Sometimes all it takes is one neat-o line from a new artist’s debut single to be instantly won over and feel like you must hear everything that act ever puts out…forever. “No Strings” from 17-year-old newcomer-to-watch Chlöe Howl features two: “Fuck your no strings” (complete with the delicious way Howl spits out that opening expletive) and the “Did she just say that!?!” double take money-maker “You don’t even know if I’m the right sex, do ya?”.
The target of these two sharp-fanged displays of lyricism? A dude she meets out and shares an instant connection with, the only problem being their deviating intentions on what’s to follow.
“No Strings” ends up being the best kind of introductory pop effort, one that hits all the right earworm-y buttons in it’s production make-up (in this case, a fizzy slab of bubblegum electro-disco that constantly sounds like it’s on the verge of turning into “Pumped Up Kicks”), yet goes the extra mile with its presenting of a refreshing new voice and exciting, fully-formed new personality to the pop landscape.
It’s quite clear Chlöe has some chops, and the fact that her vocal lain here (a heavily British-accented imprint, with a deep, teen Adele-like richness) seems to be playing it safe range-wise teases with all kinds of future possibilities, but even more impressive is the mix of spunk and vulnerability she drips off every penned word, the fascinating perspective pitched of a young girl yearning for something deeper than a one-night hook up arriving with winning maturer-than-her-age quotables (“The novelty’s worn/ You can’t get it for nothing/ So let’s put this to bed/ Without crawling to bed”; “The trouble with no strings is you can only fall”) that guarantees this to be one of 2013’s earliest sure-bet anthems.