Something big is coming. An album that combines practically everything human feelings have to offer in a collection of music. Heights, depths, nuance, sudden outbursts, painful loss – Caroline Chevin sings about all this on "Hey World", her third solo album. The 13 songs that Chevin, together with lyricist Sékou Neblett (Freundeskreis, Joy Denalane) and producer Philipp Schweidler (Seven, Marc Sway, etc.), has written and refined within the last year have unwittingly become a basis for discussion that covers everything: responsibility, relationships and their ramifications and endings – even if, or in fact because Chevin herself says that she had never consciously wanted to create a panopticon of such emotions or an album that truly embraces the Zeitgeist. These are songs in which everyone can find themselves – as good pop songs have a habit of doing.
But let us flash back a little. Back to a small tune that was so great it went around the world, "Back In The Days" was the name of the song that was literally carried around the globe by the voice of Caroline Chevin. The single remained in the Swiss airplay charts for around 80 weeks. What’s more, the cheerful soul pop song managed to make its way into the Swiss in-flight programme, into the branches of H[and]M and Abercrombie [and] Fitch and – more importantly – into the ears and hearts of thousands of people. In March 2011, Caroline Chevin was presented with the Swiss Music Award in the "Best National Breaking Act" category.
Yet the 38-year old, who grew up in Weggis near Lucerne and has now been living in the Zurich area for almost six years, looks back on a much longer musical career. Over the past twenty years, she has already stood on many a stage and tried her hand in all different styles of music. "There are no limits. You can and should try everything," she says of her long, intense experimental phase.
Just over four years ago, her unique voice slowly began to emerge. The album "Feel Real" (Phonag, 2008) was the inspiration for her solo career. "Back In The Days" (Nation Music, 2010) marked another step on the singer-songwriter’s path to maturity. Now, with "Hey World", her first album with Sony Music Switzerland, we meet a new, more serious, more profound Caroline Chevin. Right from the title track, she holds up the world – and herself – to the mirror, criticizing selfishness and lack of responsibility. All packaged in one beautiful pop song with mighty piano chords and weightless progressions. "The album title stands on the one hand for the joy with which I present my new work," explains Chevin. "On the other hand, it refers to the content of the song. That one should not focus only on the negative and should go through life more alert and conscious."
The rest of the album also maintains the adult, experienced tone the title song strikes: Beautiful and sparkling, attractive and melodic, but also serious, and sometimes very sad. Some songs say farewell to her late father, others speak of the struggle to find balance in a relationship, or of gruelling stages of uncertainty, ask just where home might be right now and with whom it will be connected in the future ("Home"). Most of the songs pass through a development. For example, a song that first sounds melancholy, or rather quiet, suddenly develops into a powerful anthem about suddenly being flooded by a feeling of power and confidence ("Now"). But the fleeting ("Tiptoes") and the entirely blissful moments ("Your Love Your Love") also find their place. "They are all stories written by life. Stories my life has written in the last few months," says Chevin. "It's about ups and downs and what you make of them".
Ultimately, these masterfully crafted, constantly transforming songs with a basic blues character are nothing but solid statements for the tests successfully passed and the continuous challenges life poses. "Hey World" has not only become a top quality pop album, it also shows a Caroline Chevin, who, vocally, puts everything into the songs. Precisely because what she is presenting to us here are her own stories.
The album, "Hey World", will be released on 15 February by Sony Music Switzerland.
The title single will be available in stores from 11 January.