WTRGRL Is Going Up

WTRGRL Is Going Up

By Tobias HessJan 23, 2024

Longevity is a hard quality to achieve in this ever-churning music industry. So is reinvention. Somehow, though, Chloe Saavedra has achieved both, sustaining a career in music that’s spanned projects, sounds and roles. Today, she’s announcing the next chapter in that ever-changing journey, her first solo album under the moniker WTRGRL: Drïpsody, a darkly moving collection of dance-inflected pop songs that fuse the spirit of the club with the torn pages of a poet’s notebook. Premiering her new single, "are u up", along with a seductive new video, Saavedra has provided listeners a glimpse into Drïpsody’s chaotically expanding universe.

Beginning her career with her sister, Asy, in their band, Smoosh (later renamed to Chaos Chaos), the duo became well known for producing songs that were as sonically inventive as they were emotionally honest. As Chaos Chaos’s drummer, Chloe always brought surprising and propulsive rhythms to the band's works. It makes sense then that Chloe would go on to have a successful career as a touring drummer, working with PAPER favs like Caroline Polacheck and Eartheater, who she’s on tour with right now. Taking all that she’s learned through her work with her sister and beyond, Chloe is channeling a life’s worth of knowledge and know-how into a bold debut.

Below, Chloe chats with PAPER about her new video, which depicts a near-exorcism in the dark void of a club, this next chapter in her artistry and how her creative process shifted for her solo debut.

The video for "are u up" has a really strong and gripping aesthetic. It almost feels like it's shot at a techno club in the void. What was the process for conceptualizing the video and shooting it?

Wow, thank you! I’ve always been interested in body architecture in paintings and photos. I wanted to portray the movements of bodies with a minimalist black backdrop like a baroque painting and to juxtapose the bouncy, sexy demeanor of the song with the seriousness of a high-quality medium. The director, Natasha Wilson, did an amazing job straddling the concept of overt sexuality and the sterile backdrop of fine art. My incredibly talented friends really made the video what it is.

Natasha, Stephanie Dobash (DP), Angel Tailan (stylist), Elise Gehrke (MUA), Alec Nicholas (editor), Maia Saavedra Weisenhaus (pyro technician), the dancers, models and my friends who came through to help with the production, were the best team to create with. I felt like we built this super-family on set and had a blast making it, which is why it’s so close to my heart.

This is your first solo record after a long, inspiring run with your band, Chaos Chaos, which you are in with your sister. What was it like making this record solo? How did that creative process differ from your work with the band?

My work with Asy and my work with WTRGRL are very different processes. There is a synergy to doing both that I enjoy. Although WTRGRL is self-fronted, I had collaborators on the album that I want to highlight: Zhone, whom I made the majority of the album with, Clearcast and Holly Waxwing. The album wouldn’t be possible without them. It’s a somewhat new process for me to guide a project and give direction whereas with Asy, we both make decisions together. I think being in charge of your own vision is amazing and empowering, but also creating with a partner, particularly a sibling, can be a very beautiful and spiritual process.

You've been busy touring with PAPER Caroline Polacheck and Eartheater for the past few years. How did working and touring with those artists inform this project?

I wrote the majority of Drïpsody during the pandemic before I began drumming for either of them, but it’s been a very educational process for me in many ways. I don’t want to compare them because they are very different artists. But they both have an ability to tap-in to every performance. [They know how to] harness the magic of chaos, the intangibles of an environment beyond our control that really makes every show special and beautiful. Something I’ve tried to carry with me is being uncompromising about an idea and artistic vision, to not be afraid to take the time and attention to detail needed to convey what I’m going for.

How does this video for "are u up" bring us into the world of your forthcoming album Drïpsody?

The video introduces the palette of the album. With both the video and the record I enjoy deconstructing and twisting the aesthetics of pop music, commercialization, iconography and cult of personality.