Print, Reviews June 1, 2018

Album Review: Chloe Tang – Stranger

by Jed Murphy

Hometown For The Holidays finalist Chloe Tang’s newest EP Stranger has the Denver songstress aiming for the fences. Rich with a pop sound that is accessible as hell, Stranger shines. This five track EP comes to us after a series of singles since 2016’s “Forgive You Again,” and gives listeners a songwriter and vocalist taking herself to the next level.

The tracks are solid, at times surprising and a perfect match for Tang’s vocal style, creating depth where depth is needed and polish where they need some shine. Songs like “DJWD” and “She’s Not Me” turn the pop dial up to ten, but it’s title track “Stranger” that is the money maker. Cool and stripped-down comparatively, it has the space to let Tang’s sultry confidence roam. While the pop sound is first and foremost on this EP, it’s in her R&B mode where she seems most comfortable.

Tang spreads her rock and roll wings on “Attached” cranking the live drums and guitar, but it still never quite leaves her aesthetic, setting up the closer “She’s Not Me” nicely. There is a lot of nuance on this track, combining pulsing synths and the crunchy, gleaming guitar riffs reminiscent of Denver favorite Nightlove. It’s a fist-pumping, club-banging song, and a final declaration that Chloe Tang means business.

The biggest strength of this EP is its energy. It moves well while doing some heavy lifting production-wise, showing a professionalism that goes well beyond its musicianship. While the EP is amazing in its own right, its only drawback is the feeling of never quite getting you there. If anything, that simply shows how much more room she has to grow. First EPs often serve as a stretching of the recording legs for local artists, and Stranger is a huge step in a great direction. Wherever Tang chooses to go with her music, fans will say that this was the start.

Tang is featured on the Covex track Vertigo which dropped just days ago, and plays the Westword Music Showcase on June 23rd in Denver.