CD review by Ian Dearden
Melbourne’s Chloe Hall has been plying her craft now for more than a dozen years, winning a songwriting award at the tender age of 14, and going on to study voice and composition at the Melbourne University Conservatorium. She has one previous full-length CD (White Sky) and one (self-titled) EP to her credit since 2000. The new album, White Street (she clearly has something about the word “white” in album titles) has been produced by Greg Arnold (Things Of Stone & Wood) and mastered by the legendary Don Bartley at Studio 301 in Sydney. Needless to say, the CD’s sound is great and reflects the professional input that has gone into it. The songwriting (all 11 songs are originals from Chloe’s pen) reflect the concerns of a twenty-something woman looking for love and an understanding of family, friendship and a place in a world which has many a gap between need, desire and fulfilment. The arrangements are sparse and acoustic, with lashings of cello (Anita Quayle) and violin/viola (Louise McCarthy), beautifully layered over guitar and piano from Chloe, 6 and 12 string guitar, bass and organ from Greg Arnold and percussion from James Richmond. This is a delightful album – Chloe’s voice sometimes crystal clear like Sarah McLachlan, and sometimes breathy like Sandy Denny, but always communicating with emotion. Chloe has talent by the bucket load, and this CD is living testament to that talent.