FAULT catches up with Chlöe Howl as she gears up for a new era of music

Chlöe Howl is the comeback kid. After taking some time away from the music industry, the 22-year-old singer has been burrowed away in the studio working on new music and is almost ready to unleash more of her infectious pop bangers upon the world. FAULT Magazine caught up with the musician last week to see how it’s all going…

What have you been up to since we last heard from you?

The last thing I released was officially three years ago now, which is crazy, so since then I have had some time away from it to regroup and figure out what I wanted to do. In the last six months I’ve been working with this producer called Chris Zane and we’re writing an album – I think we’re going to work completely together on that, and that’s all I’ve been doing basically.


On Twitter you’ve teased a track called Magnetic, what can you tell me about that?

I wrote Magnetic a little while ago with this guy called Duncan Tootill. You’ve probably had this, when you break up with somebody but you keep getting back together, and it was at the point where I think we’d almost got together about four times and to convince myself that I wasn’t just an idiot who was foolishly falling for the same person over and over again I was like, ‘Maybe it’s fate, what if the reason we keep coming back together is because it’s meant to be?’ Which is obviously bullshit, but I was trying to validate it, so this song was me the final time we almost got back together being like, ‘Maybe it’s fate, maybe it’s destiny,’ and picking it apart.


Do you feel like your songwriting has evolved in between when you first started and now, or do you stick to the same process?

It’s definitely evolved because I started writing when I was 16 and now I’m 22 so it’s evolved because I’ve grown, and I’ve done so much of it now that I’ve honed in my skill. I’m very selective over melodies and lyrics and now I’ve got much quicker at finding melodies that I like, so the process is a lot smoother for me now than it was before. Before it would be a bit of a struggle because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I know what I like now so therefore the writing is a lot easier and better [laughs].


How much of a say do you get in production, are you hands on with that too?

Chris, who I am pretty much solely working with now, and I worked together when I was 17, so we’ve known each other for five years now – he produced one of my first singles, Rumour. We’ve known each other so long and the reason we’ve kept in contact is because we have a friendship, so this whole process is nice because he’s my collaborator, it’s a team effort. We both know what kind of sounds we want to create and what we want the songs to eventually sound like, it’s all pretty hands on.


Have you noticed many changes in the industry since you started?

Definitely, I think now there’s a lot more people going independent which is exciting. When I first started it was all about following suit, you had to have a label, then you had to get a feature and then you had to release the usual way, but I think that was sapping the soul out of new artists because you get signed and then a corporation has a say in what they believe you should be, but the reason that you got signed in the first place was because you were yourself and that’s what the label liked. Now a lot of artists are realising the control you can have by going independent, there’s a lot of people coming out, fucking the system and doing things exactly how they want to do them and it’s working better for them than it ever has before.


What about online streaming, is that becoming more beneficial to you as an artist?

It’s interesting with streaming because it’s really hard for new artists to chart now because streaming is such a big part of where you chart these days, so that is always going to be the battle. Everybody thinks it’s about getting on Spotify playlists and getting those numbers up but I’ve always been more interested in how many people come to my shows or how many fans I see face to face. That for me, even when I was doing it before, was the real stamp of success. Obviously the size is all relative but if I could sell out a venue full of people who love my music then that’s good with me.


Will your older singles still be making an appearance in your live show?

I haven’t even thought about live yet because I’ve been focusing so hard on getting a new selection of songs, but maybe, we’ll see.


What’s your opinion on fashion and music working together?

It’s interesting because when you think back to icons of the sixties like Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry, all of those fashion icons, they all had their fingers in all of the pies. They were all into fashion but it was also coupled with music, and all of the artistic scenes merged together. I always think it’s good when stuff happens like that, creativity needs to look out for other creativity.


Has your style been influenced by music in particular?

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with characters in films. The reason that I wear Dr Martens every day is because I got massively into This Is England and then I watched Almost Famous and then Annie Hall and The Craft. I loved films like that where the fashion was at the forefront of it and I think I am an amalgamation of characters I want to be basically. Mine didn’t necessarily come from music. I guess it does in a sense because I listened to a lot of guitar music and bands growing up and then I slowly got into pop, but the way I dress isn’t super poppy and clean cut because my initial introduction to music was a little bit more Reading Festival vibes [laughs].


Who were your favourite bands growing up?

All the ones you would expect when you were like 16 [laughs]. I loved The Maccabees, Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines but I grew up listening to The Smiths, New Order and The Cure, just normal teenage grunge vibes.

Who are you listening to at the minute?

At the minute I really like Kehlani’s album. Whenever anyone asks me this question my mind goes blank, however I heard a song the other day called Something For Your M.I.N.D by a band called Superorganism, that’s pretty sick.


Do you have any hobbies outside of music?

I have had so many hobbies throughout my life but I have such a short attention span. The last hobby was rock climbing but I just give things up. At the minute I’m focusing on my pet rabbit, he is my life.


What’s he called?

He’s called Ziggy Sawdust and he’s a ginger Lion Head, so I don’t really go out because I have to feed him [laughs].


What’s your FAULT?

I’m really over-analytical, everything I do I overthink it, even with relationships or friendships, I’m always like, ‘Are we getting on as well as we used to? What if we aren’t? Does this mean it’s over?’ I can always ruin things by overthinking it and I can convince myself that somebody hates me even if they don’t, so that’s a nightmare. I’m also super lazy and a total slob so that’s a fault of mine too.

Chlöe’s comeback single ‘Magnetic’ is out today. Find it on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

Words Shannon Cotton

Photography Jack Alexander

Beauty Rachel Raffety