New Audio: Cleo Handler Shares Snarky Anthem “problem”

Cleo Handler is a Los Angeles-born singer/songwriter, filmmaker and longtime lyricist in the Advanced BMI Songwriting Workshop, who spent a decade here in Brooklyn, and returned back to Southern California in the “aftermath of an extremely disorienting, sudden breakup with her long-term (musician) partner.

Recorded at Wild Horizon Sound, the recently released, Claire Morrison-produced gold features session musicians Sarsten Noicee and Mike DeLuccia. gold as Handler explains “is about what’s gained when everything feels lost.

Handler’s recently released full-length album gold as she explains “is about what’s gained when everything feels lost. The raw production, honest storytelling, and deeply personal lyrics explore loss of love, community, reality, and even your idea of yourself… and oh, right – it’s a breakup album.

“This album – and accompanying videos – were born out of necessity, in the aftermath of an extremely disorienting, sudden breakup with my long-term (musician) partner,” Handler says.”Writing was the only thing that kept me afloat, and the overpowering urge to channel my own music the only task that made sense. It became a compulsion and I held on for dear life, singing and strumming, even when my voice cracked and my fingers bled.”

“These songs are about empowerment, self- actualization, and finding a reason to go on – and the courage to hope, sing, even laugh – in the darkest times,” Handler adds. “Musically, gold draws inspiration from beloved artists like Liz Phair and Wet Leg, nodding to the strength and snark of Olivia Rodrigo and Hole.

gold‘s latest single “problem” is a lo-fi bit of indie rock rooted in heart-worn-on-sleeve lyricism, anthemic hooks and scuzzy power chords. Sonically. “gold” immediately brings memories of 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind — in particular Liz Phair, Hole, Veruca Salt and others with the snarky, righteously bitter sarcasm of the heartbroken.

“‘problem’ is about projection, reevaluating what you’ve been told, and reclaiming your power,” Handler says.