Chief Cleopatra

Chief Cleopatra

Chief Cleopatra

Luna EP

Park The Van

As I began watching the videos for this neat little Luna EP, I thought: “I’ve BEEN where she’s standing!” I do get to Austin from time to time, and there’s Chief Cleo dancing at the corner of Elizabeth and Lamar down in the ultra cool part of South Austin. She’s singing her heart out to a funky rhythm and blues, as bored hipsters ignore the camera and lip-syncing. The sound here is a dark rhyme and a lyric about abandonment by a guy (“Friends”), standard stuff for a blues woman, but compelling as a musical number. “Dream Lights” goes with a more digital look, here an old 8-bit visual rendered in high-res 4K video backs Cleo as she sings about loss and abandonment and an urgent wave overrides the slow motion of her messy break up. Lastly, I’ll mention “Fortuity.” Here her blues find backing by an oh-so-Austin steel guitar. Its chunky back beat supports a lush arrangement and a video of Cleo against some Austin cool urban graffiti.

This might be the most Austin EP I’ve heard since the pandemic began. Clean, clear, high-quality vocals and nifty arrangements—it’s almost as cool as moving to South Congress Street.

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