Charlotte Jane’s recent singles ‘Down Days’ and ‘Get It Right’ have asserted her growing reputation as one of the UK’s brightest new talents. Subsequent airplay at both Radio 1 and 2 has magnified her huge crossover potential and added to the attention she earned following shows with the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Jess Glynne, Dennis Lloyd and Tom Odell.
Those two songs provide the foundations for Charlotte Jane’s brand new EP ‘Refuge’, which is out now and represents a striking statement of her growing confidence as an artist.
The picture of facing up to ourselves is one Charlotte Jane paints in vivid colours through five songs about insecurity, sincerity and truth. The EP has today been launched alongside an official video for its title track and new single.
The new single ‘Refuge’ beams a spotlight upon Charlotte Jane as one to watch. Stylistically she’s brave enough to pull the curtain back on the song’s production, which not only lays her vocal bare but also exposes the hurt and vulnerability of her lyrics. It reveals a worldly wisdom from an artist who is just 23 years old, a trait that’s complemented by a voice that possesses a maturity that belies her young age.
Charlotte Jane says, “At its core ‘Refuge’ is about the frustration of wanting to love and support someone through a tough time, but how you can’t force someone to open up to you. Especially when it’s a mental health struggle or aftershocks from a past trauma, supporting someone can feel like a spectator sport sometimes. You can see the pain playing out but you can’t get involved unless they invite you. I thought I was writing it about other people, then realised I could, subconsciously, be talking to myself.”
The accompanying video, directed by B2creativ aka Sam Barnham & Bradley Boorman, employs gorgeous cinematography to symbolically bring those sentiments to life. As she continues, “Running through forests and wading through swamps felt like a great depiction of the assault course of life. I wanted to also make a statement about being fierce, feminine, strong, beautiful and emotional all at once by attacking whatever was in my path whilst wearing the biggest, fluffiest ball gown I could find.”
The ‘Refuge’ EP is completed by two other new songs. The falling-in-love user’s manual of ‘Baby Steps’ sets the purity of Charlotte Jane’s voice to synthesized strings, before the set ends on a high when she’s joined by Jordan Mackampa for the sumptuous closing harmonies of ‘Reassure Me’.
“This collection of songs signifies such a hugely monumental shift in my life,” she summarises. “I feel like you can hear me carving out my own safe space in real time. Setting boundaries in life and love, coming to terms with my mental health, learning to be kinder to myself and to assert myself in all of my relationships. My first EP [‘Nowhere To Hide’] was reckoning with insecurity and trying to figure out how the hell to navigate growing up. ‘Refuge’ is me settling into my own skin and getting comfortable with living in it.”
1.‘Get It Right’
5.‘Reassure Me’ (featuring Jordan Mackampa)
OVERALL RATING: 4 stars