C.A.R. is the personal project of London’s Chloe Raunet, a French singer-songwriter specialising in "glimmering electronics and post-punk angles", and ‘PINNED’, released on Ransom Note Records, marks her second full-length LP, having also collaborated with Ivan Smagghe, Maceo Plex and Red Axes.
Before you talk to us about the record, please tell us about this mix, and what lies within...
I wanted to do something a bit dancier. It’s a wee bit shambolic, weaving in all sorts, but it’s all tracks I’m really into at the moment.
The record was produced and mixed by Steve Osborne, whose worked on a number of notable classic records, including ‘Thrills, Pills and Bellyaches’ by The Happy Mondays, ‘Head Music’ by Suede and ‘Pop’, perhaps the last truly ambitious album from U2. What about Steve’s work made him a good fit for ‘Pinned’?
It was Steve himself I really clicked with. He has an incredible, little studio out at Real World and when he invited me out for a test track it was so much fun. The place is a bit shambolic and I felt comfortable from the get-go. It was an incredible experience. He brought out all the toys and we experimented with all sorts.
You’ve previously described your music as “off-kilter electronic pop”. What does the term ‘off-kilter’ mean to you, and how do you remain authentically so?
Off-kilter is far from perfect. Slightly out of tune, rough around the edges generally a bit raw.
This isn’t your first album, and the C.A.R. project has been bubbling away nicely over the past few years, including collaborations with artists like Red Axes and Maceo Plex. However, it definitely feels like your most definite work so far, at least to my ears. Is there any statement being made here, aside from that of your own art itself?
That’s for the listener to decide. Of course there’s meaning for me personally but I’m not one to impose. If someone can take something from it, all the better.
‘This City’ closes the LP; a track presumably about your own, presumably complex relationship with metropolitan living? There’s something excessively bittersweet about this track that I keep coming back to when listening. The city ‘holds your eyes’, yet it’s ‘full of lies’. Could this record have been made anywhere else but London?
I don’t think so, at least not for me. But see above - if someone can recognise an element of somewhere else than mission accomplished.
John Thorp, February 2018.