Moody Australian lounge lizard Michael Clullen released his second album, True Believer, in 2014, and now has released a radio edit and video for the single “Cha Cha Cha d’Amour,” available on Youtube. Part retro and part indie, Michael Cullen’s unique style translates to this video via a gold suit, a sad girl and lots of ironic cache.
Musically, “Cha Cha Cha d’Amour” is one of the finest examples of Cullen’s smooth, jazzy style with a twist. A cross between Morrissey, Chris Rea and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, this song along with the rest of True Believer was recorded on non-ditigal tape and co-produced with timEbandit (Tim Powels of the Church). The feel of the song and indeed of Cullen’s music in general is of a sort of goth lounge jazz; dripping with irony and vaguery.
Cullen’s vocals on the track, though deadpan like Ian Curtis and raspy like Chris Rea, are emotionally charged and carry the emotive futility of a burned out lounge singer who despite all he’s been through, is still lookg for love. HIs guitar is a cross between Chris Rea again and Chris Isaac or Tom Waits; haunting, like what one might to expect to hear in a dusty old bar somewhere in the desert. While clearly infused with irony, Cullen’s songwriting on “Cha Cha Cha d’Amour” also conveys a strong message, that even the most lonely of souls still want love like anyone else. He is a great storyteller and likens himself to Tom Waits or Nick Cave in that respect.
Combining a quirky 70s lounge persona and style with a sort of downplayed junkyard indie country guitar, Michael Cullen brings a sense of fun to accompany his stark lyrics. Able to convey apathy and emotion, lonliness and irony at the same time with both music and lyrics, “Cha Cha Cha d’Amour” and its parent album, True Believer put the muscle behind ichael Cullen’s over-the-top, rogue Elvis persona. True Believer can be streamed or purchased on Cullen’s Bandcamp page. Click below to view the new video.