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Review // Chalk - My Chalk Stuff (St. John's, NFLD)

According to it was singer-songwriter Selina Boland's childhood writing and poetry that birthed the concept for Chalk.

My Chalk Stuff was released on January 1st, 2022. Written and performed by Chalk, recorded/produced/mixed/mastered by Christian Johansen.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many moods were captured over each song. Various elements of downtempo, synth laced electronica provide the canvas for Selina's vocals throughout.

"Over My Head" has a bit of minimalist techno vibe to it, which I like. Grindy synths and driving keys, accompanied by Selina's vocals elevate the track beyond most typical electro-pop tracks you're hearing these days. "Palaces on the Sand" is an eerie, emotional tune. It gets right to the point. It's operatic downtempo minors and lo-fi synths are the perfect accompaniment to the lyrics. "Box" feels epic from the get-go, and Selina continues to elevate the producer's vision with well crafted vocals.

"Planet Alone" slows things down a little bit, and it has early vibes of a meditative soundscape, bordering on early 2000's trip hop. I hear horns and interesting automations coming out of Johansen's production, providing smooth slides on the synths. "I've Got You" has a nice build, clean vocals and I loved the breakbeat section. "Solo" takes a more vocal-centric tone from the beginning, but drops back down into a nice dark melody. I really liked this tune.

Finally, "I Am a Chalk Rock" closes the same way the album starts off, with what I felt was a minimalist approach. I really enjoyed the FX'd brass solo instrument, string riffs, and Selina's vocal harmonies are on definitely on point here.

SYNOPSIS// Chalk's new album, "My Chalk Stuff" has something for almost any mood, especially if you're into chill vocal electronic albums (which I am). For me it felt intentionally minimalist, which added to the dramatic melodic delivery. Overall, it's a really solid chill (ish) electronica album. I really think Chalk is onto something here, and I'm stoked to see what's next.

- Josef Mieto


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