Charlotte Church – ‘TWO’ EP review
New sound, new start
2. Breach of the Peace
3. The Mistress
5. Lasts, or Eschaton
If somebody had told me earlier this month that I’d spend part of my weekend listening to Charlotte Church’s new EP, I (possibly) would have said one of the following:
a) Well, I’ve nothing against her, but I wouldn’t normally listen to her chosen genre.
b) You can’t tell me what to do; you’re not my real mum.
Erm, ok maybe an exaggeration.
BUT (it’s a big but and I cannot lie), it happened. After having my interest sparked upon seeing a live version of one particular track posted online, I felt compelled to research this further, having previously had little knowledge of this new material coming out.
This is the new, independently-minded direction that Church has taken, not held back by label constraints or press expectations. Having tired of relentless press scrutiny, standing up against the invasion of privacy alongside Hugh Grant et al at the Leveson court hearings and leaving behind the hedonism often associated with celebrity lifestyles, changes were made. Now back as a DIY artist, backed by partner/co-writer Jonathan Powell and a set group of musicians, Charlotte and the band have created this, five tracks which demonstrate where she now stands musically.
It can be argued that I’ve arrived a tad late for this party; ‘TWO’ as the name suggests, is actually the second of a planned five-part series of EPs to be released in coming months, the first having been released in October of last year. This EP was released on Monday 4th March, and is available on CD or via digital download.
‘Glitterbombed’, the lead single, is a slow-building but catchy, synth-driven opening number. ‘Breach of the Peace’ follows in a similar vein, a Goulding-esque number that could appeal to Ellie’s fanbase. Track four is the real gem in this collection – ‘Nerve’, a raw, honest declaration of a track that’s both engaging and relatable; the power of Church’s voice has not diminished in the slightest, and that chorus will stay with you. Check out the live video on YouTube. Closing with ‘Lasts, or Eschaton’, a chilled-out, mostly down-tempo track with a rising upbeat finish and an air of Leftfield, the EP finishes on a highnote – a victory, in my opinion, for Charlotte and co., who set out to break out of the old mould, and have achieved just that.
‘TWO’ is a strong, very modern sounding set of songs, with its blend of strings and electronics that isn’t a million miles away from the likes of Ellie Goulding and The Temper Trap, and as such could appeal to fans of such acts. With an added injection of emotion and sense of drama that takes it to the next level, there are enough reasons here to justify repeated listens and follow this series of EPs.
The video that got me hooked – this is a live performance of the track ‘Nerve’, one that suggests that it’s in the live environment that Church’s new material will truly shine; dramatic and utterly engaging, making full use of her range and not holding anything back. Fan or not, it cannot be argued that that is all you can truly ask for from any artist’s performance.
‘TWO’ is available from http://www.charlottechurchmusic.com/ and http://charlottechurchmusic.bandcamp.com/album/two
For fans of: Ellie Goulding, The Temper Trap, Skunk Anansie, Bat For Lashes, Leftfield