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Princess Chelsea - Album Review: The Great Cybernetic Depression

11 May 2015 // A review by Ria Loveder

Before I was asked to review Princess Chelsea’s album, I had heard of her and a few of her songs, but had no idea the fan base the Auckland born singer had behind her. You only need to take a look on her Facebook page or YouTube channel to realise that people love her. They love her voice, her style, her personality, and downright quirkiness.  Princess Chelsea’s style can only be described as ‘space pop’ or ‘synthpop’, and is not something I would usually find myself listening to, however, I like to broaden my listening spectrum on music, and was excited to listen and review her album The Great Cybernetic Depression.

Listening to Princess Chelsea’s music was like going back to the 80s. I was brought up listening to many an 80s tune growing up, and this album definitely had an 80s vibe.

Stand out’s on this album where; When The World Turns Grey, a very slow tempo, emotional piece about lost love. I don’t know whether Chelsea wrote this song due to her own experience or not, either way, it is so raw and full of emotion and passion. The guitar rift with the eerie galactic music also added another dimension that made the track interesting on a completely different level.

No Church On Sunday, is another example of Chelsea’s rawness and her use of blunt and upfront lyrics. I came across the music video to this on good ol’ YouTube, and even though it wasn’t my cup of tea, you only had to look at the comments below to see that her fans thought it was incredible. I understand that Chelsea is an artist that tests boundaries in style, imagery and sound and this music video was no different.

We Are Strangers, is a song that, even though it sounds like a beautiful duo, is all about technology and how it is making people strangers to each other. The opening line being, ‘I would kill technology, just to know you well’. As a person who has a love hate relationship with technology, I understand completely the message Chelsea was bringing in this song.

These three are standouts in an eccentric and interesting album that pushes boundaries in storytelling and sound. The use of robotic noises, eerie galactic sounds, all ties in well to the title of the album. There was also a meowing cat (I am not even kidding, track seven titled Winston Crying On The Bathroom Floor, is just over two minutes of a dainty tune, overlaid with space noises and cat meows), my question about this track is, is Chelsea’s cat called Winston and was he crying on the bathroom floor when she recorded this? Also, what inspired her to create such a track? I would love to have a sit down with her to find out how she goes about making her music. I admire Princess Chelsea for taking risks when creating music and I look forward to seeing what other beautiful creations she comes up with next.

So my final question, and this one goes out to Chelsea’s manager, when is the best time to interview Princess Chelsea? 


About Princess Chelsea

The Guardian calls her "ravishingly strange" while allmusic says her music rides "the cusp between dreams and nightmares".

Her 2015 song The Cigarette Duet with ex-Brunette, Jonathan Bree, made international waves and has since racked up over 50 million views on YouTube.

Princess Chelsea is the recording project of New Zealand based composer, Chelsea Nikkel. A classically trained pianist. songwriter and producer. skills. Her full-length debut as Princess Chelsea, Lil' Golden Book, was released in late 2011 by New Zealand label Lil' Chief. The album was a collection of songs about her youth presented with innocent melodies and baroque arrangements to create a musical fairy tale. The juxtaposition of her simple arrangements, childlike delivery and cynical wit is a significant and defining characteristic of her music.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Princess Chelsea


The Loneliest Girl
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Great Cybernetic Depression
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
No Church On Sunday
Year: 2014
Type: EP
We're So Lost
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Too Fast To Live
Year: 2011
Type: EP
The Cigarette Duet
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Lil' Golden Book
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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