MUSIC REVIEW: ‘Nights Bright Lights’ by Chloe March. For fans of David Sylvian, Colleen and Goldfrapp

All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
—“Sonnet 43,” Shakespeare

Ah, the Concept Album, that hoary idea that birthed such dubious masterpieces as Evita and “Mr. Roboto.” Chloe March’s third album loosely fits in this category. But you won’t find an overarching narrative theme. Instead, you’ll find a suite of songs that use image-patterns of night, winter, light, dark with a sub-theme of Orpheus and Eurydiche running through three compositions. And I use the term ‘composition’ deliberately, for these amalgamations of synthesized programs, with delicate colorings of piano, saxophone, zither and guitar are closer to the work of Erik Satie than they are to traditional pop music. March’s work most recalls David Sylvian’s classic album, Secrets of the Beehive, with its slow burning atmospherics that borrow from folk, classical, jazz and electronic ambient music. Her smoky velvet alto also shares Sylvian’s ruminative phrasing. The use of zithers (in this case, autoharp and psaltery) at times recalls the hermetic, textural compositions of acoustic-ambient artist Colleen. Nights Bright Days is like musical incense. Recommended for fans of Sylvian, Virginia Astley, and Goldfrapp (in the vein of Felt Mountain or Tales of Us).

Nights Bright Days

What I’m listening to: #BlueHawaii, #StillCorners, #JohnGrant, #Colleen

Blue Hawaii: Untogether. Floating, dreamy technopop that reminds me of Bjork’s Vespertine–with a touch of eerieness.


Still Corners: Strange Pleasures. Melodic dreampop full of hooks, with a dash of electronic. The mood is hazy. Think Beach House meets Mazzy Star.

Still Corners

John Grant: Pale Green Ghosts. Grant’s awesome baritone and killer lyrics drift over music that’s a blend of electronica and folk-rock. Truly wonderful songwriting and enthralling performances.

John Grant

Colleen: The Weighing of the Heart. Multi-instrumentalist Cecile Schott’s first foray into vocal music. Pastoral post-rock with references to classical minimalism. Meredith Monk and Julia Holter are touchstones. Quite beautiful.


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