Princess Chelsea has seen the future, and it is fantastical. ‘The Great Cybernetic Depression’ imagines a future laced with nostalgia, drawing as much influence from The Neverending Story as it does Kraftwerk.

The album’s stand out track, ‘No Church On Sunday’, is a sci-fi dream of synths and echoing vocals. Chelsea has been described as ‘space pop’, and in this case there is no other adjective – ‘No Church on Sunday’ sounds like the music-box hymn of a galaxy far, far away. It returns to earth through its lyrics, which carry the disorienting near-realism of a child’s nightmares. Likewise, ‘We Were Meant to Be’ blends otherworldly melodies with a painfully human tale of missed connections. This is the other end of the spectrum, past youthful imaginings and into the disappointments of adulthood.

The contrast feels even-handed rather than gauche. Here is an album seeking to recapture lost magic. ‘The Great Cybernetic Depression’ returns to Princess Chelsea’s childhood daydreams, where Bastian rides the dragon over Fantasia forever. It is a welcome break from reality, in any case.


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