Chloe Ray - The Waiting Room EP Review

London based singer songwriter Chloe Ray released her debut EP, The Waiting Room, on January first and has been touring the UK since to promote it. Since being bought her first guitar at age 15, Chloe has developed her talent and style by playing continually at open mics around London, her favourite being The Brook in Wallington where she has been performing for the last 3 years. It was at this venue that she came to meet the exceptional musicians who would help her to create the EP as well as the man, Andy Brook, who would produce it.

Using 3 old songs and one new track, Chloe and her team put together an inspiring mix that seems to tell a story from every corner of her life. The title track itself sets an emotional scene of hospital waiting rooms; hours spent wondering, time to think, time to worry, time to cast doubt on your life choices. In a recent interview, Chloe explained that this song, whilst being about quite directly about mental health, was also a metaphor for the music industry “The waiting room also refers to waiting to make music as well as a slant on the fame game. I envisioned thousands of musicians just waiting, when you can just release your own music now.” Musically I loved the use of the cello; it was played beautifully in all the right places and worked well with the light percussion bringing a very modern feel to Chloe’s folkish sound.

Another deeply emotional track was Someone Good. At first listen I couldn’t help but notice how raw the vocals became on the last chorus; Chloe’s voice is almost breaking, almost like she is unable to control herself. When I discovered the story behind the song I couldn’t help but wonder how hard it must have been to record it. She told me “It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do…Loosing such a close friend to suicide was terrifying. It made me think about the concept of death and how I could become someone better.”

Chloe’s newest single, New York, details her 2015 trip to the city where she performed every night for the entirety of her stay. I really enjoyed the very traditional folk sound of the guitar coupled with Chloe’s modern sounding voice; together they create an interesting contrast. I also thought that the slow build-up of instruments over the song was really clever as it gave the track a huge, full band sound by the half way point, especially with the use of the choral like voices toward the end.

The EP’s last track, I Don’t Like Me At All, feels like a much older song than the rest. Chloe’s thick London accent can be heard so clearly on every word and the whole thing just drips with don’t f**k with me attitude. Interestingly however there is also a real sense of vulnerability within the lyrics that I wasn’t expecting; “I don’t like it when we don’t speak, I guess I’ll sit here for another week, making up these stupid songs. No, I don’t like me at all.” It puts me in mind of the aftermath of a huge argument, when you’re terrified of losing someone because of how you acted and you can’t stand yourself for what’s happened. In between all this the flittering piano brings a slight softness to the track, acting as a ray of light breaking up the negativity of the songs content.

I really enjoyed The Waiting Room, every song’s instrumentation was so creative and I loved the mix of piano and cello scattered between the usual drums, bass and guitar. Chloe is a superbly talented singer-songwriter and I am really interested to see what she does next.

You can check out Chloe's Facebook and website for more info on shows, tours and releases.

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