By Brian Baker
Don’t let Clara Venice’s saccharin appearance fool you. The cover of her Electric Dream EP features her in multi-colored, pig-tailed hair, licking a lollipop. However, her synth-infused pop is by no means child’s play.
Sunshine and suckers aside, Electric Dream is a sweet treasure reminiscent of Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper, with a dash of Imogen Heap, a la Frou Frou, for good measure. The tracks featured on this are touted as electronic, but they smack of 1980s pop and include four cuts for 16 minutes total. Or in candy-related terms, the amount of flavor left in a chunk of Hubba Bubba. It leaves you wanting more. Of course, consuming too much sugar will make you, well, sick.
Still, from the opening piano keys of “Shooting Star” to the ethereal “Electric Dream,” there is a rich core that is exemplary of a more mature chanteuse, especially given the Tennyson feelings—specifically his poem Lost Love–that run throughout the album: falling in love, falling out of love, the ennui of living and its existential denouement. To put it in Tennyson’s basic terms: ‘T is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Poetry is not a far cry for this songwriter, as Venice mentions one of the objects of her affection is reading William Butler Yeats while riding the elevator in “Ordinary Day.” Her lyrics stand up. They are not of that fodder found in a frivolous pop starlet’s song, where too many cooks in the kitchen have deflated a lyrical soufflé. “Ordinary Day” shows that Venice has those chops. It is also a catchy little ditty that’s the icing sugar on that perfected soufflé.
The aforementioned “Electric Dream” reminds me of early Kate Bush; there are smooth harmonies mixed with a falsetto guitar wail. The lyrics are head-in-the-clouds, and by clouds, I mean cotton candy. Still, the talk of love is more a fun-filled trip to carnival than a trip to the midway haunted house.
With a short runtime, Venice’s Electric Dream EP is the hard candy that’s meant to be slowly savored: a Wurther’s Original instead of the fruity after-meal castoffs at restaurants.
Electric Dream is available from Clara Venice’s website.