London based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Charles Watson announces his second album YES, released via Moshi Moshi Records.
While it might seem branching out with a solo album after a decade in a band would provide that clean start, in reality, more time must pass before the real change, movement and progress can occur. “With the last record (Now That I’m a River, 2018), I didn’t really know what I was doing - I just wanted to make something that felt like me,” reflects Charles, as he prepares to release his second solo album YES.
Out went major keys, swampy reverb, gloomy imagery and the kind of layered production which characterised Now That I’m a River. In their stead - lyrics of joy, minor keys, and a direct, stripped back approach Watson had always shied away from. “I think it’s about having the confidence to be myself,” he says. “The confidence to simplify things, to strip back where I would have added more, to be more direct.”
In addition, Watson was buoyed by the positivity directed at certain songs from Now That I’m a River - the title track, particularly. “I felt like I had been hiding for so long, behind reverb, behind certain effects and tricks, and that was a hang-up from when I was in Slow Club,” he explains. “And now, I’ve arrived at a place of not wanting to carry my insecurities on to a record. I want to project the purest form of what I want to say. I feel like I’ve come so far in the space of two albums and can already see I’m not the person I was when I was writing this album, just as I’m no longer the person I was when I made the first album. This record is the start of untangling all of those feelings and stepping forward.”
Alongside his solo career, Charles is known for his work as one half of the band Slow Club and as a member of the garage-rock super group The Surfing Magazines. In recent years Charles has worked as a composer, writing the music for acclaimed Netflix and Channel 4 production 'Feel Good' which led to the show's creator, Canadian comedian Mae Martin, becoming a fan. Charles has also recently composed the score for 'Youngstown', the forthcoming indie feature film from director Pete Ohs (Everything Beautiful is Far Away) due for release in late 2021.