Sunday 3 March 2019

'Chasing Gold' by Chelsea Wilson

Spearheaded by the disco-tinged single 'Real Love' in 2018, Melbourne's Chelsea Wilson officially follows up her 2014 debut album release with 'Chasing Gold' through her House of Valerie Joan imprint.

We've previously gushed about Chelsea's boundless talents - as a singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, radio presenter, documentary filmmaker, Artistic Director for the Stonnington Jazz Festival, Deputy Chair of Music Victoria... this renaissance woman’s achievements are truly extraordinary as she continually finds ways to push herself to new limits.  The release of Wilson’s brand new album serves as a fitting testament to Wilson's enduring efforts.

Chelsea Wilson's debut album from 2014, 'I Hope You'll Be Very Unhappy Without Me', presented heartbreak with a refreshing honesty as exemplified not just by the album's title but by songs like 'Through With Lovin You', 'Bitterness' and 'If You Don't Want Me'.  The album is genuinely a stunning and sincere soul record, lovingly embraced by soul music fans, and boasting musical contributions from some of Australia's finest funk & soul names.  Amongst the jaw-dropping talent featured throughout the album included Jake Mason and Ivan Khatchoyan, from the funk outfit Cookin on 3 Burners, appearing on production and drums respectively; Lance Ferguson on guitars from funk band The Bamboos and backing vocals and song-writing provided by Freestyle Records recording artist Candice Monique, amongst a host of other stars.

While 'I Hope You'll Be Very Unhappy Without Me' languished within heartbreak, 'Chasing Gold' is that light at the end of the tunnel...

A decidedly more optimistic album in mood and tone, it's a complete joy to listen to.  The music is heavy on strings and Nile Rodgers-esque guitar making elements of the production a fitting homage to Chic's glory years.  Once again, an elite array of Australian talent is assembled for Chelsea's sophomore effort - production on this outing is shared between Wilson and the prolific bassist and producer, Ross McHenry; additional production is provided by the returning Jake Mason, and string orchestration from Ross Irwin of The Bamboos.

While first single 'Real Love' sets the album off nicely, there are plenty more highlights to be found in 'Take Back The Night', 'I Won't Choose You' and 'Chasing Gold' but the album's absolute scene-stealer comes in the form of the album's second single - and a song that wouldn't sound at all out of place on Chelsea's 2014 debut - the incredible 'Breaking Down'.

Famed also for her stage performances, this is certain to be an album that would excel in a live setting.  Chelsea Wilson's immeasurable talent has earned her a second exquisite piece of work and cemented her legacy as one of the premier names amidst Australia's ever burgeoning soul music scene.  With great excitement, we look forward to what album #3 will deliver in time.

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