Reverbnation Featured Artist!
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.
Charlie Leavy is a female singer/songwriter from the UK. While she is young, she was born in 1996, her music shows maturity. Her voice is sweet and she has talent. And she can play her guitar. And her new release The Best Damn Ride is worth listening to.
The first song on the cd is The Way Life Is. The lyrics take a look at why people act the way they do. She questions why the news focuses on trivial events, why people who have so much often make wrong choices. She questions where we put our priorities in life. It shows an artist that is looking around the world and sees what is happening.
And I really enjoyed the song Summers Day Runaway. It’s a song about a relationship. It’s how you feel good in relationship, and it captures the small moments in a relationship. It focuses in on that special thing that we really enjoy about a person. The music is simple, and goes well with the lyrics.
I think I like her music because she sticks with what she knows and sees in life. Her music is honest because she doesn’t try to add a lot of glamour to it. She sticks with acoustic guitar and vocals for the most part. She doesn’t try to overshadow her talent with loads of extras. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t enhance the music with rhythms and other instruments. She just has focus. She understands her strengths. And that is the sign of a musician who will grow to be a good performer in my opinion.
So listen to her music, and let me know what you think of it.
Charlie Leavy’s new EP The Best Damn Ride is tight pop with a mixture of modern and classic sounds. It opens with “The Way Life Is” which is a call for caring and how love can save us instead of being caught up in materialism.
Speaking of love, “Tongue Tied” follows up quickly with a song about how it’s hard to talk to someone you have a crush on. Despite the title, Charlie’s words are proficient and smooth, although the point is that it’s harder to be smooth or even yourself when you like someone. “Summers Day Runaway” has a great Latin beat and interesting vocal melody. A paean about wanting to drive off with the one she loves, a poptimistic escape from the life problems mentioned in the first track. “Falter Baby” is a classic love song staple featuring the protagonist begging for unrequited love. She wants her love interest to falter in their refusal to let her know.
“Running My Mouth” at first seems thematically similar to “Tongue Tied” but is a different take. Instead of being frustrated at not feeling able to express her true love, this time it’s regret that perhaps her words have been taken out of context, or that she spoke too soon, hurting her love.
The last two songs are live acoustic cuts. “Why Are You Waiting” is a flip on “Falter Baby” where she’s playing the other role: someone trying to convince someone to slow down, to be free. “Wearing Your Kiss” is an example of being on cloud nine after a kiss, but not knowing what to feel about it.
Overall, the production is clean and Charlie sings with passion beyond her years. The music is tight and heart-felt. Her lyrical delivery is quick and clever, although personally I would like to see her branch out from love songs into other subjects as she matures. She does it well, however. You can tell she’s sincere and the songwriting is advanced for her age, so I think she’s going to go far.
At first listen, there’s a similarity to Gretchen Schmaltz, both in style and songwriting. But Charlie Leavy is crafting a style all her own. Barely 30 seconds into the first song of her Best Damn Ride EP and it’s obvious that Charlie is going places. The music is catchy itself, but songwriting subject matter that dives into problems with society pertaining to our perceptions (in The Way Life Is) highlights a talent that is on the verge of something outstanding. The music alone is worth stopping to take note of, until you find yourself lost in the articulation of the theme.
Songwriting jumps into more common territories of romance that doesn’t go according to plan (Falter Baby) and the hope for rekindled love (Wearing Your Kiss, recording live). Instead of the common “wearing my heart on my sleeve” themes prevalent in even the most well-intentioned folk artists, Leavy has something more to offer listeners through her poetic and musical touch.
American audiences must rely on the outlet of Soundcloud (and subsequently iTunes) to listen and pick up the tracks, as the UK is the home of Leavy, and sadly where her shows are limited to for the moment. What’s the best way to change that? Listen and buy her music from her soundcloud page. In September, Reverbnation is set to feature her as an up-and-coming act. Let them know you want more of this kind of talent shared.
Pick up Charlie Leavy’s Best Damn Ride EP (or singles) on iTunes here.
About Charlie Leavy
I’ve been writing, singing and performing for a couple of years now and am rapidly approaching 100 original songs and the first 100 gigs milestone. I split my time between Yorkshire and Oxfordshire in the UK but this has the great advantage of enabling me to play across the UK – this year from York to Brighton and lots of towns in between.In 2014 I have been focussing on performing live, with my personal target being 52 gigs this year – not bad considering I am in the middle of my A levels. I’ve also been able to spend some time in the recording studio. Those of you that have followed me since the early days will know that I started out recording one take acoustic performances in my bedroom, but this year I have taken my tracks into the studio and worked with a couple of really supportive musicians to get the more produced sound that I always imagine when I write my songs. On 1st August my first EP “The Best Damn Ride” was released.
I have been described as a female Ed Sheeran and whilst this is a massive compliment, he is one of a small number of artists such as Dave Grohl & especially Carole King, that have inspired me over the last few years.
For the rest of the year I have more festivals and gigs planned along with multiple OXJAM events & gigs across Yorkshire, Warwickshire & Oxfordshire.
A couple of reviews
Art Lagun, Oxford Nightshift, “True to form the first act tonight proves to be the most interesting. Charlie Leavy makes a big impact with just her voice and an acoustic guitar, sounding more California than her native Hook Norton. Relentlessly upbeat, one great song follows another, catchy tunes with straightforward yet personal lyrics like the poignant ‘Tongue Tied’. Only seventeen, she writes and performs with frank simplicity that comes as a breath of vitalising air, her take on Pixie Lott’s ‘Mama Do’ trouncing the original.”
Follow Charlie Leavy on:
I have been invited onto the Will Gompertz Sunday supplement show on November 30th 🙂
More details to follow…
It is rare to find a young artist so remarkable that it seems as if they have lived generations before their time, one who speaks truths of a seasoned soul, and those who create music well beyond their years. These are the artists who stand out among the weeds, pushing forward to have long careers expressing legendary sounds and influencing their peers in a positive manner. Although we often find the music scene accented with the forces of commercialized pop products and manufactured sounds, there are walking among us, some of the greatest sound innovators to emerge; they haven’t even reached the age of 18 but, their work speaks of a much broader experience.
We introduce you to 17-year old singer, songwriter, and musician Charlie Leavy, a young artist from the UK who is quickly becoming a household name among fans of all ages from virtually every corner of the world. With an awe-inspiring sound and lyrical content that rivals artists such as the world-renowned Adele, Charlie’s latest EP release ‘The Best Damn Ride’ is a powerful performance of superior artistry, gifted talent, and unmatched distinction guaranteed to garner the undivided attention of fans far and wide.
The EP is a realistic view into the world of vibrant, free-spirited youth who are detached from materialism and self-centered perspectives while expressing a broad worldview of love, life, passion and the human spirit. Listeners will find an eclectic blend of live acoustic tracks, country and folk-inspired musings as well as pop and rock vocals. Charlie demonstrates a vast vocal range that is dynamic and largely mature sounding for her age. It becomes evident relatively quickly that the gifted talent has truly placed her heart on the stage during the development and production of the compilation.
While ‘The Best Damn Ride’ could not be more appropriately named and the songs churn out with the greatest of force, there are some really notable moments that should not be missed. The intro track “The Way Life Is” emerges from the EP with a nostalgic soulful sound, smooth flow, and captivating lyrics. The tracks “Tongue Tied” and “Running My Mouth” deliver an upbeat folk vibes with luscious rock vocals reminiscent of Jewel’s earlier works with a modern spin a la Taylor Swift. She even treats fans to two live-cut tracks “Why are you Waiting” and “Wearing Your Kiss” that offer a fair share of jazzy vocals and funky rhythms.
“Summer’s Day Runaway” is another robust track filled with retro pop sounds and Charlie’s hypnotic vocals. The song explodes with energy and and a luminescent style that radiates for miles. Music fans will really gravitate toward the deeply poetic and lyrical performance that she unleashes on each and every track. The EP is a diverse canvas of defining strokes as found “Falter Baby”, an uncut acoustic track with catchy verses and infectious hook. With unapologetic grit and reckless abandon Charlie confronts mature content with brazen conviction, giving her all and then some more throughout the entire EP.
Based in Hook Norton, UK, 17-year old Charlie Leavy is a bright start to behold. Her style is a flavorful fusion of folk influences, country-inspired, bluesy pop-rock vibrations. She is an eclectic artist and instrumentalist that borrows from her personal influences and experiences to summon record-breaking sounds. Currently locking down the #1 spot on the Reverbnation music charts for Acoustic Pop in the UK, she is poised to be one of the greatest voices of our time.
Charlie’s growing catalogue includes around 100 original songs and her roster of live gigs continues to expand. The young songstress and guitarist travels the UK playing throughout the year, stopping in cities from York to Brighton and numerous other locations. Filled with bold ambition, determination, and drive, Charlie has a strong work ethic that is evident in her finished material and live performances. From recording original acoustic tracks in her own room to professional recording studios with industry influencers, Charlie Leavy is watching her dreams become reality and she welcomes fans to join her along this truly remarkable journey.
Check out more music from Charlie Leavy onSoundCloud.
Join Charlie on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/charlieleavymusic
Tweet Charlie @charliemusic96 and see her latest videos on YouTube.
Listen to Charlie’s EP ‘The Best Damn Ride’
If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and fellow indie music fanatics.
I never know what to expect from independent artists, as I’ve heard a lot of bad in my day. Charlie Leavy is one of those stand outs, that you aren’t sure about until you actually listen. It was with the release of “The Best Damn Ride” EP that I was floored by the talented artist. With the first track of “The Way Life Is”, you get completely thrown into a world that is a mirror of life. The lyrics are of wisdom and honor, a reflection of society, the same kind of candor that you would expect from a veteran soul artist. It’s sung and played with precision and it creates a nice spectrum to give you an idea of what the artist is all about. It’s with that opener that Charlie Leavy won me, it’s a strong opener.
The rest of the EP is solid, with “Tongue Tied”, “Summers Day Runaway”, “Falter baby” and “Running My Mouth”. It’s this type of music that bridges gaps between genres, and while it is firmly rooted in acoustics, it still has a raw, rock energy that is definitely worth noting. I liked the transitional elements, the bridges, and the guitar sounds that mixed well with Charlie’s incredible voice. It’s got character, and the lyrics only build the song structure even more, which is hard to come by with a lot of independent artists today.
As you listen to the EP, you will definitely find this to be a good overall release. There is enough to give you a taste, and that’s what the goal of an EP is, just a taste of what’s to come. You’ll find that this is a solid outing that will definitely find home with pop, indie, and rock fans alike. It is a bit softer than most of the stuff that has been coming through my speakers recently, but that’s not bad, I appreciate the diversity. I can’t listen to hardcore and metal 24 hours a day, and it’s artists like Charlie Leavy and the release of “The Best Damn Ride” that gives me reason to continue to listen for up and coming artists, regardless of genre. You’ll find that this is one good record, especially if you like independent music, pop, acoustic and alternative records. The lyrics alone make this one worthwhile, as they made me think.
You can check out the EP via bandcamp.com, purchase via itunes here, and check out the official Charlie Leavy website here. Keep tabs on this artist, you’ll be glad you did.
Charlie Leavy is a young female singer-songwriter hailing from the north of England (though, in time-honoured English tradition, sings with a slight American twang), and has already accrued a sizeable fanbase through social media. Her thriving popularity is understandable as she writes well-crafted songs that vary in style, with a voice that is both distinctive and radio friendly, which is always a good combination. She could be compared to other female singer-songwriters, but perhaps currently Ed Sheeran is the best comparison, which she notes as an influence.
This EP ‘The Best Damn Ride’ is an excellent showcase for her songwriting abilities, backed up by some superb musicianship and production (Luke Haran at Prospect Studios). Opening song The Way Life Is gets things off to a strong start with a funky, crisp beat, subtle piano and wah-wah guitar setting the tone for a ‘state of the nation’ lyric depicting the increasing violence and bigotry in society. It works as simply a very catchy pop song but the serious message comes across with powerful lyrics like ‘…people won’t stop for a little while to look at things that could help us progress a mile, the clock is ticking on a timer, just watch the dial…’.
With the charts full of vacuous songs that rarely contain any depth, it is edifying to hear a song that addresses the social issues that affect our everyday lives, such as the disparity between rich and poor and our obsession with materialistic celebrity culture. Though you don’t often hear such lyrical concerns in the Top 40, it would be a great song for radio and a definite contender as lead single, which I presume it will be.
Next track Tongue Tied is a different beast altogether, a sweet acoustic ballad about the anxieties of telling someone how you feel about them. This songs displays a much more gentle, vulnerable side to Leavy’s songwriting, and again it is very well-crafted and sung. Every teenager will be able to relate to the lyrics of this, though the theme is very much universal and timeless. The vocal line has a very pretty, lilting melody that soon sticks in the mind.
Third song Summer’s Day Runaway is again very different in style, and perhaps the most modern sounding track here. With atmospheric synths and a hypnotic beat, the music has a dreamlike quality and Leavy weaves a haunting vocal melody over the top. You would still classify it as pop/rock but there is an undoubted dance/electronica influence here. The distinctiveness of her voice means this eclectic leap amongst genres works well, rather than sounding like several different artists, which can sometimes happen.
Falter Baby returns to the gentle acoustic style of Tongue Tied and is another song about relationship issues. The vocal performance is earthy and emotive and has some lovely harmonies towards the end. Running My Mouth continues the acoustic pop vein, lyrically similar to Tongue Tied in being about dealing with difficult emotions but musically busier, with a shuffling beat and some effective stop/start dynamics. While this track didn’t make that much impact on first hearing, it has a deceptively catchy chorus that really sticks in the mind upon repeated listens.
That is the last official track of the EP, but there are two live bonus tracks that are both acoustic. The first, Why Are You Waiting, brought to mind the singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb both in terms of the vocal sound and the open, confessional nature of the lyrics. The second bonus track Wearing Your Kiss shows some of the RnB/soul influences first heard on The Way Life Is, Leavy’s vocals quite raw and bluesy. It is impressive how she can sing both this kind of feisty song and also the more delicate ballads. These bonus tracks are just as good as the rest of the EP, and there is no ‘filler’ to be found.
Overall, this is a very accomplished and impressive set of songs that tick both the boxes of artistic integrity and commercial potential. In a musical climate where decent exposure can be increasingly hard to come by, both these qualities are necessary. With such strong material and pro-level production I would expect Charlie Leavy to make strong headway and perhaps even become a female Ed Sheeran in terms of global success in the coming future. I look forward to hearing her debut album.
Verdict: 9 out of 10
Singer-songwriter Charlie Leavy, has divided her seventeen years between Hook Norton, Oxfordshire and Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire in the UK. Charlie Leavy’s “The Best Damn Ride” is a beautiful blend of acoustic-guitar driven adult alternative and pop, covering topics such as love, relationships, and life in general. Deep, and well thought out lyrics give a powerful peak into Charlie’s own life, as well as a pleasant listening experience.
Although the music, lyrics, and vocals are all first-rate, I must say that my favorite part about the entire album is Charlie’s awesome vocals; sweet, innocent and feminine at the same time. While “The Way Life Is”, is probably the best song on the EP from a pop perspective, the other songs are excellently crafted as well – just hard enough not to be background music, yet soft enough to be relaxing and thought provoking.
Charlie has this strong, clear and sweet but not sugary voice that takes every song and makes it sound like a luscious, liquid river of sound. Sometimes you’ll forget that this girl is 17 and that it’s her debut album because she sounds like she was born to sing.
Charlie Leavy has done an awesome job on “The Best Damn Ride”, even more so if you consider just how competitive the women’s vocal scene has become. Simply put, there are many talented women out there with amazing vocal capabilities. Now, within that environment, Charlie has managed to produce a powerful debut, a stunning 5-track EP which shines with the same brightness as many of the other great female stars of today
For such a young woman, there is so much wisdom in the songs she writes and it’s wonderful that she doesn’t try to show off or do vocal acrobatics. She simply sings! Charlie writes deep songs without being over metaphoric or artsy. She sings in a simplistic voice that fits her songs flawlessly. Just listen to “Tongue Tied” or “Running My Mouth” for confirmation.
I recommend this EP to those who are tired of the bubble gum pop on the radio and finally want some sophisticated material by a sophisticated artist. To hear this level of sophistication in production is one thing for a first EP, to hear this level of sophistication in composition is quite another. Charlie Leavy really understands her writing style.
This EP is such a relaxing, laid back, chilling kind of record. Charlie’s songs just cut out all the loud noises in life and take you to the heart of the music. With “The Best Damn Ride”,Charlie has produced a top shelf entry into a market currently chock full of great female singer songwriters.
Quite bluntly, Charlie Leavy has real talent, and I look forward to watching it develop over the years to come and her future albums.
Charlotte Leavy was born in 1996 and has since split her time between Hook Norton (nr Banbury), Oxfordshire & Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire in the UK.
She has been writing and singing her own songs since about 14 years old. Charlie loves writing with her acoustic guitar, but also occasionally writes with her keyboard.
As well as being a solo artist Charlie also sometimes plays in a band as the bassist or guitarist and sings lead vocals and is currently self learning how to play a beautiful tenor ukulele.
Check out her EP “The Best Damn Ride” on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-best-damn-ride-ep/id900291201
Review on Tumblr
A friend recommended Charlie Leavy to me, and I am glad she did! It is very rare to hear such honesty in someones lyrics these days, combined with catchy chords and a sound that sounds very unique, yet somehow familiar. Most importantly, it is really refreshing to hear music that sounds like it is written because the artist really felt strong about the things she sings about, not because she wants fame, fortune or both. Her EP ‘The Best Damn Ride’ is full of personal, very deep and meaningful songs.
The EP starts off with the song ‘The Way Life Is’, and this song is instantly likeable if you have an ear for good music. I love the funky electric guitar in the intro, and it really leads you into the song very nicely. But what is special about this song is the almost brutal honesty that Charlie Leavy has about life – in this song she pretty much describes the majority of Britain’s (and perhaps the rest of the western worlds) youth, and what is wrong with them and the lives they are trying to live and you just have to give her credit for being so honest. She is probably one of a very few artists who can still get away with rhyming ‘school’ with ‘cool’ and make it sound amazing. I would almost go as far as saying that this song has the same potential as Ed Sheerans ‘A Team’.
The second song is called ‘Tongue Tied’. This song is my favourite song on the EP, and it is outstanding. I expected a love song with chords and words that I have heard hundreds of times previously, and I have to say this is the case, but what I didn’t expect was that she’s actually using just the right words with just the right chords to make this song actually a lot better than most other songs with the same theme. The song starts off quite happy sounding, it leads you into the song perfectly and carries you all the way to the chorus. The chorus is worth mentioning, because it is incredibly catchy. It is very rare that I hear a song for the first time, and I can immeadiately see it being played on all major radio stations and youtube channels that are into this kind of music. With a chorus like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if this would actually happen, should this song be released as a single and marketed the right way.
‘Summers Day Runaway’ is again a serious Song, but completely different to ‘The Way Life Is’. With this song Charlie Leavy really shows her versatility, and her vocals are also worth mentioning, especially in this song, as she effortlessly hits the higher notes each and every single time. Her voice is very warm sounding and it is very easy to listen to. Yet there is a certain power to it and she can definitely sound very expressive if she wants to.
‘Falter Baby’ has again got a very catchy chorus, that will just instantly get stuck in your head and you will find yourself humming this song all day long (which is a good thing, really). This song is kept quite simple with just acoustic guitar and a little percussion, but this suits the song and actually highlights the fact that this artist does not need to hide behind distorted guitars.
‘Running My Mouth’ has almost got a little spanish-guitar flair to it, and this song is very easy to listen to once again.
For the song ‘Why Are You Waiting’, I actually found a live version on Youtube, and I have to say her voice blows me away. You can almost tell this artist is born to sing. Not only is her vocal range amazing, she also has a clear talent for coming up with amazing lyrics!
The EP ends with the song ‘Wearing Your Kiss’, and it happens to be a live version of the song. Just like the previous song, her voice is outstanding and the lyrics are very well written. I love the line ‘baby what you do to me, I’m pretty sure that it’s not right, when it feels this damn good, why would I wannna’ fight’.
All in all this is a great EP that I would definitely recommend to anyone who is into acoustic music with deep lyrics and amazing vocals! The track that stands out the most for me is ‘Tongue Tied’, so if you only have time for one track, listen to that one! Highly recommended!
The EP can be found on Soundcloud http://goo.gl/bVqn4h and on iTunes here http://goo.gl/j5BHvX
The art of the live concert performance seems to be slipping away sometimes. There is nothing better than seeing an artist play live with emotion and providing a full concert experience. Our latest find Charlie Leavy is a true performer and loves to get out there and play in front of a crowd. In fact her goal is to play 52 gigs in 2014.
Even more impressive, the Oxfordshire based singer/songwriter is only 17 years old. Her voice is warm and enticing and brings in influences from folk, blues, and even some country music. Just Charlie Leavy and her acoustic guitar are able to captivate an audience with upbeat songs that demand attention.
The latest offering from this young talent is The Best Damn RIde EP. The 5 track record (with 2 additional bonus live tracks) hits the mark for anyone that loves the simple energy of a girl and her guitar. The production of the record adds the other elements to take Charlie’s music to the next level of pop music. A great example is the opener “The Way Life Is” with its big background sound and studio effects to put her on center stage like she belongs. On “Tongue Tied” the production is scaled back to let the clever songwriting and guitar skills of Charlie Leavy shine through. The standout track for me is “Summer’s Day Runaway”. The catchy train rolling along drumbeat pushes the song forward as the lyrics are delivered with a sense of emotion not seen too much today. The wall of sound behind Charlie creates a full experience of music.
A full website is on the way but in the meantime you can enjoy some Charlie Leavy music at: https://soundcloud.com/charlieleavymusic
Review link http://goo.gl/WfQvOj