It’s brave to be in love…
Back in 2018, Princess Chelsea released her fourth studio album, The Loneliest Girl (see Wavegirl review previously). As a record it dwelt on themes including relationships, social media and the passage of time. At the same time, it also served up the torch song delights of ‘I Love My Boyfriend’ and the pastoral synths of ‘Wasting Time’ (whose lyrics were an acute observation on people simply “waiting around to die”).
The album also boasted the self-referential number ‘All I Need To Do’, a number augmented by a gentle shuffle beat, offering a tender look back on her life (“I’ve been making music for about 11 years/ I stay inside on summer days I’ve drifted from my friends”).
All this seems a long way from ‘The Cigarette Duet’, the quirky 2011 single that’s become something of a signature tune for the New Zealand musician (as well as Chelsea’s captivating debut album Lil’ Golden Book). Across the ten years since, Chelsea Nikkel has built a loyal fanbase via her wry pop outings, many of which have a touching, emotional foundation to them.
Her 2016 album Aftertouch (see our review) featured a collection of cover versions, an eclectic mix that included Interpol, Elvis Presley, Marianne Faithfull, Lucinda Williams and The Beatles. While 2018’s The Great Cybernetic Depression delivered what our review summed up as “a solid collection of electronic tunes that trades on themes of lost love and regret”.
2022 sees the release of a brand new track from the Princess Chelsea catalogue in the form of ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’. The song also heralds her new forthcoming record, which she terms a “nervous breakdown” album.
The song trades on familiar Princess Chelsea territory with wistful, downbeat vocals and lyrical musings on relationships and optimism. A brooding bass underpins the whole affair, which in essence is a simple, breezy slice of pop.
As with a lot of Princess Chelsea numbers, there’s always some disconcerting quality at work. The video’s images of Chelsea frolicking with animals seem almost too cute to take at face value. Then again, perhaps we’re all much more cynical after battling through the Covid crisis over the last few years. Either way, ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’ is a nice taster for the as-yet untitled album due out in September.
‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’ is out now on the Lil’ Chief label.