In a throwback to the days when fresh artists used to tour the country extensively on unsigned music nights, promoters Communion rekindled this notion with their new tour New Faces. Tenterhook, Freddie Dickson, Frances and Charlotte OC joined forces at The Ruby Lounge. Below Quenched music picks its two favourite from the night’s show…

Berkshire born songwriter Frances was characteristically idyllic; sequences of quaking piano led splendour generate a crushing landscape upon which her towering London Grammar meets Adele vocals sit. Each composition is struck with an understated elegance that discusses adolescent tribulations. Heartbreak, ardour, resilience; all sentiments resurrected through the power of Frances’ crumbling compositions. Her voice resembles that of an unworldly Daughter; still harbouring remnants of hope but naturally tarnished with the impending understanding that reality will duly set in.

Before her new guise Charlotte OC, Charlotte O’Connor was once touted as a future star of pop. From these early exchanges as Sony’s latest soon-to-be pop princess, Charlotte OC has shifted her sound; she now is battle hardened. Gone are the sweet-pop melodies and metaphors that veer within the realms of bratty Britney. The new, darkened performer resonates a more disturbing murmur. There’s troubling sequenecers entwining around the stiff, distortive motifs from the guitar and it’s decorated with OC’s abrasive voice; difficult to comprehend the magnitude until witnessed in person.

The magnetic allure of Charlotte OC is delivered through her challenging wordings. Much like Frances she discusses the hopelessness of romance, but it is laced with blackened resentment. Onstage within the Ruby Lounge OC cuts a figure similar to that of the warped conclusion of a Lana Del Rey and Stevie Nicks affair. Throughout the likes of ‘On & On’ – a stern pop song constructed around OC’s infectious, melodic sensibilites and crushing, reflective sampled percussion – the complexities that were not present through her first encounters with the world’s most disenchanted label rang true. OC was affable; a beacon of understated beauty, that in year’s to come will be enjoyed by the strong crowds her tone requires.

‘Colour My Heart’ and ‘If My House Was Burning’ demonstrated the artistry that clearly lends itself between Rae Morris and Yummi & The Weather. Brazen, ballsy and back from the brink of musical wilderness; we can now finally celebrate something Sony have done correct. In dropping the Blackburn born troubadour, they have unleashed a deviant songstress; resolute in her message and stark in her resolve. The future may be dark; but can only be made better by Charlotte OC.

Words by Clive K Hammond


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