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CLAIRE TCHAIKOWSKI Those Thousand Seas (2010)

Claire Tchaikowski

An easy name to pronounce. Not such an easy name to spell.

But the lady has some impressive suitors. Mike Hedges (U2, Dido, The Cure and Texas) just wanted to produce her - record deal or no record deal, while co-writer and arranger Sally Herbert (Radiohead, Duffy, Kylie, Robbie Williams and Tina Turner) wanted to write songs with her as soon as she heard Claireís voice.

Of Polish / Irish extraction, Claire opens her debut album with the lilting title track - an emotive number with Celtic overtones constructed almost entirely of her overlaid vocals. Itís followed by Undone, a perfect piece of hypnotic modern day pop - a Bat For Lashes meets Dido number thatís been released as single. Check out the YouTube video.

And the space between those two opening tracks sets the boundaries for an album that falls squarely in Moby territory - techno beats, glorious melodies and ethereal vocals. Impossible to dislike, infuriatingly beautiful and quite unlike anything else presently on the market.

If comparisons have to be drawn, Claireís vocals are undoubtedly from the Sarah McLachlan school of singing, her songwriting in the style of Dido, and the new age / experimental accompaniments the territory inhabited by the likes of Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Moby. Thatís pretty distinguished company.

Those Thousand Seas is not out of place in those giddy stratospheres. The next Sarah McLachlan? Quite possibly.

***½

Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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