What does Chicaloyah sound like?
Everything including the kitchen sink – wrapped into a French children’s audiobook!
The review of Chicaloyah – HABLAME COSITA!
Sitting firmly in the world of avant-garde experimental pop sits Chicaloyah—a French project made by Alice Dourlen. She describes her music as having a dreamlike narration because she uses her voice and production in odd ways. Cihicaloyah also has no issue with using anything as an instrument as ‘HABLAME COSITA!’ showcases. The main instruments here are pots and pans.
The subtitle for this three-track single is ‘concert d’objets pour les enfants’ which translates to a concert of objects for children. In three short pieces, Chicaloyah explores the imagination of children’s storytelling using odd synths, household objects and her voice. ‘Panète “Toc toc”‘ uses a boiling kettles whistle, bubbling water, spaceship bleeps and retro sci-fi radio frequency to make the everyday kettle sound like a spaceship. ‘Talking chairs’ uses cute wooden blocks and wooden chairs to move about as Chicaloyah uses speaker panning to have a conversation with herself as two chairs. Her delivery is right up to the microphone and her ‘Que?’ reminds me of Japanese anime with its over-delivery.
The centrepiece of this release is ‘Le chant des casseroles’ which uses various pots and pans to create drum loops and cowbell-like metallic tuned percussion. It is also the best introduction to Chicaloyah’s usual style of music. She sings like a playful pixie in some sections and then like a staccato robot in others. As other atmospheric sounds are added to the mix, organs slide around like an Arabian night adding more mystery to the track. There is also a curious 2-minute silence at the end of this track too – I’m not entirely sure why.
Chicaloyah’s music is niche and weird but in a playful and childlike way, it is empoweringly imaginative. She has only been releasing short singles for the last couple of years and these are tricky places to start with her music. If the preview track in anyway intrigues you, check out her 2019 album ‘L’INVENTAIRE DES DISPARITIONS’ as well. It is in a similar vein to ‘Le chant des casseroles’ but gives a much better, fully-rounded experience.
Recommended track: Le chant des casseroles
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