Album Review: Bitter’s Kiss by bitter’s kiss

by thethreepennyguignol

Damn, what is it with all these up-and-coming youngsters in the music industry these days, making me and my precious little blog feel old as all hell? Well, at least they’re a talented bunch, as evidenced by the work of Chloe Baker, a young New Jersey-ite (is that the term for it? Sue me, I’m British) who’s currently working under the name bitter’s kiss. With a considerable following behind her already, 2015 will be the year she graces the music world with her first full-length effort in the form of her debut self-titled album, Bitter’s Kiss.

Music, especially indie music like this from relatively new artists, really needs a real hook to pull you in, the kind of thing that has you coming back for more. It can be something specific, like an excellent guitarist, smart lyrics, great vocals, etc, or it can be something less tangible- and that’s definitely the case with bitter’s kiss. I couldn’t for the life of me put my finger on what was so interesting about this album, which is constructed pretty much wholesale from simple, stripped-back piano and guitar melodies strung together with soft, husky vocals and universal lyrics, but I found myself coming back to it again and again.

I think it’s just because there’s something haunting in the way Baker constructs her songs. Take The Rope, for example- a confident track that builds up around crisply-produced atmosphere and smart lyrics, it sounds like the background to a super-moody, painfully cool indie movie. I love the way in builds and recedes, fading out with looped vocals into a few drifting cello notes, the kind of track that forces you to stare off into space as you listen just so you can devote all your brainspace to appreciating it’s construction. And that’s true of every song on bitter’s kiss. These are intricately thought-out numbers, the kind of tracks that invite you to look a little closer, and that surely is Baker’s biggest strength with this assured debut release.