There can be something quite garish about tracks that are intensely biographical, and in the case of No Strings by Chloe Howl, one must assume that the lyrics relate to a certain someone in particular. Thankfully however, Chloe for the most part avoids this pitfall, and her barbed comments only serve to emotionally charge the single. It is difficult however to not see the protruding STD reference in the bridge as a step too far.
The track itself is a catchy slice of electro-pop, with an urgent (if slightly uninteresting) beat and a driving chord progression. The instrumentation reminds me of a sped up New Young Pony Club circa Ice Cream, or perhaps a more rock-leaning Lily Allen. Howl herself can be easily grouped with early Kate Nash in regards to vocals - they both share that distinctive London twang. Yet Chloe, it seems, has swapped the intentional mundane nature of Nash’s early lyrics for a more confrontational and confessional style.
Whilst by no means punk or rock in its construction, No Strings has a real sense of rawness to it. There’s a decent chance Chloe Howl will break through in 2014, and there’s a decent chance you’ll enjoy this track as well.