In an age where formerly multi-platinum musicians are so vocally bummed out that they’re not making enough money selling records anymore, it’s refreshing to find an artist like Charlotte Sometimes who is thrilled simply to be able to sing for us. She discovered her passion for writing and performing music at 14 and it quickly became the focus of her world, her intense relationship with the sounds she created garnering her quick attention and even getting her signed to Crush Management at only 16. Shortly thereafter she went through the most frightening experience she would ever know—after being diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease, her doctors informed her that there was a strong chance her jaw would be irreparably damaged. Her immediate question to them was whether it would affect her singing but the answer that came back was so much more terrifying: singing was not what she needed to be worrying about since she’d be lucky if she could still just speak normally after years of treatment. Over the next several years she battled the disease and struggled to maintain her voice, and going through that harrowing time she realized that if she couldn’t sing she had no way to feel connected to her life as it passed. “I’ve had some dysfunctional love affairs in my life, but none that come close to the one I have with music,” she says. “I almost wish it would leave me alone once in a while. I tell music to go fuck itself, I do… but it always fucks me.”
Fortunately she recovered in full and by 19 was once again able to start recording. She released her debut album Waves And The Both Of Us in 2008 through Geffen Records to critical acclaim, landing herself on a slew of major publications’ lists of new artists to watch and also a booking on that year’s Vans Warped Tour. Her intensity enables her to create pop songs that feel like they should be belted out by torch singers in smoky gin joints but still speak directly to the experience of a young girl coming of age in Generation Rx. She had her battles with anorexia, panic attacks, a resultant love affair with Valium. Like all good artists she’s had pains and heartbreaks but has the gift to be able to express what she went through in ways that resonate with anyone. Charlotte happens to be a pretty 23 year old girl living in Brooklyn, but her diverse fan base shows that all types of people hear the emotions in her songs and find themselves thinking she must be singing about them. Her ability to combine what would otherwise be standard indie-pop with elements of electronica, folk, and a fine gloss of blues sensibilities creates a unique and infectious sound that evokes a maturity far beyond her actual age.
Charlotte will soon be releasing a new EP entitled The Wait produced by Sloan Alexander of Human Music Worldwide, and the title is utterly apropos. She explains that despite the critical acclaim and early success of her previous efforts, this is by far her most exciting release as it’s the first time she recorded as a fully-formed adult. Whereas her earlier works did a beautiful job of encapsulating the arduous struggle that is growing up, she views her previous work as child-like in retrospect. “I blamed everyone but myself back then, but now I’ve finally finished something I feel is truly self-aware and confessional. I got tired of having to deal with labels and managers, and I’m eternally grateful to have gotten Sloan involved. We both really sunk our teeth in and he opened me up to a whole new approach to songwriting and production. The songs are very diverse but if I had to pick a central theme, I think it’s really about that difficult lesson all women struggle through on the path from adolescence to adulthood—learning to finally love yourself instead of wandering around looking for someone else to validate your worth.”
Charlotte SometimesinManasquan, NJatManasquan Fireman’s Fair
Charlotte SometimesinNew York, NYatCity Winery