The Scottish singer emits a combination of melodrama and mystery, creating the ideal bop for any indie-pop night-owl.
The long-established relationship between driving and music is a harmony of exploration, creativity, and release. The very act itself involves a consistent progression – or in the case of Chloe Bruce-Gardyne, performing under simply Chloe, moving forward while buffeting the raw elements of rural Scotland. Hailing from Edinburgh, the inspiration for ‘Slow Fade’ becomes clear as soon as you hit play; long drives through the Scottish countryside and restless nights spent writing and producing from the sanctuary of her bedroom is the humble concoction from which Chloe’s latest single emerges.
An immediate intimacy is established within the opening line – “it’s just like smoke, I’ll breathe you in, sat in your car, sinking”… important to note here that the words are not sung, but spoken softly, almost like a whisper cementing the ethereal but raw realness that harnesses the song. Then we’re launched into the ride; hands on the ignition and away we go. What follows is a combination of melancholy synths, disco drum beats and bongo rhythms… an ode to Chloe’s muses, which includes the likes of New Order, Christine and the Queens, and The War on Drugs.
The song embodies a strong physical presence; the deepest of thoughts materialised upon the sublime backdrop, and the concept of a journey unfolding, moving within the melody, is inescapable. But much like the landscape that influenced this song, the journey is jarring, constantly juxtaposed through a subtle, interchangeable thought process; lyrics like “you’re past it” and “it won’t matter anymore, I’m sure” are entwined with pleas like “take me, I’m yours” and “I’ll still be here”, giving that relatable ‘push-and-pull’ vibe of two lovers on the brink of losing it all.
Mood and drama clearly remain at the forefront of Chloe’s intention for ‘Slow Fade’, with ‘toxic’ being one of the most heavily used adjectives throughout the song. Sure, it’s a more commonly-used word to describe the more negative connotations of love, but here, it’s beautifully balanced by the synthetic lullaby floating over the harsh reality that all is not right – a point that Chloe thought was worth explaining: “at times, it can feel like you have no control, sinking, but you don’t really want to float”.
So what is the slow fade? Ultimately, it’s a heartfelt expression of a young woman’s voyage in and out of love; “an expression of the point you can get to in a relationship when you know things are going wrong, but you’re too lost in it to let it go” Chloe tells us. Do we feel it? Certainly. Can we relate? Most definitely. There’s a modern realness and truth that radiates throughout all three minutes and ten seconds, but can also be enjoyed purely as a great piece of moody, soulful music… earning its spot on your next destination or midnight musings playlist.