Photo Gallery: CXLOE takes us behind-the-scenes of her debut EP, Heavy Part. 1
Snapped while recording her latest EP, the photos give insight into the process of one of Australia's best.
Header image by SHEISAPHRODITE.
CXLOE is someone at the forefront of Australia's pop music space, but we've known that for a while now. Ever since her arrival with 2017's Tough Love, the Australian musician has consistently raised the bar, with everything she's put out since her entrance in 2017 being high-tier pop music that bursts with this exciting energy that feels reflective of tomorrow, and the pop market that's sure to define Australia's future. It's something that's become more and more clear with her every move; CXLOE is an act that seems synonymous with what lies ahead, and the peaks of the brilliance that comes with that.
Despite everything that's been thrown at her across the last few months, she really seems to have elevated things to a new level more recently. Last year, her four-peat of hits in I Can't Have Nice Things, Low Blow, SICK and Devil You Don't were amongst the year's best, and in 2020 she seemed to keep that continuing with the release of even more: 12 Steps, One and Lonely and Heavy being three moments that reflect how CXLOE has continually grown and evolved, whether that be musically or as the person who informs its every lyric.
Now, with CXLOE's long-awaited debut EP finally making its arrival, there's never been a better time to celebrate Australia's pop music future. Heavy, Pt. 1 feels like everything finally paying off; a three-year journey coming together in the form of a succinct release that encapsulates everything we've come to love from CXLOE over the last few years, and everything that's bound to excite us about her future. It's representative of her craft, from the spiralling pop music that navigates her emotional ebbs and flows right through to the high attention to detail that makes it so musically brilliant. It's simply CXLOE, and for a first release, we couldn't want anything more.
From the get-go, Heavy Pt. 1 isn't afraid to capture its namesake, dissecting some of CXLOE's heaviest life moments through a hook-ridden lens that draws you in and spits you out more knowledgable of its creator. 12 Steps outlines the journey of addiction - something that has plagued CXLOE and her family through many different forms over the years - amongst one of the year's best choruses, which shines despite an obviously darker undertone luring you in.
One and Lonely continues to balance this contrast as she grapples with loneliness - a meaning that's only become more potent in the circumstances surrounding its release - while EP highlight Swing seems representative of the EP's entire narrative, exploring the highs and lows of CXLOE's life and the constantly-changing emotions that underpin it. Plans is one of the EP's most musically-adventurous moments with its house-influenced production breakdowns, while Creature plays with another sense of contrast, moving against the quick pace of the song before it with a more subtle pace - until that hook comes in, of course.
All up, Heavy Pt. 1 feels like a moment of self-reflection for CXLOE, one that showcases her personal depths just as much as it does her prowess in shiny choruses and swelling, captivating instrumentals. "Having my debut EP, Heavy Part One, out in the world is so exciting and therapeutic for me as an artist," she says on the release. "I have been working on these songs over the past couple of years and I finally feel after years of self-reflection, that they each individually represent such an important part of myself."
As it turns out, it all comes together to create one of the year's most brilliant pop releases, which you can dive into below alongside some behind-the-scenes photos that depict the EP's recording process:
Behind the scenes of CXLOE's debut EP, Heavy Pt. 1:
This was taken when I was recording the vocals for Creature. I had written this song in LA and recorded demo vocals there. I then came back to Australia and re-recorded the vocals so they were consistent with all the other vocals on the album.
This is a picture of Andrew Wells working out of his studio in Los Angeles. Andrew executive produced the whole EP and is truly the one person who helped me find and develop my sound. He was so willing to experiment with me and everything he created was so fresh and unlike anything I'd heard before.
This is Scott Effman. He produced Plans and is one of the funniest people i have ever met. I was so lucky to meet him on this camp, as I was quite nervous going into a week or of writing songs with people I had never met before. He also did such an incredible job with this song.
This is Gregory Hein, one of the writers of the song Plans. We wrote this song on a songwriting camp in a castle in France. This song was so easy to write, it kind of just vomited out of us.
This was taken in BoyBoys recording studio. This is how I usually end up at the end of the recording session. On the floor racking my brain at how i can put my feelings into words!
This is BoyBoy, he produced One and Lonely and Swing. We have worked together over the past three years and he continues to push my sound to where I didn't even know it could go. I released my very first single Tough Love with BoyBoy.
This is the beautiful Trey Campbell. Trey is the best lyricist I've ever worked with. I speak and he scribes and turns my messy thoughts into beautiful words. I wrote one and lonely with Trey and also a few songs on Heavy Part 2!
Studio dogs are the best thing about a recording session. 90% of the producers i work with have dogs and although they distract me they always make the environment much more comfortable; especially when you're meeting the writers and the producers for the first time.
This is Sting's manager's castle, located in France. I was lucky enough to have been asked to go on a writing camp held by ASCAP. Each day we were paired with a new writer and producer and then had to present our song by midnight that night. Gregory Hein, Scott Effman and myself wrote Plans here :) It was the most incredible writing camp I've ever been on. For every song I wrote, I ate 30 pieces of cheese.
This is a photo of me recording the vocals for Swing. I had bad period pains this day and didn't want to stand up and record them so the producer let me sing it lying down! And they are the final vocals that you hear on the song!
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