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About Chloe Charles

Expect the unexpected …

Even before the release of With Blindfolds On, Chloe Charles’ sophomore orchestral-soul-pop album received accolades with its opening track, Black & White, winning the 2014 Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the Lennon Award for Pop. Sparsely orchestrated, yet characteristically lush, the vulnerable song Black & White sets the tone for this album’s labyrinthine soundscape through loss, love and yearning, lust and joie de vivre with her 3 dimensional orchestral romance and a hypnotizing voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday’s sultry poise, Adele’s intensity, the grit of Amy Winehouse and the courage and mischief of Bjork.

When Chloe’s debut album Break The Balance left critics in awe of her magical voice and scratching their heads as to what genre describes her, her mesmerizing sound placed her in a category of her own and landed the album critical acclaim:

“[One of] Five Canadian Acts to Watch”

— Billboards Magazine

 

“pop songs with an introverted beauty of surprising clarity”

— Rolling Stone Germany

 

“Toronto’s next big singer-songwriter”

— The Globe and Mail

Who would have thought that an overnight decision to jump from an honours university degree in psychology to braving it as a musician and furiously teaching herself guitar, would lead her to legendary stages in Europe where she consistently entranced her audiences? She’s played the North Sea Jazz Festival, WOMAD, British Commonwealth Games; opened for Rodriguez at London’s Apollo Theatre and Birmingham Symphony Hall, and for Anna Calvi at Paradiso in Amsterdam; and graced the stage on France’s most respected music television program, Taratata. She’s also won the 2014 Sirius XM Indie Award for Soul/R&B and the 2012 Harbourfront Soundclash Award, charted #9 on France’s iTunes Rock Chart, #1 on Amazon Germany’s Folk Chart and #9 on their Rock Chart.

With Blindfolds On promises a more mature version of Chloe’s dark and light sides. While Through Your Eyes both mourns the deaths and celebrates the lives of several family members the loss of whom she endured in one brief year, the bright, crispy pop single, Smiling, captures the huge relief and joy of coming through a rough patch in a relationship. Melancholic or gleeful, Chloe’s songs inspire the courage inherent in being vulnerable. Take Me Naked, for example, is a call for sincerity: “If I throw away protective facades, meet the world head on, flaws and all, can you still love me?” Indeed, the whole album suggests that we can “see” differently, and more clearly through our vulnerability, stripped of material crutches and props cluttering the view. And that this seeing “with blindfolds on” can open our eyes to the many faceted and mysterious vistas that lie beneath the surface of things.

  • 1000shows
  • 11countries
  • 10000hours
  • 76rave reviews
  • 2albums
  • 1EP

Residing between Berlin and Toronto, with 2 bands hailing from Milan, Leipzig and Toronto, Chloe made this album an international project. With her unshakeable faith she self-produced With Blindfolds On in Toronto at Number 9 Audio Group with trusty engineer Bernie Cisternas (Emily Haines, Maestro, K-OS, Treble Charger) by her side. But one city was not enough, so on to Berlin to mix the full album and record a little more at the historic Funkhaus Studios (the former East German 135,000 m² radio complex originally designed by Bauhaus architect Franz Ehrlich) with mixing engineer Jean Philipp Dusse (Max Herre, Till Brönner, Apparat, Dear Reader), and then to New York where the single Smiling was produced and mixed by Chris Sholar (Grammy Award Winner, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West). Juggling continents, cultures, sounds, languages, inspirations and differing technical mixing and mastering practices, this album is a feat.

Raised within the unconventional milieu of her artist grandfather and the singing, song-writing women in her family, living among the forests, ponds and meadows that dot the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, just north of Toronto, Chloe (also an accomplished painter) was encouraged to question everything and seek new ways of doing old things. In Chloe’s home, things were always becoming something else, even the house itself: two century old barns torn down, relocated and rebuilt into an art school, later revamped to create an out of this world apartment complex and social hub for an eclectic assortment of creative people who delighted in “making things”—they didn’t know any other way of being: the potter, the photographer, the guitar builder, the inventor, the painter, the poet, the weaver, etc. With Blindfolds On demonstrates the continuing evolution of Charles the person, her music and her predilection for invention. With this album she challenges herself and her audience to limit our dependence on the material “what is” and experience life intuitively, as in with blindfolds on, to discover “what could be”. “Dismiss your fear of stumbling,” Charles dares, “Let’s play, let’s explore!” For instance, while most of these songs have been characteristically composed with the classical guitar, and you’ll savour her recognizably dexterous filigree (Hold Me, Through Your Eyes, Wool Sweater, Run Your Course, Tulip), in others, she rests the guitar to focus on her voice (Black & White, Take Me Naked, Smiling).

Nearing her 1,000 show mark in 11 countries, her 10,000 hours, with her unfathomable voice and range, and a penchant for risk taking, Chloe’s career can do nothing but continue to blossom.

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Black & White Take Me Naked Hold Me Fans Be Still Through Your Eyes Wool Sweater Gold Smiling Little Regret Run Your Course Clover We Grow Up Tulip