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Sir Chloe: Acoustic Concert Review & Interview

Dana Foote of Sir Chloe performing a special acoustic set at Byrdland Records. Photo by Ella Whitaker.

Out of the handful of band members that comprise Sir Chloe, it’s just Dana Foote and her guitar tonight.

Indie rock band Sir Chloe consists of lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Dana Foote, drummer and bassist Emma Welch, guitarist, engineer, and producer Teddy O’Mara, bassist Austin Holmes, and drummer Palmer Foote. Sir Chloe formed in 2017 at Bennington College in Vermont for Foote’s senior music composition project. Six years later, Sir Chloe has 3.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify and tours internationally for months at a time.

Tonight’s show is the third of four stops on Sir Chloe’s acoustic tour, which made its other visits to independent record stores in Philadelphia, Richmond, and Baltimore. The short tour precedes Sir Chloe’s UK/EU/North America tour, which will span May through September of 2024.

Byrdland Records is a lovely shop nestled in the heart of Union Market in northeast Washington, D.C. In the front of the store, band posters decorate the eggshell walls, and wooden shelves house records sorted by genre and alphabetical order. A few feet behind the register, exposed brick lends a gateway to the space reserved for intimate live shows.

In the back half of the store, a circle of fans gather around a tufted velvet couch lined with silver buttons. A handful of silver and black Sharpies for record signing, a miniature water bottle, and a fresh pack of Orbit winter mint gum lay on the arm. Fans flick glances at the cream-colored Fender Telecaster that rests on the couch, cushioned by pillows embroidered with flowers and birds.

The crowd hushes as Dana Foote, the lead singer and songwriter of Sir Chloe, makes her way to her guitar. Perching on a stool, she smiles at the audience and begins to play “Should I,” the opening track of Sir Chloe’s sophomore album “I Am The Dog” (2023).

Foote’s hair is tousled in her signature dark curly bob, her bangs drawing a curtain above her dark, big eyes. Clad in black jeans and a raven long-sleeve top, Foote emanates a laid-back and mellow presence. Her singing voice is smooth and has a comfortably wide range.

Played acoustic, Sir Chloe’s songs are calmer than their usual indie rock style, which is heavy on drums and bass. Stripped down, the lyrics are more isolated and poignant.

Foote follows “Should I” with “Know Better,” the fourth track on the new record. She introduces the song, “I’ve been spending a lot of time with people. I wrote this song about just trying to find some time alone at the end of the day.” Foote’s knee keeps tempo throughout the concert.

The crowd is quiet, but fans mouth the lyrics to each song, especially “Animal,” one of the most popular tracks from the band’s first record “Party Favors” (2020). When Foote announces the names of each song, gasps and titters of excitement roll through the audience.

Leading into “Center,” Foote describes that she co-wrote the song with Sarah Tudzin, a writer, producer, singer, and guitarist who plays in the rock band Illuminati Hotties. “She was thinking about a heart-shaped lollipop and wanted that to be the prompt for writing that day,” Foote explained. The song is laden with innuendos and recounts themes of dedication, yearning, and queer desire.

Foote’s prized track from I Am The Dog is “Obsession,” but she says that “I Am The Dog,” written by Foote and O’Mara, is the best-written song on the record. Compared to Party Favors, “Overall, the songs [on I Am The Dog] sound more mature just ‘cause there’s a lot of growing up in so many different ways that happened.”

The set concludes with “Michelle,” which amassed millions of streams after it went viral on TikTok. “Yippee!” a fan exclaimed as Foote reveals the closing song.

After the five-song set, the crowd organizes itself into a line to meet Foote and get their vinyls and CDs signed. One fan brings a red and white alarm clock for Foote to sign. Meeting with fans, Foote is gracious, posing for selfies and videos.

On touring record stores, Foote said, “Seeing local record stores in each town is really special. I feel like it says a lot about a town, especially like, how long the store has been there and what kind of collection they have.”

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    CorkyMar 29, 2024 at 8:52 am

    well said!