(25 September 2012) The fourth release by emerging singer songwriter Charlotte Sometimes is a six-track 22-minute EP entitled Circus Head. It is the artist's first release following her performances on The Voice. Charlotte's debut album Waves and the Both of Us (2008) was followed by two independent EP releases Sideways (2010) and The Wait (2011). Read our September 2012 interview with the artist and review below.
Interview. Musical Discoveries: On the new EP Circus Head you let the audience peer into your world. What life experiences have had the most significant influence on the new record?
Charlotte Somtimes: I think the evolution of my life has been a strange and powerful one. I was in a really transitional place when I wrote Circus Head I was getting to know myself as a woman and the whole EP is more observational than my last few records. Instead of complaining it has a tone throughout saying, "I guess this is who I am, this is what I'm about," and there is love and hate in that observation.
Since your last EP release, what have been the most remarkable challenges you have faced as a musician?
Being judged by millions of people on TV was pretty crazy. But I'd have to say figuring out how to survive in an economy that is [not] very artist friendly anymore [is also challenging].
How would you say that your appearances on The Voice influenced your career afterwards?
I think The Voice influenced me in a way that I couldn't have been influenced playing gigs at clubs. It was a validation that so many artists need. I am a sensitive one, so it's nice to know that some of the biggest stars in the world think I'm talented.
I of course was disappointed going home, but I think of my music career as a marathon, not a sprint. And The Voice was just another cool chapter in my life.
Contrast your time with the label to how life changed when you went independent?
Being with a label comes with a lot of good and bad. It's awesome to have money to support the tours you do and have a huge machine promoting you. But usually that doesn't last and what you get is a lot of lessons you would have learned if you weren't signed. But utimately I think there is something to be said about both roads, as I've taken both.
It's harder to support myself now, but I have one hundred percent control over my image, music, and my money. That is pretty priceless. But hey, I am not going to say I wouldn't sign to another major label.
What do you find most exciting about the music industry and your role as a rapidly emerging female artist?
Being able to connect to my fans on a more intimate level. I don't think you had that opportunity years ago. I love being a female in this industry, because I think being a female is a powerful thing. But I cannot stand when people say "girl music" [because] beging female is not a genre!
Do you have any visions of changing the music scene through your work?
I try not to think about what others are doing. I try to follow my own path and let the universe guide me. This is who I am. Some people like it [and] some people don't.
Besides music, what else rocks your world these days Charlotte?
I am in love with The Walking Dead! My boyfriend and I watch is constantly. And I am obsessed with cats! Yup, I'm a crazy cat lady.
Circus Head Review. Charlotte's new EP opens with the upbeat "Brilliant, Broke and Beautiful." Heartfelt lyrics are delivered atop pulsing guitar and electronic arrangements. Self-backing harmonies are especially brilliant in the chorus. The delicate solo vocal delivery on the almost reggae-styled "Second Best" is perfectly accompanied by lighter arrangements with softer guitar and gentle keyboard washes. The artist's emotion rings through on every note building tension and then releasing it.
One of the centerpieces of the album is the powerfully delivered rock anthem "Make Love To A Stranger." Listen to Charlotte's vast vocal excursions and the significant power in the singer's voice. The radio friendly number is certain to be one of the artist's crowd pleasers in her live performances. The downtempo title track again finds Charlotte emotionally delivering the lyrics with her lead vocal soaring far above the crisp arrangements.
"Paint The Sky" is the most delicate number on the record. The gentle--almost country style--ballad features the singer at her tenderest. The brightly delivered chorus is brilliant. The album concludes with the tremendous track "Misery Business." Charlotte's rapidfire and percussive vocal delivery further demonstrates her range. Listen to Charlotte's power in the dramatic chorus.
Charlotte Sometimes is becoming an established female artist. Building on her TV appearance, loyal
social network following and three self-released EPs, the artist has a lot of runway ahead. She now needs to press on towards another full length album.