OXJAM! A Strummer Room Project Presents event
A fantastic reason to raise money and feeling very privileged to have been invited
A fantastic reason to raise money and feeling very privileged to have been invited
To put in mildly, I had an amazing time! The team were extremely professional, friendly and you could instantly tell that they knew what they were doing. I felt very at ease immediately and kicked off with Tongue Tied. We did every track once – no need for second takes! the set list consisted of 3 original tracks & 5 covers.
Check back soon for info on where you can view the videos!
Charlie Leavy released “The Best Damn Ride” which is a five track EP. Charlie has been writing, singing and performing for several years and with her musical talent has created 100 original songs. Charlie Leavy has played many shows and looks to expand the horizon by playing 52 gigs this year. Charlie spends time in Yorkshire and Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. This has allowed Charlie to branch out to different sectors of the UK and increase Charlie’s fan base.
“The Best Damn Ride” Really expresses Charlies ability as a musician. The quality, mixing and mastering of her EP is elite, second to none, which is very good for an indie artist. Her acoustic guitar playing ability, and singing ability is second to none. She has a very pop style to her sound, but it’s not the typical sound you would hear on the radio. She has a very unique sound which makes her stand out among the saturated music scene. “Falter Baby” Is one of my favorites off Charlie’s EP. This one has amazing rhythm and excellent vocals. Her choruses are done well, and her range is phenomenal. She doesn’t need all of the effects that many overuse like auto-tune and reverb. Her music isn’t over produced which makes it very real.
Charlie’s album also features two live bonus tracks which are extravagant, I actually think her live performances are better than her studio versions which is saying something about her talent! The songs “Why Are You Waiting” and ” Wearing Your Kiss) are absolutely stellar tracks. Her voice is as powerful in the studio as it is live. Her voice is both soothing and relaxing, She doesn’t overdo it and hits every note with ease. I really like what she’s doing here, mixing folk, with pop and indie. Her artistry presents no limits with absolutely no flaws. Check Charlie Leavy’s EP out “The Best Damn Ride” you will not be disappointed with her musical talents.
Purchase her music here:
Charlie Leavy is a promising 17 year old female singer songwriter from Hook Norton and Leeds, United Kingdom.
On her bandcampsite she states:
“As you can tell from my lyrics, I mostly write about things that affect me. Things that my friends, family or I see, experience or hear about. All these stories, feelings and memories get stored in my mind waiting to come out in my music. It might take days, weeks or months, but my music definitely reflects these things”.
The EP The Best Damn Ride was released on 01 August 2014.The first two songs, The Way Life Is and Tongue Tied are two slightly similar upbeat popsongs, sung with a crystal clear voice: catchy tunes that make you happy. Summers Day Runaway, is a song produced with a little more reverb than the other songs, which gives her voice a wonderful melancholic undertone. Falter Baby, is beautiful in its simplicity about struggling love. Its melody lingers in your mind, long after listening to it. The last song on this EP, Running My Mouth, clearly demonstrates Charlies amazing songwriting skills.
Best song in my opinion: Summers Day Runaway.
Charlie Leavy is still a very young singer songwriter and is very gifted. She has the potential to sing in almost every genre. I’m curious which path she chooses to take.
The CD version of The Best Damn Ride contains 7 tracks, 5 tracks and 2 bonus live tracks and is available on her bandcampsite.
♫ Artist to Watch: Charlie Leavy – “The Way Life Is” from her debut EP “The Best Damn Ride” (Listen + Interview) 09/03/2014
Oh you think you’re so clever when you walk around the town
Let me tell you why everyone’s looking down
It’s cos you’re looking so dumb when you make a sound
Oh you’re throwing out words that were better left unsaid
Most 17 year olds are just starting to try to figure out what path they want to take and UK artist Charlie Leavy may be too but, one thing is sure, hers will lead down the road to music.
The talented singer, songwriter and guitarist just released an impressive EP titled ‘The Best Damn Ride” on August 1st and is gearing up to take her career on an incredible ride, indeed.
The first single off the EP, “The Way Life Is”, showcases her melodic voice and clever catchy lyrics like, ‘But it’s not just you making havoc; untamed, uncurled. You’re insignificant, just look at the wider world.”
Charlie describes her music as acoustic pop, with a bit of a folky, country feel and I’d have to agree. It’s a different, fun and refreshing sound and I really look forward to her music making it here to the US radio stations.
You don’t have to wait for that to hear her latest single ‘The Way Life Is’. You can check it below along with our interview with Charlie as part of our Indie Spotlight Series.
Take a listen and let me know what you think. Also, be sure to support our young indie talents and head over to iTunes to purchase Charlie’s debut EP “The Best Damn Ride”. As a bonus, head over to her soundcloud page to hear some great tunes that are not on the EP and download them for free.
Interview w/singer & songwriter Charlie Leavy
Describe your music forthose who have never heard it.
This is my first “release” as such. I have written nearly 100 songs and really struggled to decide which songs to include on mu first EP so this definitely won’t be my last!
I write about things that affect me. Things I see; experience or hear about. Whether in person; from friends and family or on the news. These all end up in my music to some degree and at some point.
My EP, “The Best Damn Ride” is a blend of acoustic folky pop, with hints of country, funk and some synth/guitar pop. A real mix you might say.
Read more at http://arainofthought.blogspot.com/2014/09/artist-to-watch-charlie-leavy-way-life-is-from-her-debut-ep-the-best-damn-ride-interview.html#k9BidvvHsR44vXbt.99
Tell us about your new song “The Way of Life”
“The Way Life Is” is the first track on my EP and I wrote it because I think it’s about time people realised that there are bigger issues and concerns in the world besides whom each celebrity is dating and all of the stupid scandals in the Hollywood world.
Also, because the troublemaking people of today have no respect for anything and think they’re the royalty of the world as they create havoc while carrying weapons. We have bigger things to be dealing with than people who have no respect, who could easily take a look at their life and think “wait a second, I’m better than this.”
It frustrates me how change could be within our grasp if people stopped being so closed-minded and started to think about not only life now, but life for future generations too.
What inspired you to pursue music?
I have always liked singing and tried out for all the school musicals. However, I had no skills with any instrument. At Christmas when I was 14, I was visiting relatives, bored and messing around with an old keyboard and managed to pick out 7 or 8 Christmas songs.
My Grandad heard me and said would I like an old electric guitar of his to play with. He gave me it and about 3 months later I was writing basic songs on the keyboard and the guitar. Then my Dad bought me my first electro-acoustic guitar that I then gigged with for about 18 months. I now have an amazing Martin and play bass & Ukulele as well.
Who is your favourite artist?
Ooh, this is hard. I am listening to a lot of KPOP (Korean Pop music) at the moment, but I would guess – myself included – that Ed Sheeran would feature as a lot of acoustic singer songwriters’ favourite artist or at least one of them.
However, if I had to choose one artist then it would be Carole King. Tapestry is a masterpiece of making the complicated seem simple, when in actual fact, it is really complicated. She just makes it seem so easy.
What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far?
I would say that creating my first EP and getting out there to be actually played on the radio, is my biggest musical accomplishment, followed closely by playing the Oxford O2 academy which was an amazing experience.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Well I am only 17yo, so I doubt I have faced anywhere near my biggest challenge yet. Although, if I had to choose one, I would say “Being taken seriously as a young androgynous female”. Just because I don’t confirm to society’s norms, doesn’t mean I don’t merit my place in life.
What’s your career goal for the year?
Easy. I set myself a target of 52 gigs in 2014 and as of the end of August, I have performed 45, with another 5 already booked. Fingers crossed and I will easily hit the 52. They haven’t been all local either, I have gigged all over the UK this year and also I am still at school.
Connect with Charlie Leavy
By Jacqueline Cassell on Sep 1, 2014
Entertwine: Could you give us some insight into your musical background? What inspired you to begin creating music in general?
Charlie Leavy: I have always sung. When I say “always”, I mean, ever since I can remember, I have sung songs from the radio and wanted to be part of the school musicals. When I was 14, we were at a relative’s house for Christmas and I was playing with an old keyboard. After a few days, I have picked out 7 or 8 Christmas songs and learnt the words. A couple of months later I was writing my first songs on that keyboard. My Grandad heard me singing some covers and a few original songs and offered me his old electric guitar to learn. I was then asked to join a school band, but on bass, so my Dad bought me a cheap bass and I joined a couple of bands. But I always enjoyed the solo creativity and performing, so eventually, me, my bass, my keyboards, my electric and acoustic guitars and a newly acquired ukulele went solo.
ET: What encouraged you to begin performing live so frequently?
CL: Initially (obviously), I gigged infrequently, but as more and more people started asking me to gig it really took a life of its own. I never consciously decided to gig more, but as I have never really been nervous I never really said no. Now I actively seek out gigs and when I miss a week without gigging, something feels like it is missing.
ET: What can you tell us about your local music scene? What about the state of music in the United Kingdom in general? What are some of your favourite places to play, and why?
CL: My two main scenes are Yorkshire and Oxfordshire. Both have fantastic and thriving music scenes in Leeds and Oxford. A few promoters have taken me under their wing (so to speak) and given me loads of gigs, culminating in an opening set at the Oxford 02 Academy, which has been a highlight of my gigs so far.
ET: What life experiences and events led to the writing and recording of your debut EP “The Best Damn Ride”? Can you walk us through the album and tell us about each song’s meaning or significance?
CL: I didn’t set out to record an EP. Each track was written during a period of time where I wrote around 30+ songs. I then wrote a song for Oxfam aged 16 which won a national competition and I was asked to record it in a local studio in Bradford. It was at this studio that I first wondered whether I might record an EP. The studio is basic, but large and not posh. It is the top floor of an old stone mill and I loved the feel of it from the very first moment I started to record that Oxfam track.
When I started to record the EP, I didn’t decide on which 5 tracks initially. I chose each track as I went along, based on how I felt at the time and when each was complete, I then chose the next track. The tracks were already written and already performed live, so I had a feel for them that wasn’t just based on how they looked on paper & sounded in my bedroom.
I mostly (but not always) write songs based on things I experience; see or hear around me; on the news or things my friends and family experience. These sometimes take weeks or months, but the major things will eventually filter into my songs.
Track 1: The Way life Is – I wrote this song because I think it’s about time people realised that there are bigger issues and concerns in the world besides whom each celebrity is dating and all of the stupid scandals in the Hollywood world. Also, because the troublemaking people of today have no respect for anything and think they’re the royalty of the world as they create havoc while carrying weapons. We have bigger things to be dealing with than people who have no respect, who could easily take a look at their life and think “wait a second, I’m better than this.” It angers me how change could be within our grasp if people stopped being so closed-minded and started to think about not only life now, but life for future generations too.
Track 2: Tongue Tied – No great hidden meaning to this song. This is one of those upbeat pop songs, the kind that I find are really easy and enjoyable to write. Basically, I just really liked the title ‘Tongue Tied’ and so I constructed a song. I think it was written in less than an hour. The original version also had a ukulele in the quiet chorus after the middle.
Track 3: Summer’s Day Runaway – I wrote this after something really good had happened, though I don’t remember what it was now. I do remember a few things though. I remember feeling quite spontaneous and that forms the desire in the song and the weather was blissfully warm outside with the sun was shining on my back as I was writing. Ah the good life.
Track 4: Falter Baby – This isn’t a personal experience – I wrote this about an experience a close friend has and is about when you’ve started to become close to the person you like, but their actions can sometimes be confusing as to whether they actually feel the same way about you.
Track 5: Running My Mouth – This is one of those unfortunate experiences you have in life and is definitely one of mine! I accidentally spoke without thinking and upset my best friend. I wrote the song as a way to express the frustration I was feeling towards myself, and helped me to understand that everyone says stupid things sometimes, but with a little time and compassion everything can be sorted out.
ET: Can you tell us also about the two live takes you included on the album?
CL: Why Are You Waiting and Wearing Your Kiss are two of my favourite lives songs to perform and did consider adding them as more produced versions as part of the original five tracks, but I knew I wanted to add two live tracks and they seemed to fit that purpose better than any of my other tracks.
Why Are You Waiting is the story of a relationship that has happened too early, with no time to live life and gain the experience necessary to make it work properly. So, why are you waiting, I’ve said you need to go, so please just go.
Wearing Your Kiss tells a slightly different story of a kiss that perhaps shouldn’t have happened but did and what should I think about that kiss.
ET: What was it like working with Luke Haran, John Fitzpatrick, and Prospect Studios? What musical equipment was used in the making of this record? Is that consistent with what you generally use live?
CL: Luke is amazing. He is in his 20’s and a talented musician, as well as the owner of the studio. He made the whole experience easy for me and he did seem to know my music and how I felt I wanted it to sound. Luke was the only person, I worked with in the studio, other than my Dad doing a little whistling! Luke brought John in as felt he needed them.
When I perform live I will mainly be just me and my Martin. I do occasionally also gig with an electric and an electric tenor ukulele, although I have my heart set on a hollow body Gretsch 5420T for my 18th, so I feel that could be as important to my gigging as my Martin in the future.
ET: You’ve performed nearly 100 gigs in the past twenty months; what has kept you motivated during this time?
CL: I just love gigging. I never have to make myself stand up and sing in front of people.
ET: How are you able to keep up with your studies being that you play so many live shows?
CL: Averaging 1 gig per week, hasn’t really affected my ability to study. My studies come first. When I am happy that I have completed my homework to the required standard and have then completed enough revision, only then will I write or practice in my bedroom.
ET: You’ve obviously been able to observe a number of different music scenes and areas during the many times you’ve performed around the United Kingdom; what are your favourite aspects of certain places? Has there been anything you’ve seen or experienced that you really didn’t like?
CL: I love festivals! Attending to watch other bands and also performing. This is my favourite type of venue. In a pub or club, you might get anywhere from 5 to 50 people watching you I’ve not been lucky enough to play a main stage at a large festival, but either on the main stage at a small festival or a small stage at a large festival you can have hundreds of people watching you!
Sometimes for whatever reason you can perform in front of only a few people in a pub or club. This can be a little disheartening, but I always perform as if there are thousands watching me.
ET: Is it true that you wrote nearly 100 songs before deciding on five to release as a debut EP?
CL: I think the reality is closer to 150+, but I only recorded about 100 or so in my bedroom as demos. The rest I deemed as not ready or not good enough. Some of those “not ready” tracks do eventually get recorded in my bedroom, but sometimes they might take months or a year to mature enough in my mind to turn them from “also rans” to a demo.