans could be the lead song to accompany a romantic drama, it screams cinematic and is a pleasant surprise in the collection of songs. It also marks a shift sonically. Whilst still flirting with dark-pop sounds, Plans feels bigger, bringing in some electro house beats in the epic post chorus instrumental. On the track, the singer continues the themes explored on One And Lonely; referencing the long-distance nature of her relationship, but also solidifying that her relationship is a priority, singing “going out makes no sense. Got no plans, you’re my plans”.
On the EP’s closer Creature, the singer navigates her own animalistic habits and her lust and wanting for another. Again, Creature features bigger production, with a lighter vibe than the first half of the release. With slight elements of tropical house sprinkled throughout, the singers vocals shine once again. CXLOE really has kept the best tracks till last, closing the EP out on a high with Plans and Creature.
Heavy, Pt.1. perfectly exhibits the singers continued strengthening of not only her vocal abilities, but her prowess as a songwriter. CXLOE creates relatable spaces that allow her listeners to not only go on this journey with her, but become self-reflective and find solace and comfort within certain tracks. The singer exposes the multifaceted complexities that together form her persona and psyche. At the same time, she allows herself to be a strong, complex individual accepting of who she is. By juxtaposing these two personas on the EP, listeners are completely immersed within the singer herself, with an overall message and reminder to be comfortable with who you are throughout anything we may face.
Heavy, Pt.1. is out now!