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Lil' Golden Book

Princess Chelsea

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Album Review

Songwriter/producer/singer and keyboard player Princess Chelsea is Chelsea Nikkel, well known in her native New Zealand as a founding member of circus punk act Teen Wolf and as a touring musician with pop band the Brunettes. The CD art for Lil' Golden Book, as you might expect, borrows heavily from the artwork of the Little Golden Books, a children's line published by Random House since 1942. The drawings may be childlike and cartoony in that annoying Disney-esque way, but Nikkel subverts the artwork with her ironic humor and a psychedelic production style that gives the tunes a larger-than-life atmosphere. Her vocals may be girlish at times, but her sensibility is anything but as she gives us a snapshot of what it's like to grow up in a country that's fairly isolated from the rest of the civilized world. A case in point is "Overseas," an imaginary tale of what New Zealanders think the rest of the world has to offer, including bigger clubs, more money, and stronger drugs. "The Cigarette Duet," sung with Jonathan Bree of the Brunettes, is a waltz that brings to mind the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra duets of the '60s with its deadpan humor and reverb-soaked guitar, also supplied by Bree. "Goodnight Little Robot Child" is a cryptic lullaby with a reverbed vocal that drowns in its own shimmering overtones. Nikkel's dreamy pop is marked by innovative melodies, an immense keyboard sound, and reverb-drenched vocals that balance on the cusp between daydreams and nightmares, making her music a dizzying experience. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Biography

Born: Auckland, New Zealand

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Princess Chelsea is the whimsical indie pop/electronic solo project of Auckland, New Zealand-based musician and producer Chelsea Nikkel. A classically trained pianist, Nikkel lent her talents to self-professed “circus punk” act Teen Wolf in the mid-2000s, and later in the touring lineup of indie pop outfit the Brunettes. When she wasn’t performing, she worked as a composer for a local recording studio, all the while refining her songwriting and production skills. Her full-length debut as Princess...
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Lil' Golden Book, Princess Chelsea
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