ACROSS Aldous Harding's three albums she's played multiple characters while maintaining a veil of mystery. If you expected Harding would draw back the curtain on album No.4 Warm Chris, you'll be disappointed.
As usual, the idiosyncrasy and mystique of the Kiwi folk star's songwriting is thrilling. Warm Chris blends the breezier '70s folk of 2019's Designer with the jazz explorations and the dark chamber pop of 2017's Party.
The playful Tick Tock almost makes reference to Harding's refusal to discuss the meaning of her songs as she sings sweetly, "Wanted to see me what're you gonna do?/ Now that you see me/ Tick tock." Fever is the album's most conventional moment as Harding incorporates Burt Bacharach-style horns to warm her tale of an affair that's grown stale.
The struggle to keep the spark alive in a recurring theme on Warm Chris. On the inquisitive Passion Babe, Harding sounds almost Eastern European as she croons, "Passion must play or passion won't stay." Then on Staring At The Henry Moore, Harding awakens the ghost of Nick Drake with a gothic and fragile delivery.
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