Sydney-based artist Chloe Dadd is fast making a name for herself in all areas of the music scene. She's a multi-talented audio engineer, producer and guitarist, as well as an artist in her own right, this year releasing her second single, 'Now Now', taking her energetic live show interstate with BIGSOUND showcases, and supporting artists like Maddy Jane and Teenage Dads.
Her newest release 'Now 'Now' is a summery delight of a song that perfectly encapsulates all the overwhelming, head-over-heels feelings of a new crush, light-hearted instrumentals coupled with Chloe's simultaneously mellow and powerful vocals combining to create a dreamy, danceable 3 minutes and 45 seconds instantly destined for your beach playlist.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Chloe on Zoom after BIGSOUND this year for a chat all about 'Now Now' and beyond!
So what's the story behind 'Now Now'? Where did the inspiration for that one come from?
Ahh interesting! I think there’s like a few experiences I drew from for it, but it was at a time where I was just like developing super hard crushes on people I'd just met or spent like one night out with, and it was this really intense serotonin kind of thing, going like 'Wow this person's amazing I'm in love’ and like not being able to stop thinking about them, but not messaging them or anything 'cause why would they want to talk to me? But yeah it's just like romantic obsession on first meeting – kind of divulging into that a little bit. And it's frustrating! Cause you don’t want to be that person that like falls straight away and is a bit crushy but I always end up being that person.
Yeah I feel like that’s such a common experience and everyone's just like trying to play it cool but no one really is.
I'm fully open about it now! I’ll just tell people to their faces that I have a crush on them.
Haha we love that!
Haha yeah! Whether the other person feels the same way it doesn’t matter- I'm like just need you to know I'm crushing real hard.
Honestly? Good way to be.
But yeah, yeah, that’s kind of where it started! And I make everything from my bedroom so it kind of just started off as an idea– it was just like chords and it felt really summery and romantic, and I was like I don’t want it to be a love song, I want it to be like frustrating obsession- but like in a light way! Yeah- just wanted it to be really light and like "Agh why am I obsessed with this person! Again!".
Yeah its kind of tongue in cheek!
Yeah! And I get this a lot that like I never follow through and message the person so in my head I was like I don’t want to like open myself up- maybe I'm just obsessed with the idea of people and it won't eventuate to anything 'cause I just like living the fantasy in my head with that person and that’s fine with me- I keep a lot of things close to my chest, like there's a line
“I'm scared to share my favourite songs 'cause they're mine forever”
and it's like the turmoil in my brain of whether I want to open up to someone- like I don’t want anyone to know the deep dark shit about myself but you gotta do it to have a connection with someone.
Yeah yeah, I love that line. Is that your favourite in the song or do you have another that you like more than that do you think?
Yeah I think that might be my favourite one, just because I think it like represents how my brain is.
Yeah definitely- it’s a simple thing but it's got a lot of weight behind it.
Yeah- and then so in the first verse it follows with
"I'm scared to share my favourite songs 'cause they're mine forever / when the world splits in two who have I got to share them with"
like you can keep all those things close to your chest, but if you die tomorrow it's such a waste.
And then in the second verse, I say
"so take all of my favourite CDs and keep them forever / if I get lost today say you’ll gladly share them too"
so it's just about like connecting, so they can share you as well- I just think it's important for people to know who you are- if you disappear there's some sort of legacy to be passed on.
Yeah definitely- getting past being all mysterious and unknowable.
Yeah exactly! It's like my biggest fear to be forgotten about, so very much so want people to remember something.
For sure. It’s a really nice way to do it, I really love the connection between those two lines
So on your songwriting process again- I went to a couple of your BigSound sets this year and I think you mentioned one of the songs you wrote- Radar?- you wrote really recently? And the rest of your band just like learnt it on air drums on your couch?
Yeah, on this couch!
On that couch! Oh my god.
So yeah, like my drummer's been in London for like a month, and she flew in like two days before we had to fly to BIGSOUND. And like a couple days before I was in the band chat like 'Hey guys I wrote this song could we please do it for BIGSOUND I know it's super last minute' and they were like 'Yeah we’ll give it a listen see if it’ll work' and we had like a super quick rehearsal here at night time and I was just like playing it heaps and trying to explain to Ruby how to drum it- 'cause I do all the production on my stuff so it was like engrained in my head how the drums go, so she was just like hitting on her legs and stuff playing it- and yeah- we rehearsed it like once and were like alright! Let's play it!
Haha that’s crazy! So do you find that most of your songs come together pretty quickly like that or is it normally a longer process?
It's usually pretty quick- I guess it depends but most of the time like right now I'm very inspired and because I'm so busy like working on other people's stuff when I do have time to do my own stuff I'm like this is privileged time, I need to be efficient and I've got a lot to say I need to get it all out- but yeah! It usually like rolls off the brain and I like hyper-fixate until it's done.
Yeah it's like it needs to be perfect! And I guess having the production knowledge that you do helps as well with knowing the most efficient way to put stuff together.
Yeah exactly. It makes it easier for sure! Like a lot of my friends who are artists have no idea about production stuff- It can be such a lengthy process having to get a producer and being like we wrote something and working out how to convey the ideas too so it's definitely good to come from that background of like production and engineering.
Yeah it's really cool to have such a diverse background as well as writing and creating stuff!
Yeah! It helps for clarity for me too, like sometimes with production if you get nerdy with it and forget the lyrics you get to be out of your head with it instead of being like "What does that lyric mean!" You can be like "Ooh that’s a fun snare sound!" And then when you're focusing on the snare you can be like "Oh the lyric could be something about explosions!"
Haha yeah! See it from a few different perspectives!
Yeah! Put on a few different hats.
With 'Now Now' as well as obviously your own personal experiences that influenced the song, did you have any artists or songs that influenced the sound of it?
Yeah there's a fair few influences! Quite a bit of HAIM in there- on the Days Are Gone album there's a lot of songs that feel kind of romantic and explosive ,and are rhythmically quite fun- with the tempo, a lot of their songs are quite easy to walk to and that was probably the inspo tempo wise.
Yeah can definitely hear that in it!
Yeah! 'Now Now' is more like a strut even- like on a mission to go tell this person you like them- but you won't tell them though 'cause you're hopeless.
Hahaha it's way too real.
But yeah lots of HAIM in there- I take a lot of influence from The Strokes with lots of the melody lines and guitar lines- not too much in this song as it's not too guitar driven- in my live stuff it’s a bit different but that will come out in due time! But yeah! Kind of naïve love I find it expresses that really well. Lots of Bowie as well divulging into how things feel and emotions.
So going onto those new releases! What have you got coming up?
Haha yeah so I don’t want to share like the name of the next release but I've got another one coming out and I guess it's along these same lines of really hopelessly romantic- I kind of want to explore that a little more in the next couple of releases! But yeah it feels very summery!
Haha yes we love a summer banger!
Yeah! Next one's gonna be a summer banger. And I play it in the live set as well so it's exciting to be able to put out the songs that are in the live set so people can listen to them- cause yeah I guess this is my second official release so just getting used to the idea! But yeah next release is a summer banger!
Yeah! I definitely got that vibe from 'Now Now', it went right on my summer playlist so it'll be so nice to have more of that.
But yeah! I just work on everything in here- but mix all my stuff at the studio on like analog gear, bunch of vintage stuff- it's good to have two different spaces, sit in PJ pants and create into the early hours of the morning, and wake up and something's complete and can be taken into the studio and really massage it.
Yeah you can do the creative stuff and then go 'oh cool time to get professional with it'!
Yeah exactly exactly! Cant be amateur when my job is also production and mixing! Gotta get my stuff to the same quality.
Thanks so much to Chloe Dadd for the chat! You can check 'Now Now' out with the below and on your regular streaming services, and be sure to give her debut single 'Just You Wait' a listen while you're at it- another absolutely dreamy tune for your summer beach playlist!