Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad: Princess Chelsea ‘We’re So Lost’

Princess Chelsea

Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad is a column which sees a panel of writers for The Corner review a range of local singles and grade them out of 10. Check out the song below, read through their opinions and let us know in the comments section your own thoughts and what you’d like to see reviewed next time around.

[YouTube / Bandcamp]

[Grade: 8.0]

Oli Lewis: Princess Chelsea’s cover of Voom’s ‘We’re So Lost’ is really something. Atmospheric and beautifully melancholic this would be the perfect closing song for an undersea dance. Blue lights, disco balls, and couples leaning in close for one final lingering waltz…

Layers of swirling, chiming keys blend together to create an impressionistic backdrop for Princess Chelsea’s vocal, which is delivered in a hushed, almost little-girl- like fashion. Propelled by a slow downbeat and the constant arpeggiation of the keys, ‘We’re So Lost’ never fails for momentum. Rather, it drifts gorgeously toward a final plaintive climax, the repeated vocal refrain of “will we ever get back again?” It’s pretty great. [8]

Robyn Gallagher: Oh, this song is so depressing. It’s just as well it’s come out in summer. If I heard this in middle of winter I’d probably curl up in a little ball and cry cry cry. The Voom original just sounds like a hippy trying to convince you that, like, the world is totally coming to an end, man. But Princess Chelsea’s offbeat sweetness takes the song’s message into a very dark place. Not a cry song, but definitely a big-heaving-sigh song. [7]

Chloe Cairncross: With her sweet, childlike voice, there is something disconcerting and malevolent about the way Princess Chelsea wanly sings, “We’re so lost, we’re in danger…” I like this; I like that it sent shivers up my spine. I like that I would probably feel nervous if I listened to this track in the dark. The music remains innocent to the insidious nature of the lyrics too. There’s this incredible dissonance between the joy and warmth of the music, and the hopelessness that the girl calmly accepts. [9]

Elizabeth Beattie: I really like the digital, atmospheric backdrop paired with the stylized vocals. Although Nikkel’s singing voice bears a strong resemblance at times to Heather Mansfield from the Brunettes, her music is very different. This track has a lilting pleasant rhythm, which could have sounded tinny, but is saved by the overlaid melody. The whole song has a slightly unpolished edge which keeps it interesting and addictive. This track is well constructed, the loop build up is subtle, and really allows the listener to focus on the emotive tone of the song and enjoy the track as a whole. [8]

Vincent Michaelsen: I like this more with every listen, especially after having stopped watching the video. The transition between the track’s parts works awesomely with the music holding pretty steady throughout. The vocals are nice and the annunciation in some parts gives the song a bit of edge. I’m not sure I’d listen to this for regular listening purposes but I imagine it going down well live or in film where things get a little more vibey. [7]

Hayden Currie: This song captures a sense of being adrift in a sea of information, or of being too high, or of falling in love, that resonates even when you’re done scrolling Facebook and put your glowing rectangle down. Chelsea’s voice could be angelic or sinister – another human lost in the system, or a simulation run by that system to make you give in – and this ambiguity keeps it compelling.

The languid production washes over Chelsea’s voice and turns it insectoid, bubbles, and falls back to an echo, leaving her fragile and alone. It pulls you in by hypnotic repetition and throwed twists on her vocal modulations. When the drums start skipping I think maybe it’ll go somewhere new, darker and harder, maybe with more bass so it hits the gut as well as the head, but that doesn’t happen, which is a minor gripe considering how good this is.

The video is great too, making some implied themes explicit while illustrating an emotional world parallel to that of the song. Chelsea’s simulation is an oddly comforting presence in all the crumbling infrastructure and flickering screens, and the hands of the person holding the frame suggest a faceless humanity amidst all the surface. Even the canned applause and uncertain ‘thank you’ at the end, followed by the snippet of another song, work perfectly in this context. I’ve fallen into the trap of giving overly wordy descriptions and interpretations like they were fact, another clueless postmodern dork.

While it begs comparisons to other modern princesses of aural ethereality, like Grimes and Julianna Barwick, as varied and unique as they are, it’s too fully formed and personal to be just another bandwagon-hopper. This is definitely the most affecting Princess Chelsea track I’ve heard so far, and I look forward to more. [9]

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