Release Date: May 18, 2018
Record label: Moshi Moshi Records
After a decade spent tending to his half of U.K. indie pop duo Slow Club and as of 2017, playing guitar with garage combo the Surfing Magazines, Charles Watson steps out on his own with Now That I'm a River, his thoughtfully written and sonically enchanting solo debut. Recorded in Sheffield with a curated team of collaborators that includes Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfield and Hot Club de Paris' Paul Rafferty, the album takes lyrical inspiration partly from themes and language within J.G.
As half of Slow Club and one-third of The Surfing Magazines, Charles Watson has been creating classic-sounding records for over a decade, with his vintage equipment adding an authenticity to his 60s-influenced pop songs. He seems to know how to make anything sound cool, but classic sounds alone do not a classic album make. Happily, Watson's songwriting, born out of his creative-writing background, weaves intriguing stories atop glorious harmonies, riffs and grooves.
You always got the impression from Slow Club's four albums that they were making the music that they wanted to be making. Fears of cynical critiques against their original tweeness or later melodrama didn't prevent them releasing songs that were consistently entertaining and heart-provoking. It was the evident passion and sincerity in their writing that made them stand out as an act, coupled with the complementary yin-yang balance between Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor.