rowing up in a small town in the periphery of London, guitar and piano were a big part of Charlie’s life.
“The whole ability to write songs is probably in a lot more people than they think. A lot of people can probably do it; it’s just hard knowing how to start,’ he admits. “I think what slowed me down was just over-thinking every possible thing. So now I know that if something feels right to just trust that.”
After a few years gigging and finding his feet in Oxford he left for Seville and ended up staying for two years. It was here he explored the different attitudes towards the guitar, and developed a fresh technique that was a catalyst for his creativity. Taking the percussive qualities of flamenco, his playing became sharp enough to craft songs laden with delicate flourishes, intricate melodic turns, and moments of stark introspection. His work continues to be both expansive and intimate.
“I guess the reason that it took so long for me to put something out was that I couldn't play the way I wanted to play” he explains. “I knew how I wanted it to be, but I just couldn't do it. I gave myself quite a tough time"
But this perfectionist streak results in some truly wonderful moments of musicality. Charlie Cunningham’s enormously suggestive songwriting is sonically beautiful while also packing an emotional punch. "I love all sorts of music, as long as there is an honesty to it" he says. "But it’s hard, really, to let yourself be exposed like that.”
Cunningham’s artistic development, mapped by his three EPs Outside Things, Breather, and Heights, took another leap forward with his debut album, Lines. His deft touch and restraint has produced a work of compositions that sound fresh and yet eerily familiar. Although his celebrated flamenco nods and vocal hooks are present, his musicianship and songwriting ability now takes centre stage. Fan favourites (Lights Off, Breather, While You Are Young) are still present but revisited as new versions and fine tuned productions, nestled within a diverse set of new songs. The lyrically confident Minimum and the vocally rhythmic Answers compliment new avenues scoped by the record’s production. His writing’s honesty and humility is matched with a confidence in its accomplishment.
The popularity of Charlie’s music is highlighted in over 4.7million Spotify plays across his three EPs and tens of thousands of views for his captivating online sessions reflect the enthusiasm for his live performances. This has been especially true on the continent, where he had played two sold out headline tours of Germany.
He has since returned to South London to promote this debut album and begin rehearsals for his biggest European tour to date, in Feb 2017.
The Still Tide
Anna Morsett spent most of her life on the coasts, but it wasn’t until she moved to landlocked Colorado in 2013 that the guitar-wielding songwriter discovered The Still Tide: Both her band, and the calm current she had long been seeking in her own life.
“I came here from the coast, noise and city tangled in my hair,” she sings on the first single from The Still Tide’s fourth EP. “Found you like forgiveness, swept clean by years of mountain air.”
Morsett is now firmly entrenched in the Colorado music community, having played with Ark Life, Porlolo, Brent Cowles, Natalie Tate and These United States. But she very much remains the undulating current of The Still Tide, a seductive, shoegazey collective that marks a shifting tide with Each, After. The new EP is essentially Morsett’s solo debut, while still fully supported by guitarist and co-founder Jacob Miller and a rotating ensemble that currently consists of drummer Joe Richmond (Churchill, Tennis). “I always wanted the full band sound, Morsett said. “But I also wanted the freedom and the anonymity to kind of cruise around on my own.”
Morsett is as enigmatic as her sound is alluring. She describes herself as both a shredder guitar chick and a nerdy loner. A frontwoman and an anonymous face in the crowd. She is seemingly always in transition, like a wave shapeshifting between low and high tide.
Morsett grew up in Olympia, Wash., under a sister-infused musical foundation that included Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and Andy Aledort guitar lesson books. She dove head-first into the headwaters of New York and came up for air five years later, almost by accident, in Denver. That’s where she and her collaborator Miller were able to develop The Still Tide, which was soon named 303 Magazine’s best up-and-coming local artist.
But with Each, After, Morsett is stepping up to the mic and fully claiming it, and The Still Tide, as her own. “I think I was hiding behind the band, for whatever reason,” she said. “But now, I’m ready.”
She calls Each, After, with its carefully placed comma and chill vibe, as “a sweet landing spot for these beautiful open guitar riffs that didn’t really fit the vibe of the last record,” she said. “I love the power of having that full band experience, but I also love the immediacy and intimacy of these tender little things. I’m trying to figure out how both of those vibes can fit in the same world.”
Morsett tantalizingly describes the E.P.’s four tracks as four very personal and true ruminations on past breakups. Tantalizing, because the fourth song is a reflection on a woman she hasn’t met yet.
“That last one, I guess, is kind of for the next person,” she said. “It's the hope for someone, I guess.”
When the time comes for The Still Tide to rise again.