Release Date: Mar 31, 2017
Record label: Polydor
Genre(s): Pop, Downtempo, Pop/Rock, Alternative R&B, Left-Field Pop
Starting her early bid for inclusion on the next Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, Britain's Charlotte O'Connor aka Charlotte OC delivers her dusky, full-length goth-R&B debut, 2017's Careless People. Produced by Tim Anderson, who previously worked with such similarly inclined contemporaries Halsey, Sia, Banks, and Solange, Careless People builds upon the sound of her earlier EPs with a set of über-catchy, sanguinely emotional pop tracks that showcase her throaty, resonant croon. Cuts like the gospel-infused "Darkest Hour," the sultry "Medicine Man," and the yearning "Running Back to You" are deeply cinematic anthems that sound something along the lines of Kate Bush crossed with Hurts.
Charlotte OC grew up in the former mill town of Blackburn and used to go raving with PBR Streetgang in Leeds. And as 'Hangover' and the still-brilliant 'Colour My Heart' will attest, she's got a voice that could melt the coldest icecap. Her new album 'Careless People', however, has its sights set on America, hence a slight switch in songwriting direction and a sound more attuned to LA than London or Leeds.
Her debut album is named for a line in The Great Gatsby - "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness." Along with Lorde's "Green Light", this should be enough to fill pop's F. Scott Fitzgerald quota until Lana Del Rey's return. It's also an interesting premise - an album about cruelty and disregard, but freedom too.
In Charlotte OC's world, every line has a shadow; 'We keep on running like a river! Riveeeer.' The pop-minded theatricality of her debut album Careless People pays homage to the boldest voices in the business, but loses OC's individuality in the mix. The Lancashire-born musician's been preparing for this moment for years. She grew up attending weekend classes at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, was signed (and dropped) by Columbia Records while she was still in her teens, and subsequently released three EPs between 2013-2016.
To say Charlotte OC's debut has been a long time coming would be a massive understatement. The Blackburn-born singer's journey begun at the tender age of 18 when she inked a four album deal with Columbia, but came to a grinding halt after she was dropped after just one album. Subsequently, OC took up work in her mum's salon before relocating to Berlin, where she would take inspiration from the city's decadent techno underground.