Pieces of Me
The very first time I heard Josie Charlwood was one of those moments that defines exactly why I love discovering, supporting and listening to new music. I clicked play on one of her tracks, I believe it was “Piece of You” and within the first few bars the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end, and I was hooked… Credit where credit is due, my friend and loyal supporter, Dieter Sanders from Germany introduced me to Josie’s music.
This 18 year old songstress has just released her debut solo album, a collection of 13 songs, mostly originals, and all of them self-produced and recorded live at home. Most of the tracks are just Josie accompanied by her piano or guitar, and a few have added instruments all played by Josie and expertly looped and beautifully layered.
In my opinion, the two elements that distinguish Josie from the multitude of talented up and coming singers and composers is the quality, expression and pureness of her voice. Add to this her supreme piano playing skills plus her impeccable timing and musicianship, and we have a very special performer. If all that wasn’t enough, her song-writing and musicianship put her on the upper echelons of the raft of new singer song-writers who populate Bandcamp, Facebook and MySpace.
My overall impression of her album is a perfectly crafted collection of songs sung from the heart and I defy anyone not being moved by at least one of her self-penned songs.
Notable tracks for me, include:
All That I Know
Effortlessly delivered, this is a powerful song where Josie manages to express the pain of someone who is about to be abandoned by the one she loves. The melody, structure of the song and her voice convey the pain beautifully, but strangely enough, there is hope and a very positive tone which makes this song very likable indeed.
Just One Look
Great lyrics which tell a story, fabulous piano, and a very uplifting feel to this song, which again captures that special quality in Josie’s voice. One of those songs that sounds perfect acoustically and which also lends itself to endless possibilities with a full production.
Electric Feel (loop station cover)
One of Josie’s great strengths is her skill with the loop station creating great sounds with her voice, throat and instruments and layering them with impeccable timing onto the song she is performing. One example is her great version of US band MGMT’s Electric Feel, which Josie absolutely makes her own whilst maintaining the integrity and feel of the original song. This, in my view, is a delicate art which requires great instinct, feel for the song and passion, attributes which Josie has in abundance.