DREAMING WITH THE LIGHTS OFF (BE CHARLOTTE)

RELEASED 12TH JUNE 2020

Favourite track: Burning

This EP is incredibly listenable with catchy tunes and wonderful song-writing, a real gem in the UK Pop scene.

Scottish singer and song-writer, Be Charlotte, has certainly made her mark on the UK Pop scene amassing over 35,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and getting featured on editorial playlists such as ‘New Pop UK’ and ‘Chilled Pop Hits’. Her EP Dreaming With The Lights Off has a total of 6 tracks, including a piano version of one of her songs (which I was particularly keen to listen to). There’s just something about songs stripped back to acoustic guitar or piano that make it so much more listenable and honest, which I think helps connect the singer to the audience. The eye-catching cover art showing a side-profile of Be Charlotte who wears hot pink eyeshadow and a top to contrast with the pale blue background reflects something dramatic or energetic immersing itself in a chilled setting.

The first track ‘Lights Off’ opens with a sharp vocal harmony repeated: “I’m only dreaming with the lights off” and then introduces more of a Pop synth key/string, steady beat and vocal. The chorus is catchy and very Pop with a lot more instrumental work to make the sound a little more complicated here. I love the background production here as we get deeper into the song. There seems to be some vocal ad-libs and FX happening as the music reduces in places to allow the vocals to take centre stage before the chorus comes back in. ‘Burning’ opens quietly with a strange sound effect that reminds me of the outside and then brings in bass and softer, magical synth sounds. The chorus is again, very Pop and very catchy. I love the way this song has kind of seamlessly built up and then goes back to a chill, slow subtle kind of Trap beat. There’s something quite Ellie Goulding about it.

A nice piano melody opens ‘Do Not Disturb’ with vocal work that almost had echoes of Lilly Allen here and there. The song is heartfelt and whilst it sounds upbeat there is definitely a tone of regret and pleading but her vocals are clean and soooo listenable. You can see how she fits so well into the existing UK Pop scene as there is a feminine, soft quality to it holds its own amongst the instruments for sure. ‘Rumours Don’t Work’ begins with a crescendo going into a bassline and synths along with her crisp vocals that has a bit more sass to it. I feel like a Scottish accent comes through a bit more here which is nice. I like the chime sounds in the background that give it that chill, pretty sound even though she’s talking about someone who is “far removed from my life” and who is “trouble”.

‘Brighter Without You’ is a sad Pop song which is about moving on after a bad experience with someone. I like the subtle guitar here that moves the song along with some rhythm but the chords and vocal structure give it a solid feel. The final track is a piano version of her first track ‘Lights Off’ and I already love it just a few chords in. It’s beautiful, raw and you really do hear the lyrics a lot more here which is great because she is so talented.

For me, this EP is perfect for a road trip with friends or a coming-of-age film!