You will be hearing the name Chloe Charles in the very near future. The Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist is set to make a huge North American splash after a successful European tour and a CD release party of her second album, Break The Balance, at The Revival in Toronto on Wed., Feb. 13, 2013. You can also catch Charles in an interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC’s Q on Fri., Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. It doesn’t hurt that the photogenic Charles is a marketer’s dream as a result of being the stepsister of Julian Lennon (Charles’s father married Julian’s mother, Cynthia). Nevertheless, Charles’s unique talent challenges categorization.
And indeed Break The Balance showcases that very same versatility. “God is a Toad“ reveals touches of Joni Mitchell while Charles’s voice in “Find Her Way” hits notes in Björk territory. “My Child” delivers a similar message to Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child,” with a spookily automaton-like chorus symbolizing life’s predictable pain and repetition. “Soldier” opens with a classical guitar intro while Charles sings of confronting life’s obstacles and surviving in a style similar to Sade. In “Tarot,” Charles displays otherworldly vocal stylings and intrinsic musicality in the song’s minor chord progressions. And in “Business,” which opens with a 50s ‘doo-wop,’ Charles reaches a crescendo chorus reminiscent of Queen.
One thing is immediately apparent: Charles hasn’t compromised her artistry to achieve commercial success. Break The Balance is marked by its extreme individuality and serious and decidedly reflective subjects verging on darkness supported by rich, unregulated symphonic melodies that defy genres and Charles’s own classical guitar infusions.
Chloe Charles Break The Balance CD Release Party at The Revival, 783 College St., 416-535-7888. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.