CloZee’s sophomore full-length ‘Neon Jungle’ is organic, colorful, and profoundly resilient [Album Review + Q&A]

How does one describe CloZee? 

Queen. French Goddess of Glitch. World Bass Maestra. These are a few terms used to describe the Toulouse, France-born DJ/producer, Chloé Herry.  Since the release of her debut album, 2018’s Evasion, Herry has blossomed into a standout artist on the roster of her labels, Gravitas Recordings and Otodayo Records, before going on to form her very own independent imprint, Odyzey Music.

As CloZee, she has performed on multiple continents: from Coachella to India, on four US tours, all around her native France, and into the jungles of Costa Rica as a mainstay of Envision Festival. “I’m always so inspired when I come back from Envision to Costa Rica,” CloZee tells CE in an exclusive Q&A. Herry even says she created the title track for her new album, “Neon Jungle,” while immersed in the jungles of Costa Rica.

Whenever I know I’m back at Envision (usually many months before), I already start thinking about what I’m going to play. It’s one of my favorite festivals, and it’s very close to my heart.” – CloZee

A pioneer of world bass and cultured sound, CloZee is revered for her ability to dissolve the geographic and regional barriers that exist in modern music. Recently, CloZee made the hop across the pond to relocate from Toulouse, France to Colorado, which she tells CE was for career and personal reasons. “It reminds me of Toulouse sometimes, especially with the mountains so close,” says Herry.

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CloZee hikes the Rockies with her dog, Hamilton. Photo courtesy of CloZee.

When she’s not hiking the countless Rocky Mountain foot trails of the Continental Divide, Herry has been using her spring and summer to put the finishing touches on his sophomore studio album, Neon Jungle. While she would no doubt be touring the country with her live album sets right now—at Lightning in a Bottle and her dual headlining Red Rocks show with OPIUO, and more—the global pandemic had other plans for CloZee and so many electronic music artists like her.

 

 

So CloZee took to the interwebs for stunning virtual sets during Room Service and LiB DGTL, which saw two unique stages flowering with natural plant life, the neon glow of black-light reactive props, and colorful lights and lasers. This was the theme for her sophomore full-length, Neon Jungle, which she announced in late 2019. It was these live streams where fans saw the album coming together in real-time.

“I created the album while also thinking about the live show and stage design: I wanted to bring a small jungle on stage,” CloZee said speaking to the live stream sets and to the future of her live album-accompanying tour. “The particularity of this album is the atmosphere: the visual aspect is more defined compared to my past work. The artwork, the videos, the live show (hopefully coming soon).”

I really wanted to create a new imaginative world.” – CloZee

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Of course, the future may uncertain for the return of live music and touring. However, first things, first: Today, July 3, marks the release of CloZee’s seminal sophomore album, Neon Jungle. Released on her very own imprint Odyzey Music, The 10-track journey tells the story of where Herry has been, where she is currently, and where she is headed.

“I will always see a new album as a new chapter of my life and career,” she says. “So there is definitely some kind of story, it’s always linked to my adventures and experiences while traveling, touring, meeting new people, discovering new landscapes, etc.”

A transcendent listening experience from start to finish, CloZee’s Neon Jungle is not just a glistening showcase of the French producer’s many strengths. The album stands as a strong thematic staple piece in her signature catalog of world bass sounds. On the naming of the album, CloZee says, “I wanted a name that has both an electronic and organic feel.”

I’m obviously very inspired by nature,” she continues. “The name Neon Jungle was to me a great description of my music and vision for the album and tour that will follow its release. A lot of people say that they feel like they are in a forest or jungle when they listen to my music (which is kind of true as I created the track “Neon Jungle” in the jungle of Costa Rica, for example).”

To top off the highly-anticipated release, Herry even debuted the full album yesterday evening in a stunning audiovisual VR rendering of the world she hopes to build around Neon Jungle. In helping to construct this vision, CloZee brought on frequent collaborator and Microdose VR creator, Android Jones, who is an artistic visionary in his own right. The video, which is live on YouTube right now, already has over 15,000 views in under 24 hours.

Previously, CloZee releases three intoxicating lead singles from the LP, including the iconic “Winter Is Coming,” the soothing “Air” with fellow Fench artist Sauvane, and “Us” featuring Australian indie icon The Kite String Tangle. CloZee now completes the storyline with seven more records that are informed by sounds from all over the world.

Neon Jungle offers up a world that is meticulously crafted by CloZee herself—in its sound, look, and feel. It’s more than a sonic narrative, to be sure. This is a space one can see with their own eyes, open and closed; a space one can reach out and touch. It’s a world that is organic, colorful, charming; at times soothing and meditative, at others hypnotic and wildly energetic; and, above all, profoundly resilient.


Stepping into Neon Jungle’s colorful world

Opening with worldly flare is “Mirage,” a carefully balanced track swathed in elegant charm, Followed by the album’s rhythmic namesake, “Neon Jungle.”

 

CloZee and The Kite String Tangle’s “Us” follows as a hypnotic gem orchestrated with unadulterated tranquility. As one of the more commercial sounding tracks on the LP, the song’s vocal softness juxtaposes powerfully with the album’s lead single, “Winter Is Coming,” a forceful track burgeoning with tribal bass. It was actually the second song CloZee composed for the album: “I came back from the mountains of Les Pyrénées in France, inspired to write something epic, with snowy mountain views. I had visions of people doing extreme mountain sports while creating it.”

“It was also the beginning of the final season of Game Of Thrones (I’m a fan), so I called it ‘Winter Is Coming’ temporarily. I decided to keep it because it was super easy to remember, and some kind of tribute. This is probably one of my favorite tracks to play live, the feedback is always amazing.”

 

“Air” then comes in as a narcotic gem that stands as a testimony to CloZee’s artistic breadth and depth. “‘Air’ was one of my favorite tunes to make. I just love to write slow and beautiful songs more than anything,” she says.”

Featuring the lyrical genius of Sauvne, this atmospheric listen is a luminous triumph that is saturated with feminine energy. “I met Sauvane through my former French manager, who is now representing her and recommended her music. I loved it so I sent the instrumental to Sauvane and she inspired to collaborate.”

“[Sauvane] had the idea of writing the lyrics like if it was the earth talking directly to Humans: ‘Could you be careful? I’m surrounded, I need some Air.’ The song is about earth, asking humans to be respectful, to be loving and caring towards each other and towards their own planet or we risk seeing it burn,” Herry continues on the power behind the song’s lyrics.

 

Track number six on the album, “Nuages,” comes along as a downtempo collaborative experience with 9 Theory existing in sweet serenity. A constant breaker of geographic and regional barriers in sound, “Nuages” sees CloZee push the envelope more than ever before. The song’s soothing acoustic strings, atmospheric highs, synth-heavy breakdowns, and warm vocality all work together to leave listeners in a state of meditative bliss.

 

A stark contrast to “Nuages” pastel charm is “Heya,” a lush showcase of worldly bass and brass. Laden with cinematic horns that call on the stylings of ODESZA, placed against a melodious flute that has come to mark CloZee’s sound stamp, “Heya” is an upbeat number that urges listeners to stand up, join the dance, let go, and move along to the hypnotic beats.

 

Taking a detour into the realm of hip-hop, CloZee enlists Sir Bishop’s lyrical genius for “Long Live The Chill.” Laden with CloZee’s charm and powerful flow, “Long Live The Chill” is a slight yet impressive departure from CloZee’s unique sound.


Wrapping up the journey that is Neon Jungle are “Amazonia” and “Perfect,” textured treats littered with CloZee’s nuanced flare. A wondrous 10-track ride through the inspired mind of French musical maven CloZee, Neon Jungle is the mellifluous nod to her travels as both an artist and wanderer.


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CloZee looks out at the Denver skyline from the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Photo courtesy of CloZee.

Queen CloZee awakens the wanderer within

In the way the clean curve of a Japanese roof is understated and exotic, CloZee derives her power and strength from a bold simplicity. There’s a certain profundity in all that CloZee does. Her music also has a way of awakening the wanderer within.

Neon Jungle is just one more piece of the puzzle in CloZee’s ongoing storyline, which she describes as “a feedback loop of adventure, music, and love” on her website. It’s reflective of the places CloZee has been, the people she’s met along the way, and how they inspired her to honor that meeting with sounds that will live on forever. Above all, the album is a fun-filled journey through many of CloZee’s signature flavors and textures, while she takes the time to experiment with new sounds and moods.

Let’s not forget about CloZee’s classical guitar roots, which have always allowed her an informed, melodic space that draws influence from flamenco to edIT of The Glitch Mob. Time and time again, this melting pot of instrumentation and cinematic flair puts listeners in the mood to move, with international crowds now cultivating the evolution of CloZee’s powerful world-influenced tribal bass genre.

Listen the full 10-track journey to form your own opinions and be sure to check out the full Q&A we had with CloZee below — where the French Goddess of Glitch talks about the album in more detail, along with adventures at Envision, Burning Man, and her cross-continental move to America.


CE: This is your second studio full-length. Is there any story behind the album? What do you want the album to say on a whole?

CloZee: I will always see a new album as a new chapter of my life and career. So there is definitely some kind of story, it’s always linked to my adventures and experiences while traveling, touring, meeting new people, discovering new landscapes, etc.

The particularity of this album is the atmosphere: the visual aspect is more defined compared to my past work. The artwork, the videos, the live show (hopefully coming soon). I really wanted to create a new imaginative world.

There is no particular message, but I just hope that the album will be the soundtrack of many people’s adventures and memories. I hope it will also help the listeners who are still stuck at home, and need a little escape. I want to provide people an escape to a place where they feel safe, confident, and loved. 

CE: “Winter Is Coming” feels like the anthem of the LP, but it also sounds like a lot of the main threads you’ve been using for a while in your live sets. What was your vision for creating this song?

CloZee: This is the second song I composed for this album. I came back from the mountains Les Pyrénées in France, inspired to write something epic, with snowy mountain views. I had visions of people doing extreme mountain sports while creating it. It was also the beginning of the final season of Game Of Thrones (I’m a fan), so I called it “Winter Is Coming” temporarily. I decided to keep it because it was super easy to remember, and some kind of tribute. This is probably one of my favorite tracks to play live, the feedback is always amazing.

CE: “Air” is definitely our favorite single on the album. It sounds like indie meets electronic, with a touch of CloZee world bass. Where did you find this gorgeous vocalist Sauvane? What was it like working together? How did the track come together?

CloZee: Air was one of my favorite tunes to make. I just love to write slow and beautiful songs more than anything. I met Sauvane through my former French manager, who is now representing her and recommended her music. I loved it so I sent the instrumental to Sauvane and she got inspired to collaborate.

She had the idea of writing the lyrics like if it was the earth talking directly to Humans: “Could you be careful? I’m surrounded, I need some Air.” The song is about earth, asking humans to be respectful, to be loving and caring towards each other and towards their own planet or we risk seeing it burn.

CE: The album’s title is perfect. Any reason that you decided to title it Neon Jungle?

CloZee: The name Neon Jungle was to me a great description of my music and vision for the album and tour that will follow its release. I’m obviously very inspired by nature. A lot of people say that they feel like they are in a forest or jungle when they listen to my music (which is kind of true as I created the track “Neon Jungle” in the jungle of Costa Rica, for example). I wanted a name that has both an electronic and organic feel. I created the album while also thinking about the live show and stage design: I want to bring a small jungle on stage. Neon Jungle would fit for the album and vision for the tour.

CE: Your Envision sets this past year were life-changing. How do you feel about people who are starting to associate that as your festival? What are some reasons you’re so drawn to attending year after year?

CloZee: Thank you! I’m always putting so much work into those sets, so I’m so glad you guys enjoyed them. Whenever I know I’m back at Envision (usually many months before), I already start thinking about what I’m going to play. It’s one of my favorite festivals, and it’s very close to my heart. I’m always so inspired when I come back from Envision to Costa Rica. The Luna Stage is my favorite stage to play on in the whole world. The vibe, the stage design, the sound system, the visuals, lights, lasers, the crew… I love everything!

CE: How’s Colorado? We recently heard you moved there and have seen you posting tons of pictures hiking all over the Rockies. Is this why you wanted to move out? Or was it more of a career move?

CloZee: It’s great, I love Colorado! It reminds me of Toulouse sometimes, especially with the mountains so close. The move was for career and personal reasons.

CE: Are you planning to hit Burning Man pretty regularly now that you are living so close?

CloZee: I hope so! If I’m not touring during the same period, I think I’ll try to go back regularly. Last time I have a rough time and was mostly trying to survive (mainly because of the jet lag and being dehydrated, even if I felt like I drank a lot). I learned, haha. I can’t wait to fo another year to try to make it a bit more enjoyable and fun.