Space Opera Chelsea
The subtle electronic charms of Princess Chelsea continues to win over new fans as she expands her sphere of influence introducing new listeners to the delights of the Lil’ Golden Book album.
Along the way, Princess Chelsea has also been working hard on a series of videos to showcase songs from the album. ‘The Cigarette Duet’ demonstrated that as well as a compelling tune, Chelsea could also put across a quirky and intriguing visual style. Subsequent videos, such as ‘Overseas’, provided a dreamlike atmosphere which was typically at odds with the matter-of-fact lyrics dealing with New Zealand ex-pats.
And now we have ‘Frack’ in which Princess Chelsea goes behind the restrictions of planet Earth itself with a trip into space. And faithful cat Winston is along for the ride!
A weary Princess Chelsea is woken from hyper sleep, gets herself dressed, applies a bit of lippy and enjoys a slice of toast for breakfast. From there, Chelsea is given a holographic Space Queen costume change while she delivers the song’s cryptic lyrics “We will be much further along you see. You can fight, but it will not save your life”.
Then it’s time to deliver the ominous message to the inhabitants of planet Kepler-22b by way of a super-large hologram of Princess Chelsea herself. With doom upon them, the alien race sends their bravest fighter pilots to take on Space Queen Chelsea’s skeleton fleet – while her Highness entertains herself with a magazine and cartoons. With the defending forces defeated, all that remains is for Chelsea to press the button and blow up the planet.
It’s a fun video that’s clearly had a lot of work put into it with its use of CGI and science fiction themes. It’s also a demonstration of how easily Chelsea’s material can be applied to almost any genre or concept. Whether or not the song and the video idea has been influenced by cult space opera Battlestar Galactica (“Frack” in the series is used as an expletive, plus the lyrics hint at some of the more philosophical themes in the series) is unclear, but that cryptic element lends the song part of its charm.
As a song, ‘Frack’ is a curious broody track that pulls in a moody chord sequence with a much brighter melodic theme. The song also displays Chelsea’s electronic influences, as she discussed in her earlier interview with the Electricity Club: “I’ve got a love of Kraftwerk and electronic music as well as a love of pop music. So just combining those three elements: classical, pop and electronic music I think, was for me, kind of the sound I eventually wanted to achieve which I think some of the later tracks on the album, like ‘Frack’ and ‘Goodnight Little Robot Child’, was the sound I was originally trying to go for, which I’d developed as I recorded”.
With Princess Chelsea now looking to the future beyond Lil’ Golden Book, we’re going to be intrigued to see if she develops the electronic theme further.
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.