Young Heavy Souls
Chloë Drallos goes by the stage name Zilched. She’s from Detroit, which, when I was a kid, was helpfully labelled as ‘Rock City’ by KISS. What does Zilched share with KISS? Nothing, really. ‘Velcro Dog’ is the first single from her forthcoming débit album, Doompop (out 23 October). Both the album and the lead single are indebted, consciously, to the music that helped her survive her teenaged years, like Nevermind (Nirvana) and Psychocandy (The Jesus & Mary Chain). I approve of her musical tastes, both were central to my years as an angry young punk (as opposed to now, when I’m an angry old punk).
[Doompop is]an honest reflection of my attempts to grow up and make sense of absurdity. I wrote the first song in my last month of high school at 18 and finished recording/producing just a month after my 20th birthday. With these songs I wanted to go as deep into my insecurities and confusion, however immature I felt. Just write what I felt when I felt it in order to move on.
She plays guitar, she sings. She is helped out by Eliot Thomas on bass and Nick Russo on drums. The result is stunning. ‘Velcro Dog’ can be read as an ode to the J&MChain, the lo-fi, primitive drumming and droning guitar, distorted vocals would not sound out of place on Psychocandy or Automatic. Lyrically, she is trying to sort herself out, and to do so healthily, as opposed to all those rock’n’roll clichés.
The accompanying video is another nod to the 80s, with kaleidoscopic flowers overlaid throughout and her singing into a bouquet against a white wall as background. The layered visual effects, the speed at which they move, all of this is a nostalgic nod backwards.
‘Velcro Dog’ is a stunning statement of intent from a young rocker, and I am stoked for the album.