Introducing... Chloe St. Claire

Australian singer-songwriter Chloe St. Claire recently submitted her music to KMMR, and after listening to her EP 'Young Like That' I couldn't wait to get her onto my 'Introducing...' series. Her wistful music courses through my headphones to create such hush tones with her soft voice and interesting matters in her music. Whether that be tackling issues behind sexuality or anything else, it seems that Chloe's songwriting is the driving force behind her music, and it's always inspiring to see such brilliant aspiring writers. I chatted with her about her favourite music, her EP & what song she really loves most from 'Young Like That'...

Question. Firstly, what made you want to pursue music?
Chloe St. Claire:
My dad, without a doubt. I used to watch him play on his guitar and I just thought it was so cool how he could move his fingers so fast and make intricate and delicate sounds. He showed me my first guitar chords, and from then I was hooked.

Q. How often are you practicing / recording in a week?
I jam on the guitar for about an hour every day- however it’s a bit tricky to fit in the time when I’m at school. On weekends I like to gig heaps, I do two-four hour stints when I perform. I do most of my recording while I’m on holidays and away from school, that way I can really focus on my songs and devote some serious time into them.

Q. Your blend of folk, dream pop & rock is quite infectious. How do you do it with such ease?
I’m honestly not quite sure, I don’t think this blend of textures was intentional. I have a soft spot for folk and roots, but I am always drawn to music with a lot of ambience and dimension and crunchy guitars. I think I was just greedy and wanted to combine as many of my favourite genres as possible.

Q. Is it a genre blend that you were skeptical of getting into at first purely because it's not as much of a money maker?
Hmmm, not really because making money didn’t motivate me to make music. I did have a bit of doubt in my sound because I was unsure if people would like it, music has to be pleasing to listen to. But in the end, I’m really enjoying my sound at the moment, so I’m just going with the flow and seeing where it takes me.

Q. What is your biggest incentive for following music?
The emotional release that I get from writing and performing music, I find it so cathartic and liberating. Nothing better than picking up the guitar and just bashing it out. I also meet a lot of cool people through it, so that’s also a highlight of pursuing music.

Q. Your new EP 'Young Like That' is full of influences, but who would you say was the biggest influence?
I’d have to say Julien Baker, she has such gorgeous simplicity and ambience in her songs that I am captivated by. The rawness in her lyrics is really moving, I really wish I could have such control over words like she does.

Q. 'Frostbite' is probably my favourite track if I had to pick one, which is yours?
I think the track ‘Young Like That’ would have to be my favourite because it is really personal to me. This song was written in a response to my friend’s statement about same-sex relationships, he believes that it's just a phase that some people go through when they're “young like that”. I totally disagreed with him, and wrote this song to explain how difficult it is to find your own identity as a teenager, especially with all the pressures from your peers, friends and even sometimes your parents.

Q. How long has the EP taken to make?
The songs on the EP have been written over a period of maybe two years. I chose them out of a collection of songs that I have stored in my notebooks, and I thought they shared the most cohesive sound together. The EP took two weeks to record and produce. I did most of the recording and producing at night for a couple of hours- it was when my house was the quietest.

Q. When going into the studio do you have a pre-conceived notion of what you're about to create or do you just let it flow naturally?
CSC: When I started recording I was really rigid with my expectations of each song, I was incredibly stubborn. But I have learnt that although it is good to have an idea of what your aiming for in each song, flexibility is so important. Some of the features, like the drums in Frostbite and the guitar riffs in Apollo, were the result of me just mucking around while I was recording

Q. Has songwriting always come easily to you or do you have to work at it?
When I started songwriting as a kid, my songs were horrible. Like really really cringeworthy. I could never seem to convey exactly what I wanted to say in a song. But through time I have managed to get a bit better, mostly learning through trial and error. The great thing is I’m still quite young, so I can learn and really work on refining my skills as a songwriter

Q. Who are your favourite artists out right now?
Keaton Henson! I am in awe of his songwriting, his vocal timbre and heartfelt lyrics are incredibly moving. I’m also loving Angie McMahon; her song Slow Mover is incredible, everyone should check it out!

Q. What's your favourite album of all time?
Jeff Buckley’s Grace - god this album just moves me every time I listen to it. I could listen to ‘So Real’ and ‘Lover Should Have Come Over’ forever.

Q. And Finally, What's the ultimate goal for you in music?
After high school, I want to take a gap year and really focus on developing my music. I want to travel heaps of countries and gig as much as humanly possible. I’m also planning to record a full album, I’m really excited for that!

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Listen to Chloe St. Claire on Bandcamp
Check out Chloe St. Claire's Triple J Page