Chloe Baker has named her new musical project and first album Bitter’s Kiss. The leading track of the same name explains the meaning behind this interesting title by the young singer/songwriter from New Jersey. Bitter’s Kiss seems to be about the interplay between dark and light, the joy in life despite all of its snags. With a beautiful and well-trained voice, Baker is also a mature and sensitive lyricist, putting her poetic thoughts to song with the help of her father Michael, also a musician. Her debut album belies Baker’s tender years and delivers an emotional one-two punch with haunting melodies and deeply personal lyrics.
Baker as Bitter’s Kiss has one of those angelic voices like Birdy or Eliza Dolittle but with a little smoky tinge to it. It is obvious she has quite a bit of lounge jazz influence in her music, so that tiny distortion added to a pitch-perfect voice makes the vocals on Bitter’s Kiss unique and a little left of the indie pop center. Music and voice, however, are both just meant to support the incredible lyrics Baker comes up with. Some are meant to tell a story, some to connote a feeling or empathize with a plight, but all are very poignant with a level of maturity some writers never achieve.
The best song on Bitter’s Kiss is The Rope, a beautifully written piece which discusses the difficulty of living with emotional pain and puts a spotlight on the problem of mental illness and suicide. The lyrics are subtle but the message is clear: life can be difficult and more support is needed for those who struggle with mental illness. The tone of the music goes right along with the lyrics and has a bit of a Johnny Cash-like blues and outlaw country feel.
Lovin’ Life is another tricky song on Bitter’s Kiss’ debut album. There is a very upbeat electronic backing track and the chorus is also positive and fun, but the verse discusses the struggles of being too sensitive and the dangers of letting one’s thoughts and observations about the world get in the way of enjoying life. The most pop-inspired on Bitter’s Kiss, this song has audiences in for some surprises as it goes deeper than the average pop song.
Too Far too Fast closes up Bitter’s Kiss with a look at the difficulties of being a teen with a gift. The talent Chloe Baker has presents its own set of problems, especially in the current pop culture climate. Her observations about the pratfalls of being young and emotionally sensitive serve as a warning to Chloe and any other young person trying to find a place in the world not to grow up too quickly, no matter how far one’s mind seems to be outrunning his or her age.
In Too Far too Fast, Chloe Baker as Bitter’s Kiss says “…you’re gonna find out who you are; you might be a star.” It is almost certain that a star is what she will be, and she is well on her way with this stellar album but is appears this pensive young talent wants to achieve that goal on her own terms. Bitter’s Kiss is available to stream on Soundcloud or to purchase via itunes. Bitter’s Kiss has also released a video for The Rope, which can be viewed on Youtube. Links are listed below in “Sources.”
Review by Layla Klamt