Album Review :
Chandelle - The Cold That Keeps You Alive EP

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Artist: Chandelle
Album: The Cold That Keeps You Alive EP
Label: Green Bean Recordings
Buy It: Amazon MP3
Review by the Headless Horseman.

1. The Cold That Keeps You Alive
2. Lions and Lambs
3. In These Bones
4. Our Days are Numbered
5. I Keep the Door Open
6. Throw Your Spark

I have a confession to make. I am a dirty sexist rotter. Shun me. I have this thing for girls who sing pop songs. And Chandelle made me fall, very, very hard. “Dancing With You” (formerly a free IVM download) is up there with pretty much every Sixpence None the Richer song and Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer’s “Can’t Stand It” and “Way Away” as my quintessential I-think-I-love-girl-with-pretty-voice songs. Jess Penner was, of course, taken, but that can’t stop me from swooning. If you’d heard the song, you’d understand.

But Chandelle no longer play synthy pop romance ballads. They’ve adopted a sort of power-pop jangle that’s actually impressive for its relative uniqueness today. They sound somewhat like Lemuria with less punk in their pop. It’s ethereal and great to chill to, though not perhaps as danceable and, dare I say it?, anthemic as their previous style. The title track is a great opener, even if the hook is slightly listless; the semi-angular guitars will light up the dancefloor that is your mattress. Jump away.

Jess has an awesome voice, by the way. Check out “Our Days Are Numbered,” where her near-fragile lilt projects over the frosted sonic guitar wall and gentle backup vocals to great effect, or its follower “I Keep the Door Open,” where she hits what’s nearly a falsetto over the Manchester Orchestra-reminiscent noise behind her. If you listen carefully to this EP and share my sad and twisted trait, you’ll be writing her love letters by the end, which is really the only good reason not to buy this EP.

The record’s crowning achievement is a combination of the simple love songs of old and the indie pop of today, “In These Bones.” This is one of the best songs of the year. The lyrics shine through in the enthralling chorus: “Jump in and see how it feels to be reckless in love. Jump in, jump in, and if we sink like stones, well, we weren’t meant to last forever in these bones.” A new standard has been set: this is the love song to which I will now measure all others, and I doubt many will meet it.

Basically, if any of the following traits apply to you, you need to buy this record very soon:

1. You want to own some of the year’s greatest songs.
2. You have enjoyed your life at some point.
3. You want the last music Chandelle recorded as Chandelle.
4. You are a heterosexual male.
5. You are not currently dead.

Rating: 8/10
Standout Tracks: “In These Bones,” “I Keep The Door Open”
RIYL: Lemuria, Leigh Nash, Eisley

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