14 for ’14: 5. Chlöe Howl

Chloe Howl We may as well give next year to Chlöe Howl already. Nominated (although bafflingly beaten to the actual prize) for the BRITs Critics’ Choice award, a nominee on the BBCs Sound Of 2014 critics poll, and, if the rumours we hear are true, soon to be confirmed as Saturday’s Glastonbury headliner and Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year 2014*.

If you’re the spiteful type, and you’re on the internet so let’s assume you are, it’s enough to make you immediately spring to dislike. But don’t do that. Because Howl is a star. She was a star when her debut, the three track EP Rumours appeared in March. She was a star when we saw her sashay across the stage at Latitude Festival in July this year. And she sealed her heavenly status when Paper Heart arrived a couple of months ago with a gleeful twinkle in its eye and a suitcase full of personality.

And what personality. “She used to be quite overweight / She may not be entirely straight” she sings on Rumours (to be re-released in March, with a snazzy new video), with a marvellous smirk. “I’m shrugging it off / all the shit that you do / because I’m bored to death with you” she sings on Paper Heart, with all the weightless joy of the recently freed. “But the trouble with no strings / is you can only fall” she sings on No Strings, with proper, wipe your eyes poignancy.

So she’s funny and barbed, sarcastic yet sweet, and equipped with songs which fizz with modernity and buzz with wit. Chlöe Howl is, in simple terms, a pop star.

* This may be a slight extrapolation.

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Bushstock 2014 @ Various Venues in Shepherd’s Bush, London
14 for ’14: 5. Chlöe Howl