Raised amongst the troubadour lifestyle, it was somewhat inevitable that Ché Aimee Dorval would become a creative of sorts. The natural path was musician, and with that the release of her third album, “The Crowned”, brings with it a venture into folktronica with a sprinkling of trip-hop and dream-pop. Together, it captures a zeitgeist that is prevalent in music at the moment. Emotional heft with a strong female perspective, but with a disco preference that winds through the record like Swayze at a talent show.
There’s a vivid determination running through each track, signalling a new era for Dorval. None more so than on “Want That Soul”. It’s pure pop with a soulful edge, reminiscent of the likes of Jessie Ware, Poppy Ajudha and Say She She. It’s a track not to take too seriously, just dance to it. And although the record moves through different phases through varying genres and influences, that freedom remains and signifies this being a project of passion rather than curation.
A real standout on the album is the track “Sorta Loves Me”. Don’t be put off by the title, as it suggests a soppy song filled with vacuous statements aimed at the masses. Instead, it’s a soaring ballad of love and rejection, that is dark and twisted but also carries an emotional edge which puts Dorval’s voice front and centre. There’s a depth to it that’s brought about through layers of strings and guitars intertwined in some sort of battle to be the most melancholic.
It’s not a track – or an album for that matter – that would go down well at a family gathering as it would seem almost malicious with its subliminal undertone, but then again this isn’t that sort of record. It’s tailored more towards a session of catharsis after the breakdown of a relationship, and to connect with a frustrated inner self than to build bridges. It’s a record to dance to in the rain, by yourself, whilst chaos ensues around you.