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INTERVIEW: Charlotte Church
The Quietus , September 26th, 2012 12:31

The singer's back with a new EP, and it sounds a bit like Fuck Buttons

Charlotte Church released her new EP 'One' at the beginning of this month, out via Alligator Wine - have a listen below:

It takes another step towards pushing her Voice of an Angel image of old into memory, and mixes strident, melodic rock with more electronic-influenced sounds, particularly on 'Say Its True', with its distorted waves of synth.

She's also just coming to the end of a packed summer touring schedule, with five more dates next month:

Thu 18 - Swn Festival, Dempseys, Cardiff
Sat 20 - Bobgain Barn, Inverness
Mon 22 - King Tuts, Glasgow
Wed 24 - Electric Circus, Edinburgh
Thu 25 - O2 Academy, Liverpool

In between shows, we caught up with her to talk about the new sound, dealing with her musical past and what's on her turntable at the moment:

So Charlotte, what inspired you to form a band? Last time we interviewed you, you'd just been to Green Man, was it doing things like that?

Charlotte Church: I was fed up with being produced by other people and wanted to take more control over the sound that I was creating, and the best way to do that was to put together some boombastic musicians from the area where I live and get on with it, D.I.Y.

How has it made your approach to songwriting change?

CC: Well, there are three main writers on this project; me, my partner Jonathan Powell and our guitarist/bassist Jamie Neasom. Jonathan and Jamie are innate writers, whereas I have to be moved to some heightened emotional state, whether positive or negative. We approach arrangement together, and serve the songs as best we can rather than shoehorning them into a sound we think other people might like.

We also saw on Twitter that you'd just bought a tonne of ace vinyl at Rough Trade. Which is your favourite record from that haul? What else have you been listening to lately?

CC: It was a bit of a mix of things that I knew that I wanted on vinyl, and things that I wanted to hear for the first time. The Grimes record is great, and I've been loving Veckatimest and Vespertine, but I'm really looking forward to listening to Disco Inferno's The 5 EPs, and the Trans Am record which I've heard loads of awesome stuff about. Dear Science is brilliant too; Dave Sitek got in contact after he heard the first EP, so I'm hoping I can work with him soon. I've also been listening to a lot of The Fatty Acids.

Have your long-standing fans been into the music? Were you worried other people might be cynical about the new direction?

CC: People are always cynical, but people are surprising too. The long-standing fans have been great, but due to my relationship with the press, and some of the questionable career decisions I made in my youth, there is degree of cynicism. So I understand that some people will be cynical, and I can see that some people would think that they could lose street-cred or so on by listening to my stuff, but I hope the music would speak for itself. So thank you for endorsing me, you incredible bastards at the Quietus!

What's been the most liberating aspect to working the way you are now?

CC: Being able to have the time to be involved in every stage of the process, at every layer. Writing, recording, producing; agonising over snare sounds etc. We have been totally free to create without any commercial pressure. Nobody is pushing the material to sound 'more radio friendly' which I believe essentially dilutes any sort of originality or artistry. FREEDOM!

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