Chelsea Nikkel aka Princess Chelsea has just released the second track from her forthcoming album, The Loneliest Girl. The name of the track is “Wasting Time”, and it comes with a Super-8 video, bringing Princess Chelsea’s usual, irregular worldview.
Lead single from the album”I Love My Boyfriend“, was classic Princess Chelsea. Deep music nerdism in her treatment of instruments, and a string of lyrics that appear superficially reductive. However, the barbs twisted deeper with each verse, and the picture of emotional subjugation was made apparent. The accompanying video showed Princess Chelsea on all instruments. There was something of the Stepford Wife about the posturing. Everything is fine. Everything is fine. Passions smoldered as the true perspective, and restrictions of love played out in the inner dialog of the narrator. The bass line alone was further evidence of Chelsea’s unique approach to craft.
(Sidenote: Recently, Chelsea’s choice to play the bass with a pick was criticized. Clueless of the sound that can be created by a pick on a bass – and where that device sits in music history – those critics should fuck off, and pay close attention to the downstrokes of the Ramones whilst they’re doing it.)
Held beside “I Love My Boyfriend”, “Wasting Time” delivers a contrast in cultural resources. More music nerdism, and a catalog of clear heroes populate this thing. But wait. We’re not saying that Princess Chelsea struggles to occupy a space, or tries to sound like the people from the posters on her wall. The point is, this is an artist who’s just as much a scholar of approach and attitude as she is music and methodology.
Strings stab, a snare drum brings punctuation, the signature approach to melodic progression sails across the face of things. This is some of the easiest pop music you’ll hear. But no it isn’t. Challenges simmer in the construction of the song. Something off-kilter happens with a Yamaha keyboard. There’s a spookiness, and a sardonic awareness to the process. Oh shit, we’re talking about death.
Aware of the place of pretty girls in pop music, (and society) Princess Chelsea makes herself overly pretty. Lyrically, her approach is polite as she implores another for attention. The distractions of life are listed. Sitting, talking, walking, sipping coffee. The assessment of these things is measured with a sugared temper. But beneath the socially accepted address of a girl speaking quietly about frustration, the grotesque complacency that has us all overlooking life is targeted. If you’re wasting time, you are a waste of time. Not many artists can handle a subject like this with such nuance and unforced style.
Accompanying video, shot by Anastasia Doniants, enhances the unusual atmosphere. Princess Chelsea wears a dress made of unicorn puke if that unicorn had swallowed it’s weight in cotton candy. A pink wig is worn. It’s genius, of course. A tea party for stuffed animals is held beneath some psychedelic trees. Oops, and there’s Monkey from “Monkey Eats Bananas” again. (we love that monkey)
Princess Chelsea knows the approach a woman needs to take if offering an assessment of a situation. Being right isn’t enough. She needs to wrap wisdom in sugar. The depth of knowledge, and her methods of delivery, place the artist among the most interesting, moving, and significant artists you can dance to at the moment. There’s all this talk about Princess Chelsea being ‘subversive pop’. Frankly, that’s missing the point. Categorization is fruitless. But if we must -Princess Chelsea is the prettiest sounding punk. Her DIY spirit, and blissful over-looking of genre-lines, produces art in it’s own terms. We need more of this.
The Loneliest Girl will be released in September on Lil’ Chief Records.
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