Monday, January 26, 2009

Charlotte Sometimes: Words Beyond Her Years

Have you ever felt like an outcast? Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? Did you ever just want to escape? Well then, you can sympathise with VH1's Artist You Outta Know Charlotte Sometimes. Growing up in her hometown of Wall, New Jersey, she felt like the weird one in her school. You know, we all have had that person. Kinda like Alley Sheedy's character Allison in The Breakfast Club. So misunderstood, but deep down, they were just like you and me.

Well, Charlotte did escape through writing and performing. Her name was taken from a children's book and is the name of a boarding student who is magically transported some 40 yeas into the past and into the body of another girl. The book was written in 1969 by Penelope Farmer. The whole premise of the book really caught her attention. The whole idea of escaping into another personality or another person's persona intrigued her.

Charlotte has always been into performing. "I took dance and theater until I was 14. That's when I decided to pick up a guitar and start performing songs about how I was feeling," said Charlotte. The lyrics that poured out of this young woman were far beyond her young age. "My mom used to say that I had a 40 year old woman trapped inside my body!" She drew alot from bad relationships and there was plenty of material to draw upon.

Her debut cd "Waves and The Both Of Us" draws heavy upon relationships and the constant struggle between men and women in these. The lyrics tend to be deep and brooding in parts and somewhat explicit. One tends to wonder what all is going on inside the head of this young woman to be so inspired to write lyrics of such twisted substance. Take the lyrics of "Sweet Valium High" in which she sings of a bad relationship and asks "Do you think of me when she screams your name?" Other songs questioning the different aspects of relationships include the stand out tracks "In Your Apartment" and "Build The Moon".

"I guess I have never really been very good at relationships. I don't think that I have these false expectations, but I know I do have standards that just never seem to work out," said Charlotte. Well, on her cd, she has put all these trials and tribulations to pen and music and has crafted a lesson in relationships 101 that. It may not read like a Harlequin romance novel, but it does prove to be very interesting listening.

So, what does the future hold in store for this blossoming young talent? "I went out on tour with Gavin DeGraw last year and that was alot of fun. I am hoping to go out in maybe February in support of myself." Of course my last question was my stranded on a desert island with one cd question. What would young Charlotte take along for the ride? "Probably Photo Album" by Death Cab For Cutie. I would want to have something to listen to that inspires me."

In today's every changing industry, there seems to be alot of female artists popping up who get compared to Fiona Apple, Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos and I can see similarities with all three, probably most with Tori Amos who draws on bad past experiences in her music. Charlotte also has a very unique voice that definitely grabs your attention from her first words. I would definitely suggest the cd to everyone, especially those bored with the typical influx of blonde wannabe singers talking about the perils of being pretty while showing off their boobs. Charlotte is very old school in that aspect. She is a very sexy performer, yet she doesn't rely on cheap gimmicks such as overly sexual lyrics or cleavage. Check it out and give it a listen and you to can escape into another world like in Charlotte's favorite book.

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