As hard as you may try, I don’t think you could convince me that there’s a better songwriter in Australia than Chloe Alison Escott!
Recorded in one day from front to back by Evelyn Ida Morris, Stars Under Contract sees Escott alone at the piano playing a collection of songs and instrumentals composed over a period of years. While sparse and minimal, it allows both these lyrics and her piano playing to shine through.
Whether fronting Native Cats or in her latest solo outing, Escott’s songs are replete with witty turns of phrase, cutting remarks, and surrealistic images that I find myself gravitating back to and mulling over. The kind of songwriting that draws in seemingly obscure cultural references (a track centred around the Texan succession movement) and combines them with cryptic personal reflections.
An essential release for Native Cats fans and for those that love the meticulously crafted imagism of writers like Destroyer, David Berman, or Kurt Wagner.
PS. Is it just me or does the piano playing at times sound like an analogue version of the Nintendo DS app Escott uses in Native Cats???
Cover image a still from Native Cats video for Run With The Roses directed by Julia Suddenly.