We chat to the Blackburn songstress about hangovers, songwriting and where makes for the best night out
The haunting vocals of Charlotte OC’s eponymous EP, out Monday 22nd Setember, is matched in tone by the striking darkness of the accompanying video, directed by Georgia Hudson. After a summer of festivals and recording in Los Angeles with Tim Anderson, better known for working with the likes of Sia, this Lancashire lass has her sights set firmly on the future.
This Blackburn beauty bewitched us with her songs as well as her style, we chat making the best of your worst hangovers, and learning from experience, both bad and good.
How would you describe your style and the way you dress, what and who inspires you?
Ethereal…dark…. gold… leather! My style icons are Penelope Tree and Cleopatra!
You’ve spent some time in LA, how does it compare to your hometown of Blackburn?
Well obviously the weather is slightly different in Blackburn, and there is a lack of palm trees but there are some slight similarities. I love going back to Blackburn to be creative and write like I do when I’m in LA.
What was working with Tim Anderson like, how did it come about?
I travelled to LA to do some writing for the first time 18 months ago and he was one of the guys I was introduced to. I turned up to his studio and played him a few tracks that I’d been working on that were edging around the idea of where I wanted to be as an artist, and I think he just understood what I wanted straight away. He then went over to the piano and started playing a few chords, and as soon as I heard them I instantly heard ideas and became obsessed with what he was playing – all the chords were chords I’d always wanted to hear. That’s how ‘Colour my Heart’ was made.
Who would you love to work with, or collaborate with in the future?
I love Caribou; I think they are incredible. I’d always been a fan of the early stuff but the new tunes they have released are simply beautiful. I’m also a massive fan of Hoizer.
What event inspired ‘Hangover’?
Well I was hung over when I walked into the session. I didn’t know I was working with Tim that day so the night before I let my hair down. The next morning got a very early phone call letting me know I had a session booked in and I felt horrendous! But luckily Tim had been working on an idea; as soon as I heard it I had loads of ideas for it but I couldn’t quite get them out because to be quite honest I was feeling so rough. But just as I was about to leave we started talking about how rough I felt and then all of a sudden I started singing the line ‘Hangover’ and Tim finished it off with ‘In the morning’ and then the rest fell into place. The song isn’t quite what you think it’s about, but I like to leave it to interpretation
What’s your idea of a perfect night out?
Berlin, more specifically Berghain with a select few of my favourite humans.
What can we expect from your album?
I’m still working on it, but a lot of honest lyrics, close vocals and passion.
You started writing songs as a teenager, how do you think your style and ability has developed?
I grew up listening to a lot of James Taylor and I think that really influenced me when I was younger. My dad took me to see him when I was 16 and I was incredibly inspired by him. But as I’ve gotten older, the other music I grew up listening to has crept into my life and inspired me in a different way like Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Talking Heads, and Aretha Franklin. Those artists have massively inspired me with my new record.
You were signed and subsequently dropped from a label after making an album, what has that experience taught you?
Like any experience when you are young, I learnt from it. I learnt what I want and what I don’t want and who I am as a person, and who I want to be and who I want around to help make my vision as clear as I see it.
What’s been the strangest moment in your career so far? (Interpret, as you like)
It’s all strange!
What have you got coming up (aside from your EP)?
Lots of live shows coming up which I’m really excited about. I’m playing Pitchfork Festival in Paris and also doing some festivals in Australia – I’ve never been, so I’m really looking forward to that. And continuing to write my album.
Words: Siobhan Frew