Sir Chloe – ‘I Am The Dog’

By Andy Joice

Touring with the Pixies and Beck, and being pals with Harry Styles (yes, that one) before the release of your debut album can likely be overwhelming, particularly when you’re already pulling in millions of monthly Spotify listeners. It leads to the question of ‘just how good is this band that such highly acclaimed and influential artists are vocally and visually supporting?’

For Sir Chloe, it’s a question that could, and probably will be asked directly. But worry not, dear reader, there should be no cause for alarm. Because Sir Chloe have released a resoundingly solid debut release.

Built off the back of their 2020 EP ‘Party Favors’, featuring the viral hit ‘Michelle’, a slowbuild love/hate song tinged with jealousy and inner rage, ‘I Am The Dog’ flows with chunky riffs, serene vocals and atmospheric sonics that resonate. It’s clear that the three years have been spent nurturing their sound, creating a more developed and mature style.

Opening with ‘Should I’, vocalist and frontperson Dana Foote quickly sets the scene for the remaining record –bouncy vocals, enunciated lyrics, both deliberate and ambiguous, subtly complex instrumentation and a take no prisoners attitude.

Single ‘Salivate’ follows the Quiet-Loud-Quiet pattern of being slower before screeching headlong into the anthemic choruses. Thick, distorted guitars and a jagged edge to Foote’s vocals provide a thrashier edge, jarring the listeners ears before slowing down again with ‘Center’, a song that’s as bright and colourful as the heart shaped lollipop it’s based on. With a dreamy swing in her voice, it ebbs and flows beautifully, leaving an ambient footprint that will immediately be stuck in your head.

The balladic ‘Obsession’ feels like a warm bath, with Foote’s vocal range bouncing from lower tones in the verses to upper ranges and guitar lines that groan like the water down a plughole. Similarly, the bassled ‘Daddy’s Car’ features a delicate (think Westworld) piano intro and Albatross-esque slides through the refrain. Meandering harmonies throughout the verses give an open highway feel, while the chorus depicts passing streetlights rhythmically shining through car windows.

Dog references are rife throughout the record, with ‘Leash’ particularly leaning the canine references; mentions of dog doors, walking on hands and knees and, of course, leashes all give off the image of control, one fought against by the protagonist.

Title namesake ‘I Am The Dog’ allows Foote to be at her most sultry, crooning over swaying instrumentals. Despite it’s slower and dreamy rhythms, there’s jagged teeth as she bites about having gnashing teeth and balled fists. There’s a feeling of overwhelming apprehension through the lyrics, based largely on the chaotic loss of love – be it human or canine – and the sense of difficulty that comes once the relationship comes to an end.

Perhaps the standout, ‘Hooves’ is a thunderous (by comparison) track that rockets through its runtime with a Wet Leg vibe that will surely leave it as the most memorable song from the record. With an almost lazy sounding melody, there’s depth beneath the layers of distortion that’re reminiscent of the 2000’s UK Indie scene.

Comfortable being blasted out on a roadtrip or as the soundtrack to your beer infused evenings in the garden, ‘I Am The Dog’ has managed to combine both the bright summer sunshine with the darker evening skies. There’s a subtlety to every track, be it instrumentally, vocally or narratively, that creates layers of depth that’re not usually found in a debut album. The phrase ‘one to watch’ gets thrown about a lot, but if Sir Chloe continue on their current trajectory, they’ll be hard to miss.

ANDY JOICE

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