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Sir Chloe make a statement with I Am The Dog's paradoxical narratives and kaleidoscopic soundscapes

"I Am The Dog"

Release date: 19 May 2023
Sir Chloe - I Am The Dog cover
16 May 2023, 09:00 Written by Lana Williams

It’s been three years since the lush “Michelle” hit the airwaves.

In that time, Sir Chloe’s prowess for releasing infectious cuts hasn’t faltered. Plucked from Sir Chloe’s debut EP Party Favours, the 2020 cut soon became a fan-favourite with its 90s tinged soundscape and shoegaze appeal.

The brainchild of frontwoman Dana Foote, the musical mastery behind Sir Chloe comes in the form of Foote and her Vermont-based accompanying quartet – Teddy O’Mara, Palmer Foote, Austin Holmes, and Emma Welch. Their debut full-length record, I Am The Dog, is drenched in reverbed guitars, and guttural, pleading vocal performances and is rich in gripping narratives. Veined throughout the record are chronicles and accounts disclosing the chaos of modern life, often opting for it out of sheer desire. Complete with nods to the likes of St Vincent, Mitski and PJ Harvey in their compositions, the album roots itself as their most developed and intricate release to date.

Opening track “Should I” is the perfect introduction to Sir Chloe’s fab and gritty new musical world. Gruelling guitar lines and punchy, funky vocals deliver soaring lyricism atop an infectious soundscape that encapsulates, in its entirety, the prowess this record boasts.

The second teaser to be released from the record, “Salivate” homes in on the way shame is often used as leverage to control and manipulate individuals and Foote comments: “Shame is the hot anvil that bends desire into dark and twisted shapes". The slow burner comprises Foote’s raw vocals with a rough edge and swirling instrumentals that perfectly encapsulate the “twisted shapes” of desire they aim to represent – worlds away from the soothing nature of break-out number “Michelle”.

Sitting as one of the softer tracks, “Leash” has veins of Halsey-esque vocals throughout that pair up perfectly with the lush and soaring enunciations found in “Obsession”. Sandwiched between these two, “Hooves” is the closest to bullseye it comes when referencing the goat symbolism veined throughout and on the record’s artwork (“Eyes like a goat / Blinking sideways at the show / No shoes on, hooves for toes” and “Feed you through the picket fence”). Peer through the lines and the track isn’t about farmyard animals, but instead, Foote’s dynamic vocals plead for understanding and respecting boundaries: “I don't wanna hold hands”. “Hooves” offered the first taster of what was set to come with the rest of the record, and it was precisely on-point for what to expect: rough grunge guitars, thrashing vocals, and fearless lyrics.

Titular cut “I Am The Dog” teeters on spaghetti-western, looping guitars that make way for Foote’s sultry, slow performance that sits opposing the contents of the lyrics (“I am the dog under your couch / Gnashing teeth and open mouth”). This juxtaposition ties in succinctly with the running theme of not judging a book by its cover and peering beneath the surface to see a person’s actual intentions.

Closer “Feel Again” rounds the record off with another stripped-back and crawling cut that soon bursts into the sound established with I Am The Dog. “I don’t wanna wait for you” delivers the final, punching message of the record – Foote isn’t waiting for romance to come to her, she’s setting her boundaries and looking out for herself.

The tongue-in-cheek and aloof record finds its roots in covert sapphic, and paradoxical narratives, kaleidoscopic soundscapes and cool, grunge-fuelled vocals. Complete with obscure and frank lyricism, I Am The Dog staples itself as a strong entry amongst this year's releases.

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