Classic Day – Chelsea Girls

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Isolation is never a term that comes with the idea of pop music, but when dissecting the minor intricacies of Nico’s debut solo record, Chelsea Girl is a striking representation of grace in a three-season room. She is able to place frankly artful instrumentals that are as alluring and attractive as her vocals that come off as dramatic, but similar to a passerine.

Much of Chelsea Girl relies on Nico’s ability to frame sound underneath the electric guitars of Jackson Browne or the orchestral chords that create more for Dionysian emotions where beauty rules. The opening track, “The Fairest Of The Seasons” is a ripe introduction to some of the polarizing style of Nico. On one hand, she is a folk icon that was surrounded by the likes of The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol but can also step away from the cult legends and make a way for herself. Where an artist like Lou Reed is a guttural vocalist that tells a different side of the gritty New York that surrounded the timeframe, Nico is a pearl made from the silt of sound.

Describing through these heart-wrenching lyrics, Nico illustrates “Now that it’s time, now that the hour hand has landed at the end. Now that it’s real, now that the dreams have given all they had to lend. I want to know do I stay or do I go, and maybe try another time.” She collects this verse as a personal apparition to herself, looming over her own shoulder to paint the final moments of regret. She ends the verse describing, “And do I really have a hand in my forgetting?,” as swells of violins and string ensembles encapsulate the audience and demand them to hear Nico as the center stage MC.

Later, tracks like “Winter Song” are more whimsical but only further the abstract stance that Nico takes with production that is tense and more present than ever. The rapid stabs of string runs or the flute collections are springs of “royal decay” as Nico illustrates through the lyrics. She begins, “The snow on your eyelids that curtsy with age is freezing the stares of tyranny’s wings. The bitter is hard and the warmth of your skin is diseased with familiar caresses.” She then continues to paint a snowbound sense of being trapped as time continues on. “Withdrawing from splendor and royal decay, among all the triumphs and jaded awards. The angry and blazing circus of sun blasphemes as the crown prince arises.”

While Chelsea Girl is not a record that fits every emotional state, the chamber folk record is a perfect still photograph of black and white art deco capturing where class is this epicenter of Nico’s sound. While strange at times and her voice can take multiple chances to click, after warming into the nestle of the banana tree, Nico is both a visually striking individual and also a seamstress who can weave conceptual finesse into nourishment for the mind.

Listen To Chelsea Girl Here!!! – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

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