Chelsea Paolini, singer, guitarist, and frontwoman of the legendary New Hampshire band People Skills, is finally going solo. Since she debuted her solo album “One More Before the Therapy Kicks In" in 2016, Paolini has been touring all over the country from Dover, NH, to Denver, CO to support of her new sound.
People Skills, comprised of Paolini, her brother Andrew on drums, and bassist Eric Reingold of Blacklight Ruckus, is known around the Granite State as the flagship psychedelic power pop trio. The band has sold out clubs all over New Hampshire and have performed with Max Creek, members of Kung Fu, and Tristan Omand. Fans identify the band through Paolini’s epic guitar solos, dreamy vocals, and confessional songwriting that detail relationships, mental illness, and self-deprecating humor.
Though Paolini still translates her vocal style and guitar wizardry to her solo project, the Portsmouth-based singer/songwriter has reinvented herself as the Northeast’s next pop rock superstar. Yet underneath all of the sunshine and bright tones lies a much darker album than what People Skills fans will expect.
“One More Before the Therapy Kicks In" showcases Paolini in her most open- and broken-hearted. Her songs speak like entries in a diary, dealing with her lofty ambitions, the current state of artistry in modern society, and confronting depression without holding back.
“It’s funny because I write about the same subjects in People Skills songs, but more cryptically, so I think I’m either becoming less clever, or else maybe I want to get a clearer message across,” she said.
The album itself spans the spectrum of genre diversity, while still clutching firmly to the catchy nature of pop music. Listeners will hear a distinct ska influence on “How to Be Happy", while funk fans will adore the ripping solo at the intro of “Cuz You’re An Artist, Baby". “For You to Leave" has the bounce of 90s alt-pop, while “Doll" sounds like if The Postal Service experimented with Spanish-style guitar melodies.
As a solo artist, Paolini confidently offers the listener the freedom to come closer to her heart while still serving music with a smile on her face.
“Honestly, the hope and optimism I kind of threw in there for my parents and anyone who might be worried,” Paolini said. “It’s hard to write from the heart when your biggest fans are the people closest to you … honestly, I swear I’m not a bummer to hang out with, although these lyrical confessions make it seem so.”
Paolini stands out from the pack through her ability to strip out the irony of today’s alternative rock music, and speak from the soul without losing her ability to shred.