From its spirited inception in the dorm rooms of Bennington College, Sir Chloe, fronted by the indomitable Dana Foote, has been on an upward trajectory. Their full-length album ‘I Am the Dog’ is a triumph in unfiltered authenticity, capturing the essence of the human condition with a sly wink to the animalistic side of our nature.
The album opens with the potent ‘Should I,‘ a dazzling introduction to the band’s gritty, yet polished, rock aesthetics. The commanding guitar lines and Dana Foote’s raw, compelling vocals offer a compelling backdrop to the turmoil encapsulated within the song’s narrative. It’s an explosive start, setting the tone for an album brimming with complex emotional landscapes.
‘Salivate’ follows with a moody, introspective sound that marries grunge influences with ’90s indie and riot grrrl vibes. A powerful commentary on the controlling effects of shame on human desires, it feels remarkably current despite the nods to past genres. Sir Chloe’s deft artistry is on full display here, marking a distinctive departure from their early work.
As we plunge further into the record, ‘Know Better’ offers a slice of off-kilter surf-rock, complete with dreamy melodies and an air of desperation. It shows off the band’s versatility, demonstrating their ability to explore new sonic territories while staying true to their roots.
The lead single, ‘Hooves’, is perhaps the most emblematic of the album’s themes. A rollercoaster ride of thrashing vocals, biting lyrics, and an unexpected homage to goats, it also conveys a profound plea for understanding and respect. This amalgamation of irreverent symbolism and earnest introspection forms the heart of the album, and the band’s genius lies in their ability to pull it off with conviction.
The album’s titular track, ‘I Am The Dog,’ offers an intriguing foray into the western genre. Looping guitars set the stage for Foote’s sultry, slow-burn vocals, whose contrasts belie the aggression buried within the lyrics. The tension between the track’s serene sonic landscape and the raw, biting lyrics underscores Sir Chloe’s ability to challenge and subvert expectations.
As the album draws to a close with ‘Feel Again,’ we witness a quieter yet power-packed performance that showcases Foote’s clear intent to take control, focusing on setting boundaries and pursuing personal growth over romance. It’s a fitting end to an album that’s as much about the chaos of life as it is about self-determination and empowerment.
Sir Chloe’s ‘I Am the Dog’ is a resounding success, showcasing the band’s maturity and prowess. Lush with compelling narratives, stellar vocal performances, and guitars that reverberate with raw intensity, it delivers a potent blend of the personal and universal. Echoing the influences of St Vincent, Mitski, and PJ Harvey, the album stands as a testament to Sir Chloe’s artistic evolution and cements their status as one of the most intriguing acts on the current music scene.
In ‘I Am the Dog,’ we find an album that fearlessly explores the wild terrain of our baser instincts while offering a deeply human account of life’s chaos. It is an exploration of the paradoxes that define us, presented with gritty honesty and a dash of irreverent humor. This is the type of daring work we’ve come to expect from Sir Chloe – an uncaged exploration of the human (and animal) condition, making ‘I Am the Dog’ an unforgettable entry in this year’s music catalog.